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Written by Nathan Wertheimer
Orlando, FL – On Saturday, August 19, 2017, I participated in the 40th Annual Track Shack’s Celebration of Running 5k in Orlando. This was my very first adult 5k race in Central Florida. I was looking for a challenge and found it through running. Now I can cross it off my bucket list now. To start off I’m not a professional runner. I have been training for a couple of weeks now for this 5k race.
Before I started training, I stopped by Track Shack Store in Orlando to get more information on the up in coming Central Florida area 5k races. The finishers metal caught my eye for this 5k race and I knew I wanted to successfully complete it. Next, I tried on some running shoes at Track Shack. Their staff was very friendly and helped towards me with getting me the right running shoes. I tried on the men’s New Balance and the Asics running shoes too. I personally felt the Asics running shoes had more padding inside these shoes. I purchase the Asics running shoes and from there I started training the next day. Next, I went online a registered as a runner for this year’s Track Shack’s Celebration of Running 5k, which was an easy process. The sooner one registers the cheaper it is. I only paid $33 registration fee. I check Track Shack website the day before this race and it was already sold out. It is recommended to register early for any race.
It was an early Saturday morning on the day of the Track Shack’s Celebration of Running 5k. I woke up around 4:30am and took a shower. Then had ate a mini bagel with a glass of orange juice for breakfast. It is recommended not to eat a full meal before the race. Also, I iced my bottom of my feet because I have plantars fasciitis, which anyone can get. Next, I put on my slime green race shirt along with my bib number and ware orange shorts. Before heading out the door, I packed a bag with a sports bottle with water, baseball cap, sunglasses, fanny pack, a towel, and eye wear support strap.
It was still dark when driving down to Orlando Cultural Park just south of Florida Hospital. I found available parking on Orange Avenue on the street side. Most racers parked in the McRae Parking Garage on Florida Hospital property. Parking was free on this day only. Drivers need to be mindful of pedestrians crossing the street heading to this race. There was an incident involving a Black Cadillac crossover that clipped a running participant walking across the street. The person hit was not seriously injured, but was taken to the hospital for an evaluation.
Upon arriving at the Orlando Cultural Park around 6am, it was still dark the promoter was still setting up for this event. I had a chance to chat with one of the many volunteers help out for this event. Because it was my first time as an adult running a 5k race I wanted to get some insight what it would be like. She was able to give me some tips. Plus, I ran into some neighbors from my community. One never knows whom one will run into.
Before the start of the race all race participants lined up according to your average mile time. I started at the 10 minutes per mile point. Then just behind me were the walkers and strollers group. Ten minutes before the race everyone starts to line up. Most people are strengthening and getting mentally prepared for this race. Just before the horn sounds, one of the runners sang the national anthem and they introduced Greg Warmoth, from WFTV Channel 9. Warmoth gave a few words before the race. Finally the horned sounded. There was a brief delay before I could start running. This was because of the people in front of me weren’t moving fast enough. It is expected to be a slow start out from the starting line.
During the race, I was running and power walking through most of the course. This course took the runners through a residential area. There were well placed markers indicate the mileage point throughout this course. The slower runners and walkers tend to stay on the far right side of the course and let the faster runners pass by. When runners got to 1.5 miles point they were at the backside of Track Shack Store where volunteers and staffers were giving out mini cupcakes and cups of water, along with music playing in the background too. At this point, I passed through getting high fives from volunteers at this area. No, I did not stop to eat a cupcake and drink water. At some point during the race, I did drink some water while running and then through my cup to the ground. I noticed the ground was littered with may water cups from the runners. Some volunteers were even picking up the cups off of the ground too. Then when runners got to aMontana Street and Ferris Avenue there was lonely guy banging on a drum cheering the runners that went by. I was averaging 10-13 minutes a mile, which was good for a beginner.
Towards the tail end of the race, it was the tightest because I had to kick in the turbos and finish this race for myself. I made it through to the finish line at clock time of 41:22 and net time of 40:36. My average pace was 13:03.9. Some runners thought I made great time as a beginner. After finishing this race participants receive there finishers metal handed out by a volunteer.
There were a total of 2183 runners who finished this 5k race. The breakdown with the men accounted for 837 and for the woman accounted for1346 of the runners. Here are the winners from this 5k race. The men’s side in 1st place was Raymond McCormack Jr with the clock time of 15:15, followed by 2nd place was William Vanos with the clock time of 16:08, and finally 3rd place was Jack Boswell with the clock time of 16:18. On the women’s side in 1st place was Alison Nolan with clock time of 17:21, 2nd place was Holly Wooley with clock time of 17:44, and finally 3rd place was Kristen Tenagila with clock time of 18:21.
Then post race festivities started with racers can getting a bottle of cold water to cool down. Next, I picked up a nice sweet banana to eat. Then most people were standing around chatting with other races. I had the pleasure of running into Greg Warmoth along with his son Justin Warmoth. We chatted a few minutes.
Following this race, there were many vendors on hand such as Florida Hospital had a photo booth, Florida Hospital had free massages to runners, Krispy Crème was giving out free donuts, and there were some other 5k races promoting their own up in coming races soon. Some race finishers even had a free cup of beer to enjoy while supply lasted. I did not stick around for the award ceremony. Most people have cleared out of there and went home. I highly recommend this 5k race to anyone. Do your research and start getting in shape for the next up in coming race. One will be surprise that you can do it because I did it.
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