Pasadena is just a hop, skip, and a jump down the road from Glen Burnie and I haven’t done a 5K in a while, so this would be my warm up run for next week’s Run For Shelter 1/2 Marathon. The race was held at the Pasadena United Methodist Church and the race was to raise funds to support some of their missions (which include shelter in the winter and food for those who need it). According to the church website the race is: “Exciting 5k (3.1 miles) course begins & ends at the church & features over a mile on the beautiful cross-country trails of Lake Waterford Park.“
Pre-Race: It was only $20 to register, $16 if you register early. I received an email two days before the race reminding of the basic When, What, Where. There was not much out on social media for the race. There was also an early packet pickup available the night before the race. Unless it is convenient for you or you tend to show up late to the race, there is no need to pickup early. The race is still small enough that packet pickup on race day is a breeze.
Race Day: The race is held at the Pasadena United Methodist Church right off of Ritchie Highway. I was there by 745 for an 830 start. There was plenty of parking in the church parking lot and registration was a breeze.
The Race: It was a warm morning in The ‘Dena when the race began. After a short invocation we were off. The race starts off in the church parking lot before heading into the streets. Then the race has a VERY VERY NARROW entrance into the park (if this race gets large they will have to find a different entrance to the park). The race winds through the park on and off trails and around the lake in Waterford Park. After the loop around the lake you are back on the street to the finish line. I thought the course was EXTREMELY well-marked with arrows on the ground and personnel all along the course. The course is moderately challenging with a number of small hills. It is actually a great course with the exception of the choke point into and out of the park.
My race went pretty well. I found myself in 4th place for the first mile. Once I reached the park I was able to catch the next two guys ahead of me. So I found myself as the first place male coming out of the park. I didn’t think I had enough gas to hold off the other guys to the finish line but the sun, heat and hills took their toll on everybody. I finished first for the men and second overall at 23:20.4. Not my best or worst time, but I’ll take it.
Post Race: They had a very good after-run food selection for such a small race. They had bagels, Gatorade, granola bars, cookies and watermelon (lots of watermelon). Definitely above average. My trophy suffered a malfunction prior to the race so I have a picture of my headless trophy (and a promise to hook up with me for a new one). I also got a $15 gift certificate from Road ID. I received the results via email by 2pm, same day. Very nice.
Goodies: I got a cotton T-shirt along with a cup, pencil and magnet from Calvert Veterinary Clinic.
Overall: The race has everything, but a large field of runners. The course is very good (except for the twice mentioned chokepoint). The race director and staff were professional and friendly. The race was well-managed from start to finish. The after-race refreshments were superior. I would suggest having someone take pictures and posting them later on your website. Nothing fancy or professional. Anyone with a camera would do. The race is a good deal at $20 and at $16 for early registration it is a steal. If you like small, well-managed races, with a scenic course this is a great choice.
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