Run3rd 5k Recap

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a good weekend!

Okay, so it’d been a while since I’d ran a race (early February? I don’t count Phoenix since I didn’t finish) and I was looking forward to running this 5k until I got sick because that meant I couldn’t properly train. That changed my goals considerably and I went into this race with a “just finish” and “have fun” mindset. Luckily, both happened 😀

There were also quite a few things I was looking forward to with this race.

1.) It benefits local public school promoting health and fitness for kids and encourages people to run for others. This was a huge appeal for me as I’m a public school teacher and am all about the kids ❤ and I’m all about running for those who can’t.


1st I run for me.
2nd I run for my family.
3rd I run for YOU.
–from the Run3rd website

2.) Sean Astin! I’m a huge Rudy fan (if you haven’t seen this movie, DO IT!! He’s also in Goonies and Lord of the Rings). He was instrumental in getting this race set up–it was an inaugural race–and he was seriously the most humble, sweetest guy. He helped promote the race months leading up to it showing that he was serious about what and who the race was benefitting. Race day, he was everywhere. You saw him giving the kids a pep talk, talking to the people working booths, and posing for pictures with runners. I never saw or heard him say anything negative and he was in high spirits the entire time.

Pep talk!

Pep talk!

Pre-race pic! :)

Pre-race pic! 🙂

3.) Run Eat Tweet AZ –I’ve mentioned this local running group I’m a part of (they hooked me up with this race entry 🙂 ) and I absolutely love hanging out with them. In fact, I wish I could meet up with them on more events they host but between work and kids, it’s tough. When I am able to though, it’s always a guarantee blast.

Jeremy aka: King of Selfies aka: Confessions of an Amateur Athlete

Jeremy @Confessions of an Amateur Athlete (aka: King of Selfies)


@RunEatTweetAZ (Follow on twitter!)

Okay, on to the race.

My biggest struggle with shorter distance races is starting out too fast and yep, I did it again. The first mile chimed 8:09 and at the time, that felt good. I didn’t even think it was too fast. At the time.

At the start--all smiles :)

At the start–all smiles 🙂

Then my legs started to feel heavy and things were not looking good. I felt myself slow down and I saw 8:37 when I crossed the mile 2 marker. Not too bad but I knew I was struggling. My legs felt heavier and heavier with each step and I kept telling myself I had less than a mile left, finish strong. But really, I was done. Mile 3, 9:20.

The course was flat, mostly on pavement with the start and finish on a high school’s track. When I got to the track at the finish, I picked up pace to attempt whatever kick I might have, and crossed the finish line.

The face. The struggle.

I encourage you to click on this pic for a close up of my face.

The goal was sub 27 and when I looked at my watch, my first thought was “Noooo!!!!” but then I prayed the chip time gods would gift me a few seconds

and they did!

and they did!

When I saw my time on the screen, I was even more shocked to see that I had placed 3rd in my age group!! A huge shocker since I had not felt like I’d done well at all. Several of my friends had also placed so we all waited together for the award ceremony to start.

It took a while for the awards to start–a little over an hour. We were getting a little antsy but then they began. They started with the male awards and gave out all of them before beginning the female awards. I thought this was strange because usually races do male/female age groups.

Anyway, when they announced the 30-34 age group, I started walking up towards the stage until I HEARD ANOTHER NAME CALLED. Yep, someone else had place 3rd!!! I was so confused (and mortified to be honest) as I had seen my name clear as day on the time screen. My husband had seen it, my friends had seen it. We had even taken a glance at it as the male awards were called.

But when we walked back to check after I wasn’t called, there was indeed another runner’s name where mine had been earlier.

It was then that my husband remembered.

About 20 minutes after the race started, a girl had ran towards the start line–clearly late–and began the race. No one had said anything to her –but people did see her–and my husband didn’t think much of it except that it was kinda sorta a lot not fair to start so late and not have to deal with crowds.

This SAME girl was the one who bumped me!!!

I was naturally upset, not so much because I didn’t get an award (like, not at all because of that really) but because I didn’t think it was fair for runners to start waaaay after everyone else. They get an entirely different playing field. Yes, it’s the same course, but there’s no weaving around people–the course is entirely clear. I would’ve been upset for anyone who lost a place because of this happening.

