Race Recap: 1st Annual Gator MBA 5k

I usually have my races planned out months in advance, so the fact that I signed up for this morning’s race less than 36 hours before the start was a first for me.  The race was held on the University of Florida campus where I spent five years getting my Masters of Accounting degree and where I worked for a year and a half.   Go Gators!!IMG_2792I missed my three mile tempo run because of the scary incident on Tuesday, so I figured this would let me get it in, although I’m going to have to skip my long run this weekend.

The race started at 8:15 am, and I got there about 45 minutes early.  Parking was easy and there was no line for packet pickup.

IMG_2793I wanted to do a last minute bathroom trip, and the stadium was shut, so I did a warm-up jog down to Turlington where I knew they had outside restrooms.  Luckily, they were not locked.  Here’s my obligatory race bathroom photo.

IMG_2802I really enjoyed getting to see the changes on campus since I was there last.

IMG_2794And the things that haven’t changed.

IMG_2799There were about sixty people at the race and the line up was nice and easy, just a couple of minutes before the start.  A lot of the runners started out way too fast and petered out within the first half mile.  I caught myself running at a sub nine-minute-mile pace which is too fast for a 5k for me right now.  I slowed it down a bit and fell into a good pace with about five other runners (one with a dog!).

It was about 68 degrees, but was 94% humidity, so while it felt cool just standing around, once I started running, I was drenched in sweat.  The first part of the race had several downhills, and because I knew the finish line was where we started, I began to suspect that there was going to be a price to pay for those lovely downhill stretches.

We ran next to Lake Alice and I saw an alligator out in the lake (although, my pictures-taken-without-slowing-down didnt’ catch it).

IMG_2806We ran by the bat houses which are really cool but pretty stinky!

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The course was pretty nice and because campus is fairly deserted on a Saturday morning, we were able to run on the road most of the time.

UF5kmap

Soon after that, the uphill price had to be paid.  The last half mile was just straight uphill.  I was trying to keep my pace under 9:30, which was doable on the flats, but didn’t leave me enough gas in the tank for that big (ok big for Florida!) hill at the end.  I had to walk about 30 seconds or so to recover about halfway up.

UF5kElevationI still ended up with a total pace of 9:34 which was just under my 9:37 assigned tempo run pace.  The course was a tiny bit under 3.1 miles, but I’m still very happy with my time.

UF5kpaceThe race was to fundraise for the UF Proton Therapy Institute and they had a nice speech after the race and introduced a dad and son who spoke about how this new Proton radiation therapy was helping cure the son’s brain cancer.  It was nice to know that my tempo run was able to help support such groundbreaking research.

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They gave awards to the top male and top female but didn’t announce any other results.  It’s the first race I’ve run with no age group awards.  I was a little disappointed as it was a chip timed race and I was hoping I had a good chance to get an award.  Even just a $0.25 ribbon or sticker would have been nice.  The winner of the race was in my age group, so after pulling her out, I did end up coming in third which I’m quite happy with.  As usual, my 40-44 age group was the most competitive!  My husband jokes that it’s due to all of us turning to running because of a mid-life crisis.

GatorMBA5k

For an inaugural race, this was really well run.  The course was pretty, but I’m not a huge fan of the final half mile being uphill.  The waterstop was well stocked with nice big cups of cold cold water.  The only recommendation I’d make for the future is to invest in a few cheap ribbons or something for the age group winners because people really like prizes!

After the race, I picked up some Krispy Kreme (yes, but I did burn it off!) and met Erik and Eli at the park.  We went to the Devil’s Millhopper again and I piggy backed my 32 pound preschooler up the 232 steps out of the sinkhole and around the 1/2 mile nature loop.  I then came home and mowed the yard!  Whew, I’m happy to be on the couch for a bit!

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Race Recap: 1st Annual Gator MBA 5k — 20 Comments

    • I went out to my husband’s new band’s first show at the end of that busy day and really regretted not taking a nap!

  1. I had no idea alligators were so common in Florida until I went on the tour of the Kennedy Space Center. They bus you around and every time the guide or the driver spotted one, they’d slow down and point it out. Then when I was running Disney and people dived off the course to pee in the woods, I was like….hoookkayyy…lots of luck!
    It seems like only recently that 5 and 10ks have started medals – I rarely see them with fundraiser runs. You basically walk away with a shirt and some memories.
    You certainly live in a beautiful place! And congrats on that time!!! That’s awesome!
    Jen recently posted…When Words HurtMy Profile

    • Yeah, they are pretty much anywhere where there is still, fresh water. Retention ponds, lakes, rivers… I grew up here and no, I do NOT go duck into the woods in the dark ever. More because of snakes and huge banana spider webs than gators though! Thanks!!

  2. That does look like a good course. I like loops! Out and backs drive me bonkers! Spontaneous races can be so much fun! Good for you!

    • I do like loops too, but I wish I’d realized sooner that I had that big hill at the end to save some reserves for. It seems like that’s a pretty common course for UF races, so next time I’ll race a little smarter!

    • It was a great day. I ended it going out with friends to Erik’s new band’s first show and to celebrate a friend’s birthday.

  3. That’s an awesome time , and congrats on “placing”! They definitely should do age group awards. I’ve been at races that did ten year spans instead of five, I think to save money, but better than nothing!
    Lauren Bothwell recently posted…Liebster Award!My Profile

    • They could give out five cent stickers or a McDonalds toy for all I care, I just want to get a “major award” when I finally manage to place! 🙂 Part of it is that when I do place, I like to go up there to pick up my award so that the runners and spectators can see that you don’t have to be skinny to be fast! I’m still thrilled to have placed, I think my speed work is helping.

  4. Nice pace! I’ve never really done a spur of the moment race but I think it would be fun to do one if I could find something that fit into the schedule (although I do suppose that defeats the purpose of SPUR OF THE MOMENT). 😉 Anyway, yay for running; it looks like it was a nice time! xo
    Mer @ ScootaDoot recently posted…Chick Chat: Scoot runs DCMy Profile

    • Thanks! LOL, you cracked me up with your scheduling a spur of the moment race! 🙂

    • Thanks! Yeah, I really don’t train on hills much and that bites me a bit when I have to race with them…

    • Enjoy it while it lasts! 🙂 My mother in law is from Louisiana (Rosedown was their ancestors’ home long ago) and is a big LSU fan too.

      Thanks, I did get a t-shirt and a nice drawstring bag and some hand sanitizer (??). Maybe they should have given out the hand sanitizers as the age group prizes!

    • Florida can be unbearably hot and humid and buggy from June to September, but it’s worth it for the beaches, the weather the rest of the year and Disney of course! 🙂