I ran my first 5k of the year this past Saturday, June 15, 2013. It was the first annual Ribfest 5k in Fort Wayne. I have always enjoyed the BBQ Ribfest more than any of the other festivals in the Fort, so I wanted to be sure to support this 5k. Plus it was such a GREAT DEAL. By signing up early it only cost $15 and I got a free t-shirt plus 2 free tickets to Ribfest (a $16 value). It would have been a good value even if you weren't a runner!
This inaugural race had a few issues typical of any new venture. It was perhaps not the most organized of races I have run, but it was a beautiful day and everyone enjoyed it nonetheless. For starters there was another organization doing a fundraiser walk at the same time in the same location. So instead of starting our 5k at the 10 am scheduled time we had to wait until 10:30. We also had to cross paths with the walkers in a couple of location so we had to run single-file briefly. Other than that there weren't any real noticeable problems.
Logistically, the 204 runners/walkers started at the Calhoun Stree cul-de-sac just west of Headwaters Park. There was actually plenty of free parking right there. I parked over at Freimman Square though, only because I wasn't sure if there would be any parking any closer. Anyway, we started out running south on Calhoun and turned at the first corner (Superior St.?) and went over a block and headed north. We wound around some streets there and then took the path that goes under the Martin Luther King Jr. bridge and wound around on that side of the street for awhile and then ended by the fountains at the main Headwaters Park area on the east side of the street. It was a nice route and I enjoyed it. There was one water station along the way (I didn't take any) and they had water and snacks at the finish line. It was all hand-time (no chips) and they had a clock at the ending chute.
Personally, I ran better than I thought I might. I actually wore my old shoes because I thought it looked like rain and I didn't want to get my new shoes wet already. I also didn't wear either of my knee support braces. So I didn't want to push it at all. I started out at a very slow pace and really just wanted to see how my legs felt without the knee supports. I did start to pick it up a little about halfway through. Towards the end I think I could have passed a couple other guys, but I always hate that when someone sprints by me at the end, so I just followed them in. I was surprised that I ran at 27:22. That was faster than my first 5k of last year. I think the winner finished in just over 15 minutes. I haven't seen the full list of results yet. I think I got 10th in my 50-59 age group. I would guess I maybe finished in or near the top half of all runners and walkers.
Overall I was pretty happy with this race. Carrie and the kids came and watched. Anna helped with my cool-down walk. I also like running these races because not only do I enjoy meeting new people, but it is nice to see how other runners warm up and prepare. Carrie took this picture of me at the finish and I realized right away that I still need to work on my form. I have been trying to work on lifting my knees and using the front part of my foot more than heel-toe action. I realize I was slowing down here at the end, but I was glad for the visual reminder to pick my knees up.
My next race is in Zanesville, IN this coming Saturday. I believe this will be my 3rd or 4th time running there. I certainly plan to run the Ribfest 5k next year though. I even liked their t-shirts!