My First 5K Race – Part 1 of 2

I decided to run a 5K race held on a corporate campus. The weather is cool, the course is pancake flat, there’s no wind, and so I am on track for a personal record pace. After 22 minutes and change, my Garmin tells me I’ve gone 3.1 miles (5K), but there’s no finish line in sight. (Not too surprising I tell myself, as this is a low budget race funded by company overhead money, rather than outside corporate sponsors.) Just be sure I ran far enough, I keep going until my Garmin shows I went 3.2 miles.

Then I go to the project manager’s office, and after about a half hour of hearing about the new upgrades he’s made to his bike, I use his computer to load my Garmin data onto Strava. I’m expecting it to tell me I have a PR for the 5K distance, but it doesn’t even show that I ran 5K. How is that even possible?

I head to the company technical library for some answers. The library had been stripped of its useful content long ago, although the ancient technical manuals which remained give me some hope at first. But in the final analysis they turn out to be useless.

I call the company metallurgist (and a runner herself), as she always has the answers. I explained the situation, and she asked if I saw MJ at the finish line. I thought MJ’s was just the name of the coffee place on campus, I didn’t think it was actually a real person! I looked at the race photos on the company intranet, and although I didn’t see it at the time, sure enough there was a grim reaper-like figure wearing a robe right around mile 3.1. Zooming in on the photo, I see that the number “23” is engraved on its scythe.

The next day, the race times were published in the company newsletter. My time was 24 minutes.

I then wake up in a cold sweat, but at least knowing that the upcoming Angels 5K run will have a more clearly marked finish line and better timing equipment.

(Stay tuned tomorrow for Part 2: the report from my first 5K, the Angels 5K last Saturday!)