For the past few years, Gracepoint Community Church has hosted a 5K to help raise funds for missions. This year's Go, Send, or Disobey 5K would benefit a young girl's nine month mission trip to South Africa.
I only learned of this 5K the night before when our school secretary posted the link to her Facebook page. I did this race (formerly known as Miles for Missions) in 2013. I'll never forget it because it was my first time running a sub 30 minute 5K. I hadn't run a race since May, so I decided to race day register for this one.
There wasn't a huge turnout like I remembered in 2013. There were 30-40 runners total. I don't think it was advertised as well as it was in year's past. The race started and finished at Gold Star Park. The course ran through residential areas and downtown Wetumpka. I've run several races through downtown Wetumpka, so I was familiar with this course.
Every race that I've run in downtown Wetumpka goes over the river bridge in the beginning of the race. It's almost impossible to pass anyone and it makes it difficult to get in a rhythm. I held back and waited until I got past the bridge to pick up the pace.
It wasn't long before I was positioned in the top five runners. I was trailing a young teenage girl who I figured would easily take first overall female. She was maintaining a steady pace and she looked strong. To my surprise the first female stopped to walk around a mile and a half into the race. I knew this was my opportunity to take the lead.
I picked up the pace for the remainder of the first and second mile. There was a steady incline in the final mile before making my way back towards downtown. I had a strong lead at this point, so I decided to walk it up. Going back over the bridge was another noticeable incline, but I didn't want to waste any more time by walking. I pushed through it. I ran past some shops downtown before making the final turn under the bridge towards the finish. I dodged a few geese on the sidewalk before crossing the finish. I could hear them honking in the background as the race director announced, "First overall female."
Mile 1- 8:27
Mile 2- 8:20
Mile 3- 8:45
My official time was 25:53. I was the second overall finisher.
Three years ago, I had only seconds to spare when I met my goal of a sub 30 5K. I never would have imagined I'd improve this much. This wasn't my fastest 5K and my time would be nowhere near fast enough to place first overall female at a larger 5K. However, that didn't stop me from being proud of my accomplishment. Running has taught me to expect more from myself than I've ever thought possible. There's always room for improvement. I strive to become better every day, not just with running but in all aspects of my life.