Last weekend I ran the Fast Times 5k. It was a big race for me – not because I PRed or put in some serious sweat sessions in the track leading up to it, but because it was the culmination of months of work that I put in via my company’s new wellness committee. I came to HR with the idea of a committee last year and early this year we put it together, forming a 12 or so person committee to help our employees live a healthier lifestyle. I was lucky that HR assigned a co-chair to help me because it has been a big, but awesome project!
Our first order of business as a wellness committee was to create an event that would get people together and also get them moving. I took the idea from Mike’s company, the Active Network, and suggested a Charity Challenge event. While Active is pretty advanced and actually trains for a sprint triathlon as a company, we figured a 5k was a safe and friendly bet for our first event. We ended up choosing the Fast Times 5k due to a few factors, but one big one was that it was a small race so it’d be easy to locate and cheer for each other on race day.
Although the Fast Times 5k does fund raise for it’s own cause, my company chose the American Diabetes Association as the charity of choice. Any employee who fund raised at least $100 would earn a paid for entry into the race (alternatively, they could chose to pay the $30-40 race entry fee themselves and still get the free company wellness t-shirt we designed). I am happy to say that we raised over $2,000 for the American Diabetes Association and we had a turn out of over 50 employees, family and friends at the race! Not bad for a first time wellness committee event.
The race itself was held in Mission Bay, specifically at De Anza Cove. De Anza Cove is one of the meeting places for the Vavi Run Club which I used to train for my first marathon so I had run this route quite a few times! Now that we live in North County San Diego, I rarely get back down to Mission Bay for a run but I’m always happy when I do because it’s spectacularly beautiful (one major reason we got married there).
The race was small and the course was an out and back on the boardwalk. The boardwalk was not closed, but I didn’t see any issues. If you were one of the super speedy people leading the race, you probably had to dodge people on your way back due to the out and back factor, but you could easily run on the hard grass next to the path if necessary. For me, at 17 weeks pregnant, dodging people to get a PR as not an issue.
I took advantage of the out and back course and high fived co-workers and cheered them as we passed each other. Sadly I was quite sick with the aforementioned cold from hell at the race, but somehow I ended up running the 5k only 25 or so seconds slower than my Carlsbad 5000 time, coming in at 29:15, a 9:26 average. I kept to my “be able to talk” rule when running and even walked through the one aid station to gulp my entire cup of water. Going in to the race, a lot of my coworkers still didn’t know that I am pregnant and were expecting me to win the race (hah!) but I had to break the news to them that morning that it wasn’t happening.
I had a really fun time at the race and definitely would recommend this 5k to anyone looking for an easy (parking was ridiculously easy and close), no hassle (no expo and you could literally arrive 5 min before the race to get your bib if you wanted), fast (pretty much no hills), and small (i.e. podium!) 5k in San Diego.
Do you prefer big 5k races or small ones? If your company put on a 5k would you participate?