On my quest to run at least one race per month, I knew August was going to present a few challenges. The temperature means there isn’t an overabundance of longer races. They are out there but after traveling to several winter/spring races and knowing there is travel ahead for several fall races, August was a good time to look for something local. I checked the internet and found there was going to be a 5k on August 2nd in Thorndale, PA. A Tuesday night, 7pm race was a great solution.
I was able to work all day and come home and get ready before we headed to Thorndale. It’s about a 30 minute drive from my house. The National Night Out Crime Awareness event was held at the Caln Park. There is a shopping center next to the park so there was plenty of easy parking. I got my race bib and there was local police, fire, and medical demonstrations. The race field was small. There were 116 finishers. We all crowded around the start area to get some direction on the route and within a few minutes were off and chasing a golf cart full of police officers. The sky looked like it would open up at any moment, which didn’t sound entirely bad since it was hot. I went out fairly fast and I couldn’t hold the pace the entire time but I kept it through the first mike. We go through the first turn around and a light mist started to fall and felt very refreshing. It seemed oddly quick that I saw the lead runner coming back toward me. I wasn’t sure how they were running quite that fast. I kept running and soon came to the final turn around. I still was a little confused about the distance back to the finish line but I kept going. As I came into the finish line, my GPS watch showed under 3 miles and the time on the race clock made it clear that we didn’t run an entire 5k (3.1 miles). I was a little bit disappointed, since I was on track for a small PR. I heard some chatter about the lead runners turning around too early which cut off the last .3 miles. Once the lead runner makes a course mistake, they are usually followed. The rain was coming down pretty hard and I wanted to stay to see the fireworks at dusk but it was raining hard enough that we decided not to stick around. The next day when official results were released, they did add a disclosure that the course was 2.8 miles.
The race was a really good experience and I would certainly consider registering again if I’m able. Next time I will know if we are turning around too early and I’ll be able to stick to the course.