The Bay Days 5 Miler is a race I’ve always been intrigued by. I’ve wanted to do it, but my biggest fear in the past was running 5 miles in the heat. Coincidentally, a 5 mile tempo run was scheduled for July 4th, so what better way to get in those miles. I haven’t done many 5 mile races, my only experience was doing the Eagle Run a few times in high school and St. Malachi this past year. Bay Days is quite opposite of St. Malachi, flat and hot.
Going in I knew it was going to be hot, but the 50 feet walk from my car to packet pick up already had me sweating. The 8:30am start time was already too late to avoid the heat. I wasn’t trying to PR, I knew there was no way this was possible. I just wanted to have a decent pace and follow my training schedule. I did a short warm up, ran into a fellow Muskie and energized with some Gu. I grabbed my hand held and some Sport Beans and I was ready, just a few minutes left to settle my nerves and soak in the last amount of shade for a while.
The race started off, and I knew right away I was going too quick. I checked and I was at an 8:30 pace, so I slowed it to a 9:30 pace. This wasn’t a 5k, and this wasn’t the 60 degree temperature I was used to. It was pretty crowded for the first half mile, and eventually everyone found a pace that they were comfortable with. Shade wasn’t a guaranteed thing, so when I found it, I made sure to stay close to the edge and let my body temperature cool down. I was certainly feeling the heat, but focused on one mile at a time to get me through. I tried to stay hydrated, but didn’t want to make myself sick with too much water. Looking back, I probably should have drank more.
One perk of the race was the sprinklers! There were at least 15 along the course and a few people spraying hoses at the runners. Seriously, awesome. While the crowd was no where near the amount of Cleveland half, they were still out there cheering, handing out water and doing anything to keep the runners cool. I even saw one of my fellow JDRF runner’s along the course handing out water.
By mile 3, I was really wishing the race was cut down to a 5k, I was toast. I stopped to drench myself in water, down some Sport Beans and make sure I wouldn’t pass out. My pace was getting slower, and it was getting hotter. By this point, my goal was to get to the finish. I finally got there, and was pretty disappointed with my time. I just had to remind myself that it wasn’t ideal race weather, and I don’t normally race 5 miles.
Overall I was glad I got to run Bay Days. It was a good flat course, with excellent spectators. It was also a good reminder that I’ll need to get up extra early for my long runs on Saturday to beat the heat.
Garmin Time: 50:25
Overall Place: 357/479
AG Place: 10/14