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June 09 2013 / Emily

Race Report: Metropolitan Branch 5k

Goodness, how have we made it into June already?

My regular readers may remember that I’ve had a race-a-month streak going since March 2009.  I’ve participated in at least one race each month for what is now 51 straight months.  Wow!  So while I didn’t post this recap during the month of May, I did indeed partake in my monthly habit to make it 51.

However, for probably the first time, I did not run.

I went up to Maryland to visit my parents on Mother’s Day weekend.  It was the first weekend after I moved into my new house and I opted to go visit them.  Okay a big part of that was probably the stash of household items they had accumulated for me.  How kind of them to scour yard sales for quality used tools and garden equipment!  I owed them a visit anyway and it just worked out well to be Mother’s Day weekend.  A couple months prior I had mentioned that perhaps we could try to find a local-to-them 5k to run that weekend.

So I started searching online and found a handful of decent choices within a reasonable distance.  We prefer races on the smaller end, so while DC’s Komen Race for the Cure was that weekend, the 20,000+ person event was not attractive.  There was also a race in Frederick, MD but as documented in my post about 2012’s Crib Crawl, I’ve already done 5ks around that park a couple times.  It is a nice area but we decided to opt for a different setting.  I found a couple others with very small participant pools based on previous years’ results which, though appealing if I’m looking to nab an age group award, aren’t attractive when there aren’t many walkers.  I don’t want my sweet mother to be by herself at the back of the pack, especially not on Mother’s Day weekend!

pre-race with my parents

pre-race with my parents

Finally we decided on the Metropolitan Branch Trail 5k in DC.  It was not too far, close to a Metro stop, was a good price and had a range of finishing times over the past couple years.  The event is to promote use of the paved urban trail.  From the race website: “The mission of the MBT 5K continues to be the further integration of the MBT into the community by raising awareness about the trail and promoting its use.”

As we got to the week of the event, I started checking the weather forecast, as I often do.  It was not looking good for Saturday.  Not pleasant for the race, nor for the Nationals baseball game we had tickets for later that same day.  But despite all the doom and literal gloom, the weather held off for the race and it was just overcast, with a light rain at times.  Most of the baseball game that evening was dry as well.

Leading up to this event, I was not really running much.  I’ve documented some of that here on the blog.  I started considering walking the race with my mom.  It seemed like a perfect idea.  She would have definite company, we’d have time to chat, and I wasn’t in the shape to run a great 5k anyway so I didn’t want to overdo it myself.

checking out my packet and shirt

checking out my packet and shirt – credit to race photog Gregg Adams

It ended up being lots of fun!  I gabbed about things I don’t think my dad would give two shakes about, like how I decided where to put items in the cupboards in my new house’s kitchen.  Tupperware this, plates here, glasses there, what to do with spices.  I was also just generally glad that I could provide some company.  And here’s a “let’s be honest” moment… I was dreading looking at the final results and seeing that I could have potentially placed or something like that – but even with my PR, I would not have placed in my age group. (phew!)

Also, since the race was a “T” shape, starting in the middle and doing out-and-back on the left then out to the right for another out-and-back, we were able to see my dad twice while he was running, and cheered him on.  Always fun to see and cheer for familiar faces out on any race course.

But it was a bit odd to finish 353 of 357 people.  My mom of course finished 352!  My chip time was 57:23.  Better than my times for a 10k on trails!  The finish area had people roaming about, and I’m not used to dodging so many already-finished people on the way to the finish line.  Of course I wasn’t moving terribly quickly so it wasn’t a problem, but I am going to try and take that as a lesson for the next races I do – be careful around the finish line as there may still be people coming in!  Respect the finish line.

It ended up being a lovely morning.  Aside from a little sprinkle, the weather was great compared to what I expected.  We were able to park quite close to the race start, just a couple blocks, which was super easy.  The shirt is nice and there was a neat string bag too.  I have a million of those, but they can be helpful.  This one has a nice pocket on the front.

So I think this was a good race with which to continue my streak.  It was a nice (literal) change of pace from my usual events.

the haul

the haul



Leave a Comment
  1. SgtHarp / Jun 9 2013 10:56 PM

    It sounds better to say that the geezers each came in fifth in their respective groups. For space reasons, we won’t say out of how many.

    Thanks for providing the extra incentive, Whippersnapper. I know your mother appreciated the thoughtful walking gesture.

    • Emily / Jun 10 2013 11:59 AM

      Of course Dad, sorry about that. Congrats on the fifth place! 🙂

      As always, it was fun to participate as a family.

  2. Paul Starling / Jun 10 2013 6:44 AM

    Emily, thanks for another great post! I know your mother must have been thrilled to have that special time with you. At times, I know it can be hard to dial down the competitive nature, but it sounds like you definitely made the right choice. Remember, there is always another race next month! Which one is it?

    • Emily / Jun 10 2013 12:01 PM

      thanks for reading! It was a fun race, nice to experience it from a different viewpoint. Next race for me is the last weekend of June, another Ultimate Runner. Then I’ll get started on pushing the distance again as I prepare for my 50 miler.

      If you aren’t familiar with Ultimate Runner, here is my post from last year’s event:

  3. Louisa Hoar / Jun 10 2013 7:41 AM

    Emily, Good post on the recent race! Thanks again for walking with me on the Mother’s Day weekend event. Did like walking and talking with you during the race! And, now I am so impressed with all the work you have done around your house! Door locks, refrigerator shelves , and especially the thermostat controls, WOW! Love, Mom

    Sent from my iPad

    • Emily / Jun 10 2013 12:02 PM

      thanks Mom! It was nice to walk it with you. And I’m definitely quite pleased with my work on the house so far. Feeling like a handiwoman indeed. Love you!

  4. Dana / Jun 10 2013 9:11 PM

    You have a gift with writing, Em! Sounds like a fun 5k and how special to do with your mom!

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