Find the full 2012 Farmstead Stampede results here.
We made it!
Saturday was a gorgeous morning – the temperature was in the low 60’s for the 7AM start, as the sun was coming up over the horizon. For the first time in Libby’s life, we were concerned about her getting too cold as opposed to too hot. We tucked a thin blanket over her arms in the carseat and that seemed to keep her nice and cozy throughout the morning.
The first thing I noticed about the Farmstead Stampede was that they have reversed the course since the last time I ran the race (2009). Originally, the race course turned onto a narrow trail in the first half-mile; now, the course doesn’t narrow until the halfway point. So much better this way.
I started near the back of the pack. This being my first time pushing the jogger in a crowd, I was very conscious of our large footprint. After the race started, though, I was quite impressed with our ability to navigate. (If you’re planning to race with a stroller, I highly recommend springing for the BOB – it’s worth it!) I didn’t jockey for position nearly as much as I do when I’m running solo. Instead, I was content to fall in with the pack. I ran comfortably, chatting with other runners along the way. Something very neat about this section of the pack: I was surrounded by parents and young children. Seeing the parents encourage and coach their kids through the race made me smile as I thought ahead a few years to when Libby might be running alongside me instead of riding in the stroller. I could be perfectly content hanging out in this part of the pack for years to come.
The water stop was at about the halfway point, just before turning into the woods – also just before a steep decline. It was a challenge to steer the jogging stroller with one hand while holding a cup of water in the other! I ended up splashing most of the water down my front, but let’s be honest – I do this most of the time anyway.
The wooded portion of the race, while lovely and shaded, is the secret hiding place for a ton of steep hills. Brie warned me about them on Friday – I had completely forgotten about them, even though I’ve run the race before! It didn’t take me long to realize how much more difficult hills are while pushing the jogging stroller – so I used the uphill portions as my walk breaks for the rest of the race (3 in total).
As we came out of the woods I spotted Mike – who had finished the race, got the camcorder from the car, and then came back to find us. He jogged with us the rest of the way, running ahead at the end to catch us on video crossing the finish line. (I haven’t investigated our camera’s features well enough to know how to upload the video – something to learn for the future I suppose.)
The clock at the finish read something like 35:10. But with the adjustment for chip timing at the starting line, my official time was 34:48.
I’m thrilled with this time. Whenever someone asks me for advice when jogging their first 5K, I throw out 35:00 as a goal time. Since I’m pretty much in the same boat as a new runner at this point, I’m pleased to have met my own baseline.
Even more significant than the time, however, is the joy I felt being around other runners again. This is the reason I run. Even though I don’t know many runners in this town, it feels so good to be a part of the community in this way. I can’t wait to get back out there again – I don’t have anything on my schedule until mid-September, so it will be interesting to see what another month will do.
I might even let Mike push the stroller next time.