i usually don’t run many 5k races, but i have special ties to the JEHH Kringle Candle Chase therefore, i have chosen to run this race since it began in 2011.
although the race is only 3 years old, it has grown to attract over 600 runners to the sleepy little town of bernardston. due to its growth in popularity, the race director added a few new features this year, including chip timing certifying the course with the USATF.
i’m far from racing shape right now but still wanting to participate, i decided to run with my daughter in the jogger stroller. i registered under my daughter’s name, hoping se might win her age group or at least get a tshirt. at registration they gave me a kid’s small cotton tee which was way too big for a 3 month old. thus, my daughter joined the ranks of many veteran runners and started her own personal collection of cotton white tshirts that are too big for her.
today marked the fourth time running with her in the stroller, so i was not sure what to expect. on those previous runs, i would average about 9:00 – 9:20 per mile and my pace would slow considerably if i encountered a hill. therefore, i told myself that i would be happy with a sub 27:00 5k.
i tried to run a mile for a warm up, but the start of the race was delayed and my warm up was about 20 minutes premature. the delay gave me a chance to chat with several running buddies that i haven’t seen in awhile. i lined up toward the back of the pack so that i didn’t hit anyone with the stroller as we took off.
the gun went off and the road was crowded with people. i did my best to steer clear of runners however i clipped the shoes of one runner before i decided to take to the sidewalk to avoid running over anyone else.
the first mile featured a steady, long climb which was a challenge with the stroller. thankfully, it came early in the race and i pushed a little harder. i hit the first mile at 8:27 . since the first mile was mostly uphill and slower, i figured that i might be able to run faster than i expected. the runners thinned out at this point and i had to swerve around people as they slowed and i sped up. i would call out ‘on your left’ as i passed but often runners would have earbuds in their ears and not hear my approach. it was annoying and dangerous. after experiencing this first hand, i resolved that race directors should really consider banning earbuds and strollers from races.
the second mile lost the elevation that i gained in mile 1 so it was faster around 8:00. the last mile was totally flat and i think i covered it in 7:47 or so. the last 0.1 was on a short stretch of gravel road which bounced the stroller around little. i cringed at the thought of piper’s brain rattling around in her skull. thankfully, it was only 0.1 miles and i don’t think we put her chances of getting into an ivy in jeopardy (at least not on this day).
we crossed the finish line and grabbed a bottle of water. piper slept the entire way. watch time: 25:13. overall, a very successful first race.