Oh well. In the end, it just means I need to get faster so that it doesn’t matter if someone starts later 😀

EDIT: The race director read my recap and took time out of her busy schedule to let me know what happened!! 🙂 Check it out here.

The race overall was suuuuper fun! It was very relaxed but I appreciated the organizers taking the race seriously (despite that little aforementioned mishap). There was a virtual race option. FREE race photos. Finishers got a t-shirt AND a medal–a rarity for a 5k–AND there were age group awards. AND there were raffles galore. Your entry earned you one ticket and you could put it towards a whole bunch of things being raffled. I put mine in the autographed Rudy poster and purchased extra to increase my odds. Sadly, I did not win anything 😦 But, one of my buddies did!! He won an autographed Rudy helmet!!! Call me jealous!! 🙂

This is definitely going on my calendar as a yearly race. The entire race–pre, during, and post–was so relaxed and just an overall good experience. A total WIN!!



–Have you ran a race someone famous was running?

–Who have you been able to snag a pic with?


36 responses

    • I’ve been very into staying local lately–that’s why I love that Run Eat Tweet AZ group–because the majority, if not all, our local races go towards a great cause and stays in our community 🙂

  1. Aw, that sucks you didn’t get an AG award because of her. Anyway, you had a good time. I have the same problem you do of starting out too fast. Even splits really do help in getting a faster time. My mind knows it, but my legs disagree on race day. Gotta rein them in a bit!

    • It’s SOOOO hard for me to get even splits on 5ks! I do want to do more of them though–I don’t like ’em because it requires me to run so fast I want to puke, but they’re fun in their own way 🙂

  2. How fun.! a bummer about that girl starting late though..hmm not fair.
    but overall, sounds like you had a great time 🙂

  3. As a huge fan of Lord of the Rings, I think it’s sooo cool that you got to meet Sean Astin and that he’s so involved in the event.
    Congrats on your sub-27 5k too!! 5k’s really are so hard to pace yourself for. No matter what you tell yourself, it’s hard not to get excited and push in that first mile. So glad it was a fun experience 😀

    • Thank you!! I was completely impressed with Sean and how involved he was for a local race. He’s ran in some big ones–MCM and Dopey–and for him to support a smaller race says so much about him 🙂

  4. Ahh that is awesome! I really wanted to do this one, but we had a track meet :/. He sounds like such a fun guy, I love that he really promoted it too and didn’t just show up just to make an appearance too. Well, congrats on your third place, medal or not! :). That’s so good for not having trained for it! Will I being seeing you on May 23rd for a summer 5k!? Please say yes!!! 😀

    • I’m actually pretty proud of myself if may say so LOL!! For not having trained and even though my splits were all over the place, I was hoping I could snag a sub 27 and am pumped I did 🙂 (quite a ways off my PR though–gotta a lot of work to do!)

  5. I love Sean Astin! I’m so jealous you got to meet him!

    A sub-27 is my next 5k goal…It stinks that you were so excited to place and then got knocked off the podium (especially by someone who’s not playing fair!), but your time is still really awesome!

  6. Pretty cool that you got to meet Sean Austin! I’ve seen Rudy, Goonies & LOTR, so call me a fan 🙂
    Love the pictures of you racing! Each pic for different reasons of course – your face at the finish line was so funny. (Can I say how much I love when people post real race pics where they aren’t all smiles?!) But we’ve all been there. Still -congrats on the sub-27! Sucks that that girl who was so late bumped you from an AG award – but next time!

  7. Definitely not fair about the girl who started late!! I’m surprised that they let her get an official score if she arrived and started 20 minutes late. Oh well, I guess it’s all for fun and charity so ultimately it doesn’t matter… but you should have gotten that AG award!!! Just more motivation for next year, right? 🙂

  8. First, Rudy is one of the BEST movies ever, I am so jealous you go to meet him!!! Second, SO FREAKING LAME that they allowed her to take your spot when she was late to the race, BUT…you met your goal, which is amazing!!!!! Keep up the great work Helly!

  9. I’m seriously so bummed I had to work that morning and miss this race! I love all three (I guess five technically) of his big movies! The most famous person I snagged a picture with was Isaiah Mustafa (aka the Old Spice Guy) at an ASU football game haha

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