Why I love small races: Poker Run 5K

The organization I coach for put on an inaugural 5K today to promote our upcoming season in Las Vegas. The race was Vegas themed and throughout the run participants collected cards to make a poker hand with the best hand winning. For a small race quickly put together the turnout was great, over 100 runners/walkers. The whole family did the race, Matt and I ran and my parents walked with Ophelia in BOB.

I rarely run 5Ks and never expect much, especially today since I had run 16 miles the day before. Prior to the start I was informed by the guy who organizes my running group and my friend who owns the running store that they expected nothing less than a win from me, uh ok sure. The race started and a couple guys were ahead of me and two young teens soon sped past me, I was wondering how long they’d keep up their pace. The answer came quick when I passed them and could tell they were fading. Around Mile 2 I was passed by a group of three other guys, so I was still the first woman. I just kept thinking don’t let any woman pass, just keep pushing. This got a little more difficult as Mile 2 was almost completely up hill, yikes, but the course was an out and back so I knew the other way would be downhill. On the way back I got a saw that the next woman was at least ½ mile behind me. I kept going and just pushed, knowing a PR wasn’t happening, it’s hard to push with tired legs after a speedy long run. I see the finish line and realize I had done it, 1st woman! This may be the only time it ever happens, but I can now say I won a 5K, this is what I love about small races.

Mile 1: 7:08
Mile 2: 7:32 (Hills and 5Ks shouldn’t go together!)
Mile 3: 7:13
Finish: 22:30 7:16 pace

Since this is the group I coach for I knew a lot of the other runners and the way back was fun to pass everyone on their way out, getting and giving encouragement. The whole family finished, Ophelia can now say she has done her first 5K. No luck on any winning poker hands, but my mom did win a gift certificate to the running store and now owns a running hat for her next race.


  1. Just discovered your blog. I once won a 5K by over 4 minutes and boy, was I embarassed! That was a very small race, indeed.

    I see your schedule has LifeTime Fitness trail races, which I hadn't heard about and I'm supposed to be Mr. Trail around these parts. I'll have to look 'em up.


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