Saturday, October 8, 2016

Bee Brave 5K 2016

This weekend was the 9th annual Bee Brave 5K run and walk here in West Michigan, supporting breast cancer research at the Van Andel Institute. This was my first year at the event. I had heard of it before, but never got organized and actually signed up until this year.
The location in Alto MI is great for me, not even a 10 minute drive from home. The race didn't start until 9 AM, but they warned us to be there early since the race course included the road leading into the parking area. Show up too late and you can't get in! Didn't look like anyone had any trouble.
It was a fairly chilly morning, though not quite at frost level at this point in the year. Most everyone (including me) was wearing a couple of layers, although there's always a few crazy people dressed as if it's the height of summer. I spent a half hour or so sitting in the car after checking in, rather than standing around in the cold. It had started to warm up a bit by the time we started running, though, and after the first half-mile or so I barely noticed it.
There were about 300 runners, and a good-sized group of walkers as well. The start was a little disorganized since everyone was bunched up together. It would have been nice if the walkers had been separated to the back, but it was all sorted out after the first few minutes. The course was almost entirely along country roads, with a final lap around a field to the finish. You walk up a hill to get to the start, so there's more downhill than up, but there are still a couple of fairly steep climbs. That field at the end is all flat, though, which I appreciated.
I felt decent during the run, which is a bit of a surprise considering that I've been a bit under the weather for the last week. Fortunately the worst of it was over a few days before the race, and it might have even worked to my advantage since I'd been getting more rest than usual. There were only 8 guys in the 40-44 men's age group, and I was second among them (55th overall). I was hoping to be under 25 minutes, but I'll take 25:30 considering how I'd been feeling the week before.
Thanks to the Bee Brave organizers and volunteers for a fun little race, supporting a good cause and close to home. I enjoyed it, and hope to be back in future years.

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