2014 Fun Runs: A Wrap-Up

For the past few summers (at the very least since last summer… I don’t know for sure) my run club has sponsored a Fun Run series. Every Thursday night for six weeks, members of the run club as well as the local community gather and run a free “2.5-mile” race which, according to Simon, is actually 2.42 miles. Close enough! A half-hour before each fun run, there’s a kids’ race for kids 12 and under, and that course is about 0.8 miles.

I had heard about these races last year, and Colin and I would often accidentally get in the way of see the runners as we did our own 2-mile jaunts around the pond. I thought it would be fun to join in sometime, but I worried that I was way too slow to even take part. That made it all the more exciting this year when the announcement for this year’s fun run series went out in our weekly newsletter. I still felt a little too slow to take part, but I thought it would be a good chance to see how much I could improve on the same course over a 6-week span.

The course itself is pretty pleasant, and very familiar to me as it’s where I normally run with run club on Thursday nights the rest of the year, as well as by myself or with Colin. It’s essentially one lap of the pond, with a diversion around the lagoon and a brief spell out on the street. The race starts uphill (ugh), and is relatively flat until a really steep hill during the street part of the course (the Mile 2 Hill of Doom). Staff from our city’s recreation department run the races – yelling “go!” to start, handing out numbered popsicle sticks at the finish line to keep track of finishing order, and recording names and finishing times – and a bike cop or two patrol the course to make sure everyone goes the right way. For a free race, these are pretty well organized! (Apart from the finishing times, which should be taken with a grain of salt, but hey… it’s free!)

Sunset at the pond

Sunset at the pond

Unfortunately for me, my plan to see improvement as the series went on didn’t really work the way I hoped; I got worse with each race! I blame my stupid shins. Here are my nutshell results:

Race 1 (July 10)
35th out of 46; 20:45*
(I did not finish in 20:45!! According to MapMyRun, my time was 27:57, but that included a minute or two of fussing over Colin after he fell at the finish line. I think it was closer to 26:00ish)

Race 2 (July 17)
Didn’t run (shins)

Race 3 (July 24)
71st out of 74; 25:44*
(25:58 according to Simon)

Race 4 (July 31)
63rd out of 67; 27:13*
(According to Simon, I finished this one in 26:02.)

Race 5 (August 7)
59th of 63; 27:50
(Simon also says 27:50)

Race 6 (August 14)
Didn’t run (out of town)

Sigh. So much for improving. I like to think that if my shins weren’t such jerks I would have seen faster times, but who knows? Hopefully the club will sponsor this series again next year so I can give it another go!

Have you ever run a race series? Did you see your times improve?

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8 thoughts on “2014 Fun Runs: A Wrap-Up

  1. Wow. I would have been dead last in every single one of those. That’s not much “fun”. LOL

    Our running club holds a weekly “ramble” on Thursdays that sounds similar to this, but I can never make it because I work until 6:00. It’s probably better anyway because I’d be the slowest one there.

    • Yeah, it was definitely a bit anticlimactic each week by the time I crossed the finish… most of the other runners had already gone home by then! I just tried to block out the comparisons and run my own races. Apparently I didn’t do so great against myself though!

  2. I ran a community race series this summer, although it was on different courses. I would not say that my times really improved at all either. I think the important thing is just to get out there and get it done. If your body is not feeling great, there’s not much to do but rest and take it easy. Hopefully your shin pain will ease up soon.

    • That’s a good way to look at it… the races got me to get out there and actually run, and I finished each one I started, so there are definitely positives. Thanks for the shin wishes! 🙂

  3. It’s a great idea to try to keep improving on the same course, but you shouldn’t necessarily get hung up on the times–remember that how you felt during each run matters too! Maybe you breathed easier as time went on? Didn’t feel so much like death? I don’t know, just throwing that out there because time isn’t everything 🙂

    • I agree – thanks for putting it in perspective! 🙂 Time certainly isn’t everything, but I forget that a lot, probably because I want to be so much faster than I am. Running the course each week seemed to get harder for some reason (can I blame my shins again?) which is why I felt a bit down about the series too. Ah well, each run can’t be perfect and I had had a lot of pretty good ones, so I guess I was due a less-perfect run or two! 😉

    • That’s very true… for the first race I made sure I ate well during the day and stayed hydrated, and for each one after that I didn’t pay as much attention to how I was preparing. I probably ate pretty terribly and didn’t drink enough water… but I did still do them! Thanks 🙂

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