Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Portland Parks 5k: Fernhill Park

Since I know I'm not going to be setting any PRs this year, I didn't want to spend too much money on races - but it's still fun to have an opportunity to push myself a little! Abe doesn't like spending money on races in general, but is focusing on trying to set a new 5k PR, so he signed up for several in the Portland Parks $5 5k series, and I figured I'd join him for a couple of them. The series does each race in a different park; the first one of the series for this year was recently in Fernhill Park. 

We were able to find parking pretty close in the neighborhood, and arrived about an hour before the race started at 9. Packet (ok, bib) pickup is just the morning of, as far as I could tell, but it's a small-ish event so it's not crowded or long lines. We quickly got our bibs, checked out the route map, used the porta potties, and tried our best to stay dry from the rain. (We could have gotten away with less lead time, for sure.) There was a kids' race of one lap around the track before the 5k started. 

The course was three loops (just over a mile each) around the park; starting on the track, going around on a sort of dirt trail, some across grass, then back onto some dirt trail to lead back onto the track. It was definitely a bit more of a cross-county type of race than I realized I was getting into, with some caution needed to avoid mud and tree roots, but I don't think it ended up slowing me down too horribly. 

Mile splits:
1 - 11:29
2 - 11:17
3 - 10:55
3.1 - 10:00 (1:14 time for 0.13 per my garmin)

Negative splits! Total unofficial time: 34:58, which is only 20 seconds slower than the Race for the Roses four weeks prior. For pregnancy, I think that's a sign of making progress. 

There were a few issues overall - they were out of bananas by the time I finished, when there must have been at least a third of the people still on the course. Though I don't actually know how many were really still on the course after me, though, because the timing systems somehow got messed up (they said because of the rain), and many people (including me) were left off all together, and others' were messed up (Abe has a time that looks like it only includes his first two laps, and shows an age of 116). I realize you can't expect tons for only $5, although I think their reaction to the issue (more jokey than apologetic) left a little to be desired - just because it's inexpensive doesn't meant people's times aren't important.

I'm signed up to also do the June 5k, so hopefully that one goes a bit better to at least provide an official time, but as long as that time isn't much slower than this one I'll be happy with it. 

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