Panther Trot 5K (with an extra 1/2 mile free of charge!)

I decided to sign up for this at the last-minute.  I was feeling sad for missing (not registering)  for the last race.  I have also been sidelined due to a car accident and a V-Section.  I was hoping I hadn’t lost too many steps after taking off so much time.

Pre-Race:  I registered two days before the event and received my confirmation email.  The only real details I could find about the race were on Active.com.  There was also a Facebook page but seemed inactive even two days before the event. I did know this was the first of what may become an annual race. I was expecting some rookie issues.

Panther Trot

Panther Trot

Race Day: I have been to this location before for other events so I had no problems finding the venue.  The registrations were inside which is nice on a cold day.  I did get nervous when they didn’t find me registered under the A-C list (see my last not-review).  I had registered late so I was on a different list.  Once I was in the right line, I had my shirt, number and goodie bag in about a minute.   Everyone was very friendly.  For a first time event, they had this process down pat.

Vincent Pallotti HS

Vincent Pallotti HS

The Race: I did have a couple of issues with the actual race.  It started off with a right turn on to the main street out of the high school. I don’t recall any other races starting with a right turn.  I would suggest moving the race another 10 feet onto the straightaway. The start is already cramped and making an immediate right doesn’t help.

I did like the rest of the course.  It wound around the neighborhood with some slight inclines.  It was challenging without being obnoxious.  It also took you through a nearby park (which was a little icy – but we were warned in advance) before turning around.

It was at the 3.1 mile mark people began to get concerned.  Probably because the finish line was not in sight.  We ran another 1/2 mile or so before finally getting to  the end (most people said their GPS had it at 3.7 or 3.8).  So you did get some extra race for free.  I am not sure of my official time but it was somewhere in the neighborhood of 27:50.  Slow, but I was out of steam after my initial 5k.  I almost puked at the finish line (it was really really close).   I ran most of the race with Sara.  Not that I know her, but her fan club was yelling encouragement the whole way. I appreciated having someone to push me the whole 3.7 miles.

Post-Race:  It took awhile to get the awards ceremony started (maybe because the race was a little longer than planned).  You could hang out inside the high school to stay warm before the awards began. There was water, bagels and fruit which are the three staples of almost any race.

They gave awards for first place in a few age categories.  I was a member of the 36-49 age group which is a pretty big range.  I would suggest making it 20-29, 30-39 and 40-49 in addition to your other categories. Only first place got a medal.  They announced the top two so I got to hang my head in second place shame before they called the winner.  I’ll take second.

Goodies: In addition to the technical shirt (gold star for such a small race), I also received a granola bar and this:

Flossing and 5k - Strange bedfellows

Flossing and 5k – Strange bedfellows

I believe a dentist was one of the sponsors or this would have been strange.

********Overall would give them 3 stars.  They did an amazing job for a first race.  They took care of most of the main points (efficient registration, nice shirt, wonderful volunteers, and a challenging course).  They can work on some minor things like: better age groups for awards, more social media or email contact prior to the race, no right turn at the start and maybe a shorter course). A 5K is quite the undertaking and I think they did very well.  I hope they hold it again next year.

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