St. Patrick’s Day 5K Report

By Adam Hawkins

The St. Patrick’s Day 5K was held on March 14, 2010 in Bloomington, Illinois. This was my second consecutive year running this race.

I stopped to get gas in Forsyth on my way north to Bloomington and realized something…it was COLD! Was it this cold in Illiopolis? It didn’t feel like it when I walked to the car. Am I gonna freeze? Crap.

My GPS got me to the VFW Hall in Bloomington, (the race’s headquarters) about 12:15pm. The lot was almost full! I watched in envy as folks in running tights trotted by my car. I had left my vest on the back porch.

I made my way into the VFW Hall and back to packet pick-up. I was handed a beautiful long-sleeved, green tech shirt. Wow, nice!

I retreated back to my car to pin my number to my racing belt. I sipped my Aztec Wonder Juice aka iskiate (chia seeds and sports drink) and turned the heater on low. I can’t believe I forgot my vest.

Finally, I stripped off my sweats and shell and headed for the starting line. I did my best to keep myself warm. Am I really shivering? Ugh.

Logic told me that I’d be a bit warm in this long sleeve shirt, but I didn’t want to just leave it along the side of the road. Then, I spotted a buddy who was there as a spectator and he agreed to keep it for me.

So, there I was in shorts, bandana, a t-shirt and my work gloves! (Thankfully, I had those in the car.) We all crept toward the front of the starting line. Like last year, no megaphone, no sound system, just one guy yelling out instructions. Bang! And, we’re off!

Again, like last year, this was my first race of the calendar year. I have been working on form more than speed, and I had not timed myself in I don’t know how long. I was strictly running on feel.

The course took us through a residential neighborhood in Bloomington. There were no mile markers. I wanted to run a 23 minute race, so I had to run 7:24 miles. ‘Seven thirty-five’ was the first split. I knew I was in trouble. At least I wasn’t cold anymore.

I tried to pick up the pace for mile number two. As I rounded the corner I heard, ‘Fifteen minutes!’ Okay, that’s better, but I’m really going to have to haul to get there.

We all turned the last corner for the final straightaway, and I looked at my watch. It had been stopped at 1.4 seconds. Great! I tried to get that ‘finishing kick’, but my body was telling me we were doing just fine as is.

I crossed the finish line with 23-something on the clock. I knew I didn’t reach my goal.

After getting my shirt back from my buddy, it was time to redeem that free drink ticket back at the VFW Hall. Like last year, I was pleasantly surprised to see the results already hanging up in the doorway! The official time was 23:28. I was 28 seconds too slow.

I drank my green Miller Lite, and passed on the sugar cookies with green sprinkles.

Overall, this is a nice event. The tech shirt was a nice bonus this year, plus it’s chip timed and you get a FREE BEER at the end! For $18, I’d say that’s a pretty fair deal.

My final race stats: 14th in my age group (out of 40), 113th overall (596 participants)

– Adam