Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The Aloha Run Recap

When my running journey first began, the first run I ever signed up for was the Aloha Run.  Since then, I’ve run it every year—since it’s my anniversary race, it holds a special place in my heart.  
Photo credi: www.thealoharun.com
To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I was going to run it this year.  I had some things going on in my life and running a 5K wasn’t a priority.  But the Tuesday before, I decided I would regret not running it and signed up.  When you register you have the option for running untimed at a lower cost and I went with this option.  I was going to run for fun and would be wearing my Garmin so that was good enough for me.


The Aloha Run offers race day bib pick-up so I headed down to Mission Bay early on race morning.  The past years I’ve run this race, it has taken place in September and was extremely hot.  This year the race was moved to October and I was hoping this would mean cooler weather.  When I showed up for bib pick-up, it was actually a bit cold.  I was lucky to find parking close so I wore my jacket until it was almost race time.  

The race also featured a 10K this year that started at 7:30am with the 5K starting at 7:45am.    The start line area changed this year, a change that I was glad to see.  It moved from a grassy hill area to a paved pathway, which was also the finish line area.  The pre-race entertainment was fun and they did a good job of announcing the start of the 10K and making sure the right runners lined up.  After the 10K runners were off, it was time for the 5K.
  
This race is “self coral” but it seemed everyone was doing a pretty good job of placing themselves.  They announced that fast runners should move to the front and I knew that wasn’t me.  I also knew from past experiences with the race, it gets congested at the beginning and can be hard to move through, so I placed myself behind the “speedy” runners.  I didn’t have a race plan, but I did want to go out faster at first to get away from the runner congestion.

Race Swag!

My plan was to run this race for fun- I was running more for the memory than running for time. I went out fast like I had planned and kept going.  I could feel that I was pushing myself, but felt good enough to keep going.  The race follows the pathway along Mission Bay so it’s a pretty view.  They also great course entertainment, from Island themed dancing and music and others cheering you on.  It’s an out and back course and that’s my only “complaint.”  The path way is narrow and once you’re coming back, it’s sometimes hard to pass people because there are runners on both sides.  While most runners will move aside to let you pass, some groups still ran 2-3 people wide and there were a few times I had to either stop or move on to the grass near the pathway.  

The weather was beautiful (Yay!) and even though I knew I was pushing myself, I felt good for most of the race.  When I reached the turn around point, I looked at my Garmin and realized that I might get a PR.  (I’ve been chasing my 5K PR since March 2014 and was competing with a PR from a course that has a ¾ mile downhill finish, so it felt like I might not ever beat it). Because I thought I might be able to get a PR, I decided to push myself as hard as I could.  And it worked—I took almost two minutes off my time from March 2014.  (On the downside, since I was frugal and opted out of a timing chip, I’ll need to do this again to make it race official, but now I know I’m capable of it.)



The Aloha Run has a fun post race area with music and plenty of vendors giving away goodies.  This is a family friendly event and I love seeing all the families dressed up in their aloha gear.  I think next near I might run the 10K but I’ll definitely be back to the Aloha Run.


My PR had my jumping for joy!

What’s your anniversary race?

Until next time, happy running!
Jenn13.1

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