When we first arrived to the race, there were dogs everywhere! Bark in the Park is not just a race, but also a festival put on by the Humane Society. The 5K just kicks off the event, so there were many people around not involved in the race. Thus, it was a bit confusing to find where the actual start to the race was. But, Justin and I asked around and then finally found the start line. Because of the confusion on where the start was, we only showed up about 5 minutes before the race started! Usually I am there way too early, so I was a little bit worried that we weren’t going to get there on time. But luckily, we were absolutely fine and had plenty of time to get in our spots before the race started. My friend Rob was also running in the race, so we found him and then Justin waited on the side with our dog Lilli, so that she wouldn’t be jumping over everyone before the race even started!
At 9AM, the race began. I started in the middle of the pack, but quickly realized that there weren’t tons of super fast runners in this race, so I quickly moved up to the front. I started off very quick, around a 7-minute pace, but it didn’t feel too exhausting so I just went with it. The course was a bit confusing because there were just signs with arrows pointing to where we were supposed to go. Luckily there were some runners ahead of me, so I just followed them. Honestly if they weren’t there, I probably would have went the wrong direction because the signs weren’t very clear at all. There were volunteers along the course, but not all of them were stationed by a sign so I think it could have been fairly simple to go the wrong way.
The 5K distance felt so short compared to the long runs I have been doing lately! Therefore, I maintained a much faster pace than I am used to. I couldn’t keep up with the 7-minute pace that I started off with, but I kept fairly close to it. I knew I was doing pretty well because there weren’t that many runners ahead of me and I was only passed by a handful of runners.
I crossed the finish line at 23:37, a 7:37/mile pace! I was very happy with my time, as this was over 5 minutes faster than my previous 5K race PR. Justin and Lilli finished shortly after, and it was so fun to see Lilli so excited (and exhausted) as she crossed the finish line!
My friend Rob finished a little bit after, and then we spent a little bit of time walking around the festival. I saw a truck that had the dogs you could adopt from the shelter, so I couldn’t help it but ask a volunteer to let me hold of the little pups! She was so adorable, and I wished that Justin and I had enough room to get another dog 😦 I swear I would adopt all the dogs if I could!
After visiting the puppies, we went to watch the start of the 1-mile fun walk. This was a walk for dogs and their owners around the park. It was fun seeing all the different types and sizes of dogs, but Lilli was way too tired to participate!
We walked around a bit more, and then headed back to our cars to go home. As we were walking, I heard my name over the loud speaker- I had placed 3rd out of all the females in the race! I was SO excited to hear my name, as I have never placed in a race before! So we headed back to the festival and I received my medal. I was so shocked!
All in all, it was an awesome race! I got my best 5K time ever, placed 3rd out of all the women in the race (19th out of 330 overall), and Lilli ran in her first race. I can’t wait to do it again next year!