Today I Ran Like a Thoroughbred

Okay, not exactly but I ran where the thoroughbreds do. This morning, I did the Preakness 5K at Pimlico Race Track in Baltimore.

A couple of weeks ago I thought it sounded fun because you run on the actual dirt track and there’s beer at the end. Good enough combo for me.

Since Joe wasn’t running and my dad likes horse racing, I decided to bring him along for support. I was a little worried about the condition of the track because it rained last night and the clouds were threatening rain all morning. But I didn’t see any news about the race being canceled so we took off for Baltimore.

When you pick up your bib, it lists your horse name for the race. I was Lame Classy, which was, for lack of a better word, lame. But I embraced it. Woo! Go Lame Classy!

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Yay Lame Classy!

I think the best thing about the whole race was the starting gate (that and the resounding “O!” from the crowd during the National Anthem, go O’s!). I had Dad take a couple of pictures of me standing on the starting gate for the race and it was HIGH. Those guys who stand on the gate to help load the horses before the race are pretty brave. Anyway, at the beginning of the race, the actual announcer for the track got us started and they rang the bell and the gates opened and off we went. The announcer started calling out horse names as we came out which was kind of cool. Alas, Lame Classy didn’t get a shoutout. Dad was standing near the start cheering me on so I started off feeling awesome.

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In the starting gate

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Waiting to run through the gate

That ended less than a quarter mile later when we got to the track. It was MUDDY. I should have taken a picture just to prove it but I didn’t feel like stopping. Your feet would sink in immediately and I kept wobbling because I wasn’t finding good ground. Apparently I am a klutz because I looked like I was the only one having so many problems standing on her own two feet. I had visions of falling face forward into the mud. I must have weak ankles or something. It was pretty cool to run by the horse stables and the stands but I kept wondering when we were finally going to get off the track. We were on there for most of the first half of the race and I was exhausted. But at least I never stopped running, even if it was a slow trot really. I have a whole new respect for race horses.

Once we got back on pavement it was like a godsend. I’d never been so happy to see a road. We ran just outside the track for a bit and then back into the parking lot (where my dad had moved to a new spot to cheer me on) and and through the tunnel to the infield. By then I was feeling better but it was really humid. The field was relatively small so when I finally crossed the finish line, there was no one near me.

Final breakdown:

Mile 1: 10:58 ( It was muddy)

Mile 2: 10:40 (Okay, it was still really muddy)

Mile 3: 9:12 (Ah, pavement!)

Total time: 30:59 (this put me at 12th out of 33 in my age group, I’ll take it!). Obviously no PR … but at least I squeaked in under 31 minutes? (I should note that I judge my time based solely on what I normally run. A lot of people run faster than me, a lot of people run slower than me. So my opinion of my time is based solely on me. I’m not trying to make anyone feel bad about how they run or make others think that I think I’m a great runner) The top female finisher finished in 19 minutes, third place was somewhere around 23 or 24 minutes so you can see the mud really slowed us all down. One guy I talked to said it was the muddiest track he had seen in the race’s history.

At the finish line, I got my awesome new water bottle and beer! I didn’t really drink much of the beer though since they gave you a full one and Dad was waiting.

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Mmmm, beer. Can you tell it was a little humid?

Overall, the race was awesome. I loved how unique it was. My only complaint was the finish line was a bit of a walk from the parking lot. And oh yeah, the mud. But that really just added to the experience.

One other highlight of the day: Dad treated me to Roy Rogers and I indulged in the best fast food sandwich ever, the Gold Rush. Yuuuuuuum.

What’s the best 5K you’ve ever done? And what’s the best fast food sandwich?

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