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Jul 9 / Jane

ETS Firecracker 5k 2014

This year marks my 4th year participating in the ETS Firecracker 5k. I love this local Tuesday evening race. It’s well-organized, has a great turnout, a challenging course and features a full sub sandwich dinner afterwards, complete with chips, cookies, and lemonade. What more could you ask for from a $25 5k?

I came straight from work to the race, so I was quite early. I actually had all intentions of catching up on some blog race recaps, but got distracted with Facebook and a phone call from Mom who’d just returned from Germany that afternoon. Oh well. Having sufficiently killed time though, I meet up with my Princeton Intervals Team and did a warm-up lap with Bill, John, Sara, Antonio and Bill’s co-worker, Young. We took a “before” team photo, then I met up with a few co-workers and we took a group photo. My co-workers are all fast; and there’s a little friendly competition between us at the office. Jared told me his plan was to draft Karl the entire race and sprint past him at the finish. I wished them luck and found my place at the start with Bill and John.

Team Princeton Intervals!

Team Princeton Intervals!

I was hoping for a post-college PR, sub-25, but I wasn’t feeling super prepared. In past years, the weather has been oppressive: sunny, hot and humid. This year, it was partly sunny, breezy and cooler, but I think anticipating the heat and humidity helped me pace myself.

I decided not to follow Bill on this one but to take the first mile a little slower. I started out fast, of course, then I spotted my co-worker, Amanda. I stayed right behind her for the first mile, then we headed uphill and around the Chauncey Hotel, Amanda slowed and I ran past her. I picked up another buddy during the second mile and we ran silently side-by-side until he started breathing heavier after the 3 mile marker and fell behind me.

I was feeling good and was running a nice steady pace. I crested the same hill at the end of mile 1 and turned towards the finish. I spotted Karl coming up on my left and heard Jared’s voice in my head, beat Karl. So I did. I picked it up and saw 24 minutes and change on the clock…

I finished in 24:50, sub-25 and a 15 second PR!!

I congratulated my speedy co-workers and thanked my 2nd mile buddy for keeping me on pace. I met up with the PI team again and completed a cool-down with John, Bill and Young. We then grabbed sandwiches and found a place to eat dinner outside before the awards. Our team took 3rd place team last year and were hoping for another plaque this year.

In addition to a 2nd place team win this year (!), members of the PI team took 6 age group places (including 5 1st place AG wins!). I came in 3rd in my age group! Yes, that makes me the only one on our team to not win their age group… To be fair, the winner of my age group was on my team though (go Sara!). 😉 We celebrated with some photos and planned out our next race, the Revolutionary Run 10k.

2nd Place Team with our AG medals!!

2nd Place Team with our AG medals!!

I was on a high after this race, an unexpected PR, an age group medal, a great race with great company… And then, back at work, they put the photo of myself and my co-workers on our intranet and strangers congratulated me on my effort. It was like being a little celebrity for the day. =)

Photo Jun 24, 9 12 45 PM

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