This past Saturday I ran the 3rd Annual Medina SPCA Paws for the Cause 5k. This was the first time I had signed up for the race, and I was excited to get another 5k in before the weather turned for the worse. Even better, proceeds go to protect injured, abused and neglected animals that the SPCA takes in.
The race started at 9, so I got there at 8:30, picked up my bib, used the restroom, warmed up a bit and met up with some fell MCRR members. The race course was the same as the Twin Sizzler 5k, and also almost every 5k in Medina, so I was fairly familiar with what to expect.
Because the race was put on by the SPCA, dogs were allowed to participate. I positioned myself up near the front to avoid getting tangled or stuck behind any dogs. I knew I didn’t want to go out too fast, so I aimed to stay at 8:40 for the first mile, and then negative split.
We started from the square and headed south towards 57. We started with a nice decline, and then had our forever incline up 57. I waited a bit to check my pace, and found myself going a little too slow. I started to pick it up, but felt like I was never really moving fast. I even got to a point where I was by myself and started to zone out a bit. This was not what I wanted for my first mile, but for some reason, I couldn’t get into the groove. Surprisingly, I hit my first mile under goal.
Mile 1- 8:36
We turned into one of the developments and started the section of turns and rollers. I tried to stay consistent with my pace since I was feeling good, but some of the hills got the best of me. And I was again reminded I need to do more hill work.
This mile went by quickly and shortly after I felt we entered the development, we were on our way out and heading up South Court.
Mile 2- 8:47
I knew If I wanted to do well, I’d need to pick up the pace in the last mile. We continued along Court, and I focused on the ground ahead of me. I knew the uphill finish would be here soon and I wanted to prepare myself.
We turned onto the brick road and surprisingly, I still felt great. I felt like I was flying. I wasn’t, those bricks can be so deceiving. So I picked up the pace and moved to the side for the flattest section.
We ran past the 57 intersection and I knew that dreaded hill was coming. I was started to get into a groove and I felt confident I would be able to crush the hill this time. As myself and another runner approached East Smith I watched as a cop allowed to cars to go through the intersection. He saw us getting closer and stopped traffic so we could cross to get to the finish line. As we entered the intersection, an old, black SUV came speeding through, not even 5 feet to the left of us. We immediately had to stop or else he would have hit us. The cop yelled at him, but he had no clue what was going on.
Mile 3- 8:17
I caught my breath and tried to get back into somewhat of a decent pace as I continued up the hill to the finish. I felt off and just wanted to be done, so I sped up as much as I could to cross the finish line.
Last .1- 7:11 pace
Overall, this was a great event. I will gladly run any race that supports animals, especially local. The course was predictable, which I enjoy because I know when I can push it, and when to save it. I never had any issues running into any dogs, and they all seemed to be pretty well behaved. Participant dogs even got a little bandanna to wear during the race. Can I borrow someone’s dog for next year?
After I finished, I saw Mallory and her dog Walter finish and we walked over to the goodies table. I was a little distraught that I was so close to going under 26, but I’ll take a few extra seconds rather than getting hit. It was a good reminder to be aware of traffic, even during races.
I’ll certainly be back to race next year, and hopefully I’ll be able to run a course PR!
Age Group 20-29: 7/64
Female Overall: 28/316