Last Saturday I ran in the ARK Classic 5k which was race # 14 in the Arkansas Grand Prix series. Technically this was my third time to run it and the third time on a new course! I actually ran this race in 1998 as a college sophomore. It was the one and only time during college that our coach took our team to a local road race. I guess he wanted to see where we were fitness-wise since we had a lot of new runners that year. I don’t remember much from the race itself but according to Arkansas Runner race results I ran a 19:10 which was good enough for first female. I had no idea it was a Grand Prix race. It was named after the sponsor- the Merchantile 5K but it was the same race put on by the Arkansas Running Klub. Who knew I’d be running it almost 20 years later?!
Last year the course was in Burns Park. It measured a little short on my watch but I ran a strong race and I sure did enjoy going sub 18!
This year the ARK Classic course moved to Crystal Hill Elementary and I hope this one stays! I really liked the route- mostly roads with a little trail section after mile 2. The weather was also great! We had a random 3 day fall weather preview and morning temps and dew point were in the low to mid 60’s. It only lasted this race weekend but it was perfect.
My main pace goal for the race was to stay in the 5:50’s. I know I should be able to do this right now based on workouts but it’s making my mind follow through that I am working on.
Mile 1- 5:53. On track and feeling good.
Mile 2- 5:57. Was running alone and really had to focus to keep it under 6.
Mile 3- 6:09. I just couldn’t get it under 6. I wasn’t running around anyone and the pack in front of me was too far ahead to see. I really need to work on a mile 3 strategy to stay in the game!
Mile 3.1- 0:37.
Official Finish Time- 18:39 (1st female). Official Results can be found here.
Once I grabbed some water I started to head back to catch the gang. My 3 older kids were running it along with my sister and my dad. Once again all three kids PR’d with their best 5k times. They are on a roll!
Next up on the Grand Prix calendar- the Minute Man Cross Country 5K! I haven’t run a cross country race in forever so this should be interesting!