My First Place 5K Finish

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Last week I was at a conference that had a 5K as one of the social/fundraising events. When I registered for the conference, I signed up for the 5K without giving too much thought to what it would mean to run a 5K in south Florida in late June! When the Lawyers Have Heart 10K was cut down to a 5K because of the weather in D.C. a few weeks earlier, I started to question my sanity, but I figured we would have a shady route under the palm trees (do palm trees even create shade?) or a cool breeze off the ocean.

The conference hotel was lovely.

But it was hot: 87°F when I stepped outside at 6:15 AM!

As expected, there was a small group of us. Maybe 10 runners, including 3 women, plus about 5 walkers. More people had signed up, but the open bar reception the night before took its toll.

I was a bit worried when we were told that we would be running on the beach (my calves! my plantar fascitis!) but I figured I could survive a 5K, and I was not about to back out.

It was about 7:00 AM when we started running. The clouds had moved out (darn), and while there was a breeze, it was a not very helpful headwind.

After the start I was surprised to find myself at the back of the pack of runners, but I was committed to holding a moderate pace. I really was worried about running in the sand, and knew from the brutal Lawyers Have Heart course that the sun can take a toll. The average pace readings on my RunKeeper App got faster with each 5 minute report, but part of that was because I had started it before I actually started running. I did overtake a few runners, but the one woman who I knew was a regular distance runner remained a fair bit ahead. As we approached the lighthouse turn-around point, I was gaining on her, and I did manage to pass her before we turned around. After that, I realized that I was the leading woman and might have a chance to “win.” That set off my competitive spark, and I probably pushed my pace a bit after that.

Based on my RunKeeper data, I figured I would finish in close to but under 30 minutes. I was surprised to hear the 30 min report when the hotel finish line was still off in the distance. I kept plugging along, but was really feeling the sun and the heat. (That breeze was long gone.) I had to hold myself back from running into the ocean to cool off!

As I got closer to the hotel, I passed a guy who had already finished and was walking back to cheer others on. I asked him where the heck the finish was, and he pointed out the hotel trainer standing in the sand with a stopwatch. Even though I was hot and tired, I found some energy to sprint the rest of the way. In retrospect, it seems like a silly thing to do since this was such a low key “event,” but like I said, I am competitive, even when my only competition is myself.

When I finished, my RunKeeper App said I had run 3.71 miles in 33:30. Another runner had a Garmin and that had read 3.7 miles too. I guess the hotel trainers hadn’t mapped out the course very precisely!

I picked up my race t-shirt, grabbed a Gatorade and headed to the hotel gym to cool down on the treadmill. I really wanted an ice bath, but the full power air conditioning would have to do. I think I was still sweating half an hour later!

Later on I learned that the woman I was “chasing” had aggravated a muscle strain and decided to walk most of the way after the turn-around. I’m glad she wasn’t really injured and wish I’d beaten her under more fair conditions! Still, I will treasure this victory, as probably the only time I will be the First Place Female!

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19 Responses to My First Place 5K Finish

  1. bearrunner says:

    Excellent job!

  2. FindingMyHappyPace says:

    Nice practically 4 mile race! Congratulations being the most kick ass too.

  3. Nice 5.98k! And way to win the race

  4. Congrats! As Victoria said – nice 5.98K!! (glad someone else did the math). Sand, wind, heat = impressive run.

  5. Way to go! Treasure that success, knowing that you earned it!

  6. Impressive for running in the sand! You rock!

  7. Congratulations on getting first place, especially given the conditions!

  8. SuperBabe76 says:

    Congratulations on the first place win Coco!!!! That's awesome! 🙂 And super impressive considering it was running in the sand!!! 🙂

  9. Carly D. @ CarlyBana says:

    A win is a win! Big congrats on that first place!!!

  10. Kris M Beal says:

    YAY! YAY! YAY! And LMAO about the cool, headwind – yikes! And the sand – YOWZA! You. Are. Amazing. **proud gushes**

  11. Beth says:


  12. workout mommy says:

    hey—a win is a win! Great job!! 🙂

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