This past Saturday I ran the 5K distance in the 2018 running of the Back In The Day K, which is a 70s-themed race held on part of the Stones River Greenway benefiting Agape Animal Rescue. I like to run/walk on various parts of that Greenway, which is how I found out about the race – they advertised along its length with small signs during the months leading up to the event. Since I didn’t have another race scheduled for a couple more months, it made sense to sign up for this one to have a goal to strive towards.
As always on race day, I was up before the sun with my bagel and banana. As a night owl, it kills me to wake up at 4:30AM and try to eat, but I knew if I didn’t, I would regret it, especially for a race like this since I was sure they wouldn’t put any Porta-Potties on the course (I was right, btw – there’s just physically just no room for something of that size on a Greenway, as well as no way to get it there and out). Arriving at the Kohl’s parking lot, which is one of the Greenway trailheads, I was greeted with approximately 400 runners milling about, trying to stay loose, as well as several vendors with booths catering to animal products and services. Although some people were running with their pets and others were dressed in the 70s theme of the race, most of us were in normal running clothes.
The 10K started at 6:50AM, and then we lined up for the 5K start at 7AM. I was so thankful when I realized the organizers were going to have us start on the bridge and not at the Kohl’s trailhead, because that meant we weren’t going to have to immediately cross the start line and climb a hill. For anyone familiar with this area (or anyone who feels like looking it up online), the course ran across the bridge next to Lebanon Rd, up a small hill towards Stone Hall (an event space that’s on the National Register of Historic Places), and then down a long straightaway along the Stones River. For the 5K, the turn around point was an eight of a mile past the only water station on a particularly hilly section. Side Note: Apparently that water station ran out of water sometime between the 5K runners and the 5K walkers, which is hopefully a problem they’ll address before next year’s race.
The only downside to the entire race for me was that I had a couple of “raw-ish” spots on the back of my feet from where I have been breaking in some new shoes. I covered them with Band-Aids the morning of, but approximately three-quarters of the way through the race, I started feeling a squishy feeling with every stride and I knew I was bleeding through the bandages. Sure enough, in one foot’s case, I even bled through the sock onto my shoe. No long-term harm done, but I had to peel off my shoes and socks as soon as I crossed the finish line, and wearing shoes later that day was definitely unpleasant to say the least.
In terms of my overall performance, I didn’t quite meet my goal of my first sub 45min 5K, but I did finish in 45:41, which was awfully close and a new PR (aka Personal Record). Officially, I finished in 108th place out of 201 5K racers, and was 14th overall in my age group. I may not be fast, but as long as I keep improving, that’s OK. I was particularly happy with my average pace of 14:29/mi, and the fact that my watch clocked my best pace at 10:32/mi. Granted, I’m sure that was on one of the downhill sections, but still! Hopefully with continued training, I’ll be able to keep shaving off more and more time, bit by bit.
Back In The Day K raises money for a great cause and is a good little local race, but I wouldn’t recommend anyone travel from out of town specifically for this event. However, if you’re in the area next year and looking for a challenge with a low entrance fee, this could be a great race option for you.