Race Report: 2017 Teal Diva 5K

The good news is that I ran the fastest 3 miles of my life. The bad news is that a 5K is supposed to be 3.1 miles. So, while it was better than last year’s course (2.85 miles), 3.01 miles is still short of a 5K, so I can’t count it as a PR. Bummer. But I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the Teal Diva 5K is a fundraiser first and a race second. If I want to race a 5K, I’ve got lots of options. If I want to help raise money to fight ovarian cancer, then the Teal Diva 5K is the way to go.

I probably should mention the reason I’m doing this race, a family friend named Dolores who passed away in 2015 from ovarian cancer. She was funny, honest, and caring, and the world’s a little less interesting without her in it. I was part of a fundraising team formed in her honor, Dolor’s Ovary Achievers. (I didn’t really raise any money, I just signed up for the race, made a separate donation, and made sure my parents got signed up too.)

They had packet pickup all day Friday in Mooresville, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to make it up there on Friday. It was a small enough race that I can’t fault them too much for not having Thursday packet pickup, and if it had been in Mooresville as well, I wouldn’t have made it up there anyway.

My parents came down for the weekend to walk the race and celebrate Mother’s Day. Since they traveled by train, and their train home on Sunday was leaving around noon, we had Mother’s Day dinner Friday night at Waldhorn. A large German meal may not have been ideal the night before a race, but it was for Mother’s Day, and that’s where Mom wanted to go. It was good food (and good beer), and I figured for a 5K, I could get away with a meal like that. (Then again, I did PR a half marathon after eating Burger King the night before…)

The morning of the race, I got up, showered, ate a couple of Chocolate Chip Clif Bars, drank some water, brushed my teeth, used the bathroom, and drove with my parents up to Mooresville. I have to give my parents credit, I wanted to leave at 6:50, and that’s when we pulled out of my driveway. I’ve done much worse than that before races when it was just me, so kudos, Mom and Dad. It was about a 50 minute drive.

All week long, the forecast looked bad for Saturday morning. They were predicting a decent amount of rain. While I did hear some rain during the night (Oh yeah, forgot to mention that I didn’t get a very good night of sleep), after we drove through a small shower on the northern edge of Charlotte, we had no more rain. It ended up being 54 degrees, which my parents didn’t enjoy very much, but for running, especially in May, that’s excellent weather.

I wanted to get there early because we still had to pick up our packets. It wasn’t too bad when we got there, but it got kind of hectic later. I had hoped to get rid of some safety pins by bringing enough for my parents and me, but when they gave us our bibs, each one had 4 safety pins attached to one of the corners. My plans were foiled. Anyway, we also got a t-shirt.

It’s teal, even though the light in that picture makes it look more blue, but it’s not as bright as last year’s t-shirt. One improvement this year is that it’s a polyester blend, so I could actually run in it if I needed to.

We had a team picture scheduled for 8:15, but I knew my sister and her family were running late. I wanted to do a warm up of about a mile, and figured I’d better do it before the picture. I started at 8:11 AM. We were on a football field with a track around the outside, so I started from the middle of the field, ran to the outside of the track, and started a loop. At one point, my team was setting up a tent on the football field, so I ran back on to the field to say hello. Between my detours and sticking to the outside of the track, I was able to get to just over 1 mile (1.01, of course) in a little over 3 laps. I probably ran a little faster than normal for a warm up mile (around a 10:15/mile pace), but I was a little pressed for time.

We finally got the team picture taken at around 8:25, and then I ran to the starting line. Like last year, there was no timing mat, it would be gun time only. I got a picture of the starting line, of course.

Yes, that’s a drone taking pictures.

Shortly after 8:30, they counted down from 3, and we were off. I crossed the starting line, hit the start button on my watch…and realized that it was locked after it had saved the stats from my warm up. D’oh! I spent about 10 seconds unlocking it, waiting for GPS signal, and then starting it, all while trying to run. My brother-in-law got 3.04 miles for the course, while I got 3.01, so I covered about .03 miles before starting my watch.

Mile 1: 8:46

After I got my watch set, I noticed that my pace was down around 7:00/mile, which for me is way too fast, so I eased up slowly. I was shooting for somewhere in the neighborhood of 8:45, and I succeeded. This part was pretty flat, although at one point during a very slight incline I heard a guy yelling (I think to his sons) that there was a hill up ahead. I wondered if maybe they were used to running in Oklahoma, because that was definitely not a hill.

Mile 2: 8:50

There was a hill on this stretch, right after the water stop at around 1.5. I didn’t stop, since it was 54 degrees, overcast, and I only had about 1.5 miles to go, so I didn’t really need water. I didn’t feel great on this mile, and it reminded me why I hate 5Ks. I then told myself that 1) it’s for a good cause and 2) it’s almost over. I survived.

Mile 3: 8:31

I was feeling a little better on this mile. The course had already flattened out a little bit, then we turned back into the high school and got on to the track. Yes, a lap around the track, even at the end, will definitely give me a faster pace.

My watch says I was running at a 6:41/mile pace on the last .01. I’m not so sure about that, but I won’t argue.

My watch time was 26:12 for 3.01 miles. Later, I would find out my official time was 26:22. A few seconds of the difference was before I got to the starting line, and the rest was me fiddling with my watch.

After I finished, I got a medal and a bottle of water. They had various types of bagels, and I took one with cinnamon and sugar on it. It was pretty tasty. They also had Clif Protein and Whey Bars in 3 flavors. One was salted caramel, one I think had coconut (yuck), and I chose peanut butter and chocolate. I wasn’t crazy about it. I’m a big ran of the regular Clif Bars, they should stick to those and skip the protein and whey.

I took the obligatory car key picture while I waited for the rest of my family and friends to finish.

That’s the goal post behind me. I like to have something in the background to spice things up.

Later, I got to run a little bit with my older nephew Jack, who’s 3 years old. That was a lot of fun. Eventually, after about an hour, my parents, who had walked the entire course, finished. They were the very last finishers, number 197 and 198.

They gave out awards. Our team raised the most money (although my understanding is that we won on a technicality, since another team didn’t get all of their donations in before the deadline). Then they got to the age group awards. I had seen a few F3 guys out there and figured I didn’t have a chance in my age group. As it turns out, they did 10 year age groups, and I was 7th in the 40-49 Male group, but if they had done 5 year age groups, I would have been 3rd in the 40-44 Male group. D’oh! (Side note, this was my last race as a 43 year old.)

And then they got to the final age groups, 70+ Female and 70+ Male. There were only two finishers who were over 70: Mom and Dad. My parents got age group awards. My parents!

One thing I noticed with both the t-shirts and the medals is that there’s no date, or even year. I actually went back and looked at last year’s medal, and the only difference between last year and this year is the ribbon, because they had different sponsors this year. Luckily, I have my pictures, so I can keep the medals straight.

Overall, I ran a really good race, and finished strong, although the track certainly helped with that. I do wish it had been a full 5K, but like I’ve said, it’s a fundraiser first, race second, and as a fundraiser it was a huge success. Also, once I got over the initial jealousy, I have to admit, it was pretty cool to see my parents win age group awards. I guess I’ll just have to stick around for another 27 years.

Vital Stats

Full Name of Race: Teal Diva 5K
Location: Mooresville High School, Mooresville, NC
Date and Time of Race: May 13, 2017, 8:30 AM
Bib Number: 155
Official Finishing Time: 26:22 gun time (no chip time). 30th of 198 Overall, 7th of 18 in Age Group (Male 40-49)

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