Why not?! Running a race seemed like a way better idea than just going out on a training run!
It wasn't too long before I heard back from the Race Director that I was in and shortly thereafter, I heard from the Team Captain, who filled me in that they would be wearing red shirts and they were so glad I could help them out. And so I became a member of "Team Misfits!"
The race format was pretty straight-forward. The course was about a 1.5 mile loop winding around the Great Grand Rapids YMCA in Belmont, MI. The trail was a mix of gravel and grass and ran through fields and woods. You did two loops plus a smidgen at the end to make up the full 3.1 miles that is included in a 5K.
Where this race was different was its format. While you ran your best race as an individual, scoring and placing was done based on team scores, like a high school cross country meet. Each team had 5 members and each runner on the team was given a score based on where you finished. The faster you were, the lower your score (For instance, if you finished 5th, your score was 5. If you finished 77th, your score was 77.) The scores for each runner on your team was then added to give you a total team score and the team with the lowest score won. Plus, to level the playing field, the teams were grouped into divisions. The divisions included All-Girl, All-Boy, Co-Ed, and College/High School teams (20 and under).
When the race started, I knew I was pushing my pace. I felt like I was going out too fast, too soon, but I didn't want to be the slowest one on the team, so I kept at it. Plus, I've really been trying to see just how fast I can be lately and this seemed like as good a time as any to try for my third 5K PR in the past week.
My knee has been bugging me this past week, so I was a little uneasy about the rough terrain and how my knee would hold up. It ended up not bothering me as much as I thought it would, although my calf did cramp up a little, so I probably should have spent more (read: ANY) time warming up and stretching before...
Well, I did it! I managed my fastest 5K to date!!! Even with my bum knee this past week. I was pumped and super glad that I pushed myself to run faster than I had planned. I finished third out of our team of 5 girls and I was very pleased with how I ran my race.
All in all, this was a fun race and I would love to put together a team of my own next year. Plus, since it was a Thursday night, it was easy to fit into my schedule. The race was very well organized and the course was enjoyable. I liked the two lap format and the twists and turns definitely added some interest. It was great to join a team and get to meet some new people.
If anyone ever has the opportunity, I definitely recommend filling in on a team with people you don't know. It's a great way to get out into the running community and make new running friends. I'm so glad to have the opportunity to add races to my calendar at the last minute. It's always more fun to get out and run a race than it is to train... The training is enjoyable, but the racing is the best part! It's why we do all the training!!!
Thanks so much to RunGR for putting on a fun event. If you wanna know more about the event, check out their website or their facebook page. I can't wait until Sunday to find out where our team placed overall! (They only announced the winners of each division and it wasn't us, sadly...) I'll post an update when I find out how our team did!
According to my Nike+ GPS Watch:
Distance: 3.2 miles
Time: 31:01 *Note: Forgot to stop my watch... Sadface.*
Average Pace: 9:40 / mile