Monday, September 23, 2013

Linda's EAS Distance Classic 5K race report

Jodi, Kelli, Sean, me and Phyllis
Submitted by Linda Iroff @LindaofNote

Well that was unexpected!

A week ago, I didn't think I'd spend Sunday morning in a park in Grove Port, OH, at a race with #run3rd team leader Sean Astin, fellow captain Kelli Shrewsberry, her mom Phyllis, and team member Jodi Scott. But let's back up a bit…

Last Tuesday it was announced that Sean Astin would be attending Wizard World's Ohio Comic Con in Columbus that coming weekend, September 21-22. That's only a 2-hour drive from me! So I quick like a bunny made arrangements to head there for the weekend.

Saturday morning I got a text from Sean. He'd been filming all night in Toronto on Guillermo del Toro's upcoming FX series "The Strain," and was in Chicago changing planes. He'd found a 10-mile race he was hoping to run Sunday morning. I did some quick googling and found the EAS Distance Classic, and it had a 5K race as well!

I met up with Kelli and Jodi at the con that afternoon, and told them about the race. Jodi actually had signed up for another one Sunday afternoon, but if Sean was going to do this one… well, no contest!

After Sean's Q&A, we confirmed with him that he indeed was signed up for the 10-miler. So we went online to register for the 5K. Uh-oh! Online registration was closed! And apparently on-site registration was not allowed at the park location! Fortunately, Kelli is well connected with the local running clubs, and made a couple of phone calls. Turns out they could register us with credit card payment only. Phew!

So Kelli, her mom Phyllis, Jodi and I headed to the park early Sunday morning. Sean was already there when we arrived. There was plenty of time for some #run3rd photos, a bit of warming up, and a brief #run3rd business meeting.

Sean and I warm up together.

Sean shows off his running stance with Jodi.

And his more casual leaning-on-a-friend stance with Kelli!

Sean and Kelli look for 3s.

This is Sean's target for his race!

A #run3rd business meeting.

Sean's final preparation for the race.

Sean gave a brief pep talk to the assembled runners (about 150 combined for the 10 and 20-miler, 24 for the 5K) and then the race started. The larger group of long distance runners went first, and us 5Kers followed a few minutes later.

Sean heads out with other 10 & 20 milers. Photo by Kelli

The course went through a lovely mostly wooded park. There were few signs of the just started fall; the trees were still richly green after recent rains. But there was a definite fall nip in the air, and it was good to get moving to warm up. Jodi, who is the faster runner, went on ahead. Kelli, Phyllis and I mostly walked, with short bits of running. Other than the Family 5K with my daughter at Disney World last January, this was the first time I'd done a race with friends. It was a delight to share the time with them.

Tall grasses at the edge of the path

Kelli takes a photo as Jodi passes me and Phyllis on her return trip.

We put on a burst of speed as we approached the finish line where Jodi was waiting for us. My time was a slowish 50:01, but it was good enough for a first in my age division. (Let's ignore the fact that I was the only one in my age division, LOL!)

We then waited for Sean. If he held to a 9 min/mile pace, he would be done about 9:30am. Given his increasingly faster pace over his last few races, I thought that might be doable for him. But he actually showed up several minutes before that! His official time was 1:23:32, a 8:22 pace. He was ecstatic at his time!

The look on Sean's face says it all. Photo by Kelli.

All finishers got a finisher's medal, but Sean was so busy staring at his iPhone in delight, he didn't notice the volunteer trying to hand him one. I took it from her and had the honor of placing it around his neck! ;-)

The triumphant #Run3rd Ohio Team spells O-H-I-O!

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