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Morgan Hill Freedom 5000 (5K)

Happy Independence Day to everyone!  Everyone I know in my home town loves living in a small town.  Morgan Hill is a slice of Americana.  Nothing brings this out more than the activities surrounding July 4 in Morgan Hill.  The award winning parade began in 1894 and is the official parade for Santa Clara County–that’s basically all of Silicon Valley.  Locals reserve a spot with lawn chairs along the parade route the night before since the parade draws over 50,000 spectators in a town with a population of just 36,000.  The Independence Day celebration includes the Fire Cracker Golf Classic, a patriotic sing, an art contest, a street dance, a downtown classic car show, and a spectacular fireworks and entertainment show.  And then there’s the Freedom 5000 1-mile and 5K fun run. This year the 5K drew over 450 runners.

Race director Charles Weston knows how to put on a race.  He has run nearly 90 marathons (with an impressive 2:36 PR) and he and his wife are architects, so they are skilled at organization and project management.  They also do things right.  Medals go three deep in numerous age groups, and they are custom engraved medals.  Overall winners get trophies in addition to medals. At the finish there are fresh strawberries, bananas and bagels, along with the signature pancake breakfast.  I’ve done many 10Ks and even half marathons that didn’t have the extra trimmings of this event.

I have volunteered the last couple years with set-up and tear-down but this year I helped sponsor the event and decided to race as it was my only 5K on my schedule.  That also means it was my only chance to PR this year at this distance.

I finished in 19:58, breaking the 20-min. barrier for the first time.  I took a full 45 seconds off my previous PR and I haven’t even trained for short distances for over a year.  Really makes me wonder what kind of times I could have run if I had started competing 20 years ago and stuck to shorter distances.  I certainly would not have enjoyed it as much.  Today, I beat almost everyone who placed in their age group but didn’t take the podium with a 5th place finish in my agonizingly competitive age group.  That’s OK, because I picked off one more distance to get one step closer to completing perhaps the hardest goal I set for the year–to PR at every distance, in four sports.  It was my 8th PR this year.  The only normal running distance I haven’t PR’d is a 10K and I don’t have a 10K on the schedule.

So much for the short stuff.  Next stop is the Tahoe Rim 50K in two weeks, run at 7,000 – 9,200 ft. elevation.


One Response

  1. Hey I like your **GLITTERY** 4th of July banner! Good report–19:58–wow!! Jacob only beat you by 40 seconds. His previous PR was 20:11, so he improved by 53 seconds. He had you beat there, too. Just teasing!!

    As for me, I was in pain, but tolerating it until I got back on Peak. I walked about half of Peak and all of Dunne. I got on to Monterey and thought, “Forget this!” I alternated running and walking. I kept thinking, “Anyone who is looking at my face can see that I’m in pain.” It was pretty bad. As I came to the finish, there was a young lady (about 20) going slowly. I thought, “I’m NOT going to let her beat me!”, so I dashed to the finish ahead of her.

    I don’t think I overdid it. If I ran like that frequently, I would be foolish. But once in awhile is OK. And I know I’m healing. The pain below my knee is gone. That used to concern me, because it was just ligaments and tendons. Now I’m mainly having muscle pain–on the side of my knee and up my leg, and on the back of my thigh. I’m getting there, slowly but surely!!

    I will put your Tahoe Rim race on my calendar so I can pray for you.

    Blessing to you and your family!!

    Jody :>}

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