Foot Rx Blackjack 5k – 1

Yesterday was my first Blackjack 5k. This event is put on by Foot Rx, a local running store, and is held at Fletcher Park in Fletcher NC.

Here is how this race works; runners gather at the location of the event, pay a $5.00 entry fee, and run 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) drawing a card at the start, the midway point, and again at the finish if needed. If the runners cards total 21, that runner wins the pot. If there are more than one runner with 21 then they all share the pot. However, instead of the winners receiving a cash cut of the pot, they receive a gift certificate to Foot Rx.

When I heard about this event I thought that it would be fun to do. Because of the location I knew that it was not going to be a road race, but I figured that it would take place on a paved trail. I could not have been more wrong. This event took place on grass and an unpaved trail. Personally, I am not a big fan of running off-road.

There were only about 56 participants at this event, so that also bummed me out a bit. I enjoy races more when there are at least a couple hundred runners. But, since I was trying to use this event as more of a “group run” rather than a race, I was able to get past the small amount of runner.

Prior to the start of the race I drew my first card, an Ace. That sat just fine with me, giving me a better chance, and better odds, at hitting Blackjack. After receiving our first cards, we all headed out to the starting line and got the pre-race instructions from the Race Director. Shortly thereafter we were off and running.

For some reason I was just not feeling the run yesterday. After only about 2 minutes I had to stop and walk. Usually I can last at least 5 minutes before feeling the need to walk. Even when training around the neighborhood I don’t need to stop until 3 minutes, and that is only because I have to stop at an intersection. So, when I needed to walk at the 2 – 2:30 minute mark I knew it wasn’t going to be that good of a run. I just decided to go the entire time with a cycle of running about 2 -3 minutes and walking 30 seconds – 1 minute.

At the half-way point I drew my second card (I made sure to get it from the same person that gave me the Ace, just a little superstitious about that. 🙂 ). My decision to grab from this person worked, I received a Queen! Blackjack!! I was guaranteed to win. 🙂 After seeing that I thought for a second about quitting the run. But, my ego wouldn’t let me. Even though I was feeling like crap, I was determined to finish the race.

I finally finished the race in 36:35, good for 48/56 overall and 28/30 men. Also, that time was good for about average for my road race 5k time. When I realized that it made me feel a little better about my run. Considering times are typically slower when running on grass/trails, I feel that I have improved my time quite a bit. However, I will not know for sure until my first road 5k. And hitting Blackjack, along with 10 others, gave me a share of the pot good for a $27.00 gift certificate, now I just have to figure out what I need. 🙂

So, other than confirming that I really do not like to run off-road, I learned a few more things about myself. I need to make sure I eat breakfast, running on an empty stomach makes me feel real sluggish. I need to make sure that I have enough water during the race. I forgot to bring a bottle of water with me, mainly because I thought there was going to be at least one water stop provided.

Next week is another Blackjack 5k; same time, same price, same location. And, although I said that I don’t like running off-road, I am going to do it all again. This time, though, my youngest is going to be joining me. 🙂 Also, I am going to make sure to eat and have plenty of water before, during, and after. Maybe this time I can improve on my grass/trail time. 🙂

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