Phoenix Phun Run 5K – Race Review

I never used to run 5K races.  They are short but not sweet and I’m more comfortable running a slower clip for a bit longer period of time.  To be honest, they weren’t even on my radar because a 5K was “only” 3.1 miles.  My focus was on half marathons, marathons and triathlons.  Everything changed last year when Aby wanted to start running.  She and I began the local 5K circuit in April of 2011 at the Ringing In Spring 5K in Valparaiso, IN.  Since then, we have ran quite a few 5Ks in both Indiana and Illinois. 

First thing I learned about 5K racing?  If you think it’s “only” 3.1 miles, then you aren’t running hard enough.  As a seasoned distance runner, I expected it to be easy and it wasn’t.  Ironically, when you run a faster pace it hurts creates extra stress on your body.  Who knew?  Not me!  The second thing I learned was that, I liked the 5K distance a lot and I was able to run as fast as I wanted while not having to worry about needing to taper from my longer miles, or my body being depleted of fuel on the run, or even dehydrating during the race or not feeling well enough to drive home.  It was a good, fun distance for me that I really enjoyed AND I was able to share it with Aby.  Good thing I enjoy the distance because now as my foot heals, 5Ks are my max race distance for the next several months.  So I’m going to hit quite a few, try to build up some speed while still rehabbing my foot so that I can take a down cycle in the winter months then KILL the Chicago Shamrock Shuffle 8K in March.

Yesterday, I ran the Phoenix Phun Run 5K which was a fundraiser for Lincoln Way North in Frankfort, IL.

lincoln way north

This was a no frills type race.  Nicki T. and I showed up with the kids in tow and registered on site.   Photos Below:  Nicki & I  and Aby & Michael who were our cheer squad.

Phoenix Phun Run_2012_Nicki & I   Phoenix Phun Run_2012_Aby & Michael

The on-site registration fee was $30 and we received a cotton unisex t-shirt which I’ll never wear.  No chip timing, no official “start” line but plenty of volunteers to get us lined up properly. 

Phoenix Phun Run_2012_start

They even offered a 100 yard dash for the kids before we started and they recruited Michael who totally kicked butt and won!

Phoenix Phun Run_2012_Michael runs    Phoenix Phun Run_2012_Michael's medal

The kids race started at 8:00 am and was followed immediately by the 5K at 8:05.  A local law officer shot a starter pistol to signal the 5K start and we were off.  I never saw a course map online, or the day of the event, but I tend to just follow the person in front of me.  The course was well marked with white arrows on the ground, plus volunteers were stationed throughout the course to direct and aid runners.  I saw 2 water stops but no bathrooms on course, which is normal for a 5K.

I must say this is my favorite 5K thus far.  We ran a short distance thru a residential area around Lincoln Way North.  The traffic through the neighborhood was non-existent and we were soon directed onto a running/bike path which I didn’t even know existed ran the perimeter of a large retention pond.  The terrain was varied with a few small inclines/declines and it was just a nice peaceful, scenic run.  The event was small with 66 official finishers so the path was never overcrowded or constricting.  It was just a beautiful Sunday run.  The nature of the course also allowed you to see the runners positions around the pond so it was pretty easy to focus on the person in front of you, then the next one, etc.  Good course!

Then the finish was on the track and they had donuts, luna bars, bananas and water afterward.  Perfect. 

My race went well.  I’m definitely getting stronger.  I ran a 24:54, which was an 8:00 min/mi pace.  I wasn’t pushing hard, just tried to stay slightly faster than my comfort zone and keep moving.  I still slowed down a lot toward the end but I felt stronger this week and didn’t notice my lack of endurance as much.  That’s a win in my book.  Speaking of win, my awesome chiro, Alexis did win the ladies race and took 2nd overall with a 20:32.  Although, the results only listed bib numbers and I’m pretty confident they mixed up my bib and the man with the jogging stroller in front of me listing my time as 24:45, Aby thinks I was the 2nd overall female.  I did come home with some bling.  Here is  a photo of Alexis, Michael and I with our medals.  Alexis and Michael both took 1st and I was 2nd. 

Phoenix Phun Run_2012_Michael Me Alexis

Before you ask, I made Aby sit this one out because she had a Cross Country Invite on Saturday.  I don’t want my baby girl to get too fatigued or chance getting hurt for a “Phun Run”. 

Huge shout out to TTF reader, Greg P. who dominated his age group! 

Great job to all the Phoenix Phun runners!  This was a great race and as long as our schedule permits, I’ll will be back for next year!

What’s your favorite 5K so far this year?

** Happy Racing ** Amanda – TooTallFritz ** amanda@tootallfritz.com

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9 thoughts on “Phoenix Phun Run 5K – Race Review

  1. It is funny how you say you are enjoying the shorter distance because I am wanting a longer race at the moment. These races where it is basically 22 mins of hell are not that fun. I did not enjoy any of the scenery as I was just trying to keep Alexis in my sights so I would know where to go. Man she is fast. She blew by me and another guy a little before mile 1 and never looked back. You should plan on the Lockport HS foundation 5K that is usually toward the end of April. It is a similar race just a little bigger and a little more formal.

    • Yep, she is really fast! LOL! Her goal and I quote, is to be “the fastest runner who never runs”. She works a lot and has 2 little ones. Her son and mine share a birthday but he just turned 1. 🙂 Try the Sharmock Shuffle in March, almost 5 miles.

  2. When I read ‘I couldn’t let my baby risk getting injured’ at the end I teared up a bit. I’m so emotional lately with all this running and meg running! You did great at the Phun run! SO FAST!

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