Fourth Woman Overall? What? Medford Jingle Bell 5k Recap

Did I give the entire spoiler away in the title? Are you not going to bother reading anymore? Should I have done a more click-baity type title?

Well if you are going to keep reading I appreciate it. :)

This was my first time running the Medford Jingle Bell Run 5k. My Slumbrew Happy Soles running mates "pressured" me into doing it. Did that sound real? Did it sound like they twisted my arm? ;) I hope so!

The race was super close to my house so the wife was able to drop me off and I could avoid parking. The race was a huge family affair and supported the local Medford schools. 

The turnout was amazing. I know I sound like a broken record, but I didn't have any expectations for the run. I wanted to go out and have fun.

Since I am a PRO runner, I once again forgot my fuel and was worried about how the race would go. Yup! Once again. I really need to pin my fuel to myself like a little kid and their mittens.

I had four of my ladies with me and I knew they would get me through the run. The race was an out and back, which I love - especially when I have friends at the race.

We met at the VFW and headed out to the start line. Since this was a fun family run/walk, there weren't any official corrals and I just lined up with my friends. I could see little kids lining up at the front and was not planning on working towards a PR. 

The horn went off and I tried to break to the left around the crowds. Many walkers had lined up in front so I wanted to cut around them. I was also hoping to avoid tripping over any of the little kids in front of me. Haha.

It had been awhile since I had run on this street in Medford. I sometimes run on it when switching up my long run route with Page. I forgot that it includes a gradual incline the entire way. 

We had gone maybe 1/2 a mile and I could hear the high school baseball players next to me asking each other when they could start walking. They also thought we had gone at least a mile already. Ohhh they were going to have a rude awakening the rest of the race. 

Mile 1: 7:30

As I neared the turnaround point, I realized that we were well past 1.55 miles. I wasn't sure if the start and finish would be in the same spot, but I was starting to think the course was a little off.

We actually used the rotary on the road as the turnaround spot so it made it easy to know where to turn around since there weren't any volunteers at the spot.

We had beat the incline and came into the halfway mark on a downhill, which meant as soon as we turned around we would be hitting a little incline.

I was feeling my lack of fuel and was trying to focus on putting one foot in front of the other.

I took my mind off how I felt by cheering on all of the folks that were making their way to the turnaround.

I didn't want to get my hopes up, but I had counted the number of women in front of me and I only counted 2-3. Of course I assumed I had miscounted since there was no way I could be that close to the front... even with this being a small local race. I never have that luck.

Mile 2: 7:42

As we hit the top of the incline, I relished in the fact that the rest of the race would be on a downhill. HOLLAH! 

I looked down at my Garmin and turned to the folks around me. Alright only about 0.6 miles to go. Then I heard "Oh no that's wrong. This course is long."


That's right. He told me he had run the race last year and it was at least a 1/4 mile long. 

Ohhh man!

Why did he have to tell me that? Haha. 

Mile 3: 7:20

Once my watch hit 3.1 miles, I felt like the Finish Line was getting farther away from me rather than closer. Can you tell my mind was playing tricks on me? 

I gave it all I had and basically flung myself over the Finish Line. 

FINISH TIME: 24:56 --- I got 3.34 miles (as did everyone around me)

I think my tree skirt was a hit! It definitely got a lot of comments on the course - not sure if they were all nice or not. But I pretended to only hear the positive ones. 

I quickly ran inside the VFW to grab water for the rest of my crew and headed back out to the Finish Line to cheer them in. 

Everyone kicked some serious ASS. :) 

Once everyone crossed, we headed inside to enjoy the amazing spread put on by the race. If a race isn't going to have a Finisher's medal or beer at least the food should be good. :) 

There were homeade sandwiches, pizza, donated snacks and more. 

We went to check out the results and what did I see - 3 out of 3 in my division. Wwwhhaaa??

Well we delayed our departure to stay for the awards ceremony... just in case. Well guess what friends. Nothing came my way. They ended up doing 18+ for woman instead of 18-24, 25-29, etc. :( So I missed out on getting anything.

BUT I can still celebrate being 4th woman overall and 32 out of 603 overall. 

To ring in the good results, we headed to Monica's house for some celebratory beers. :) You know like beer runners do. 

The race was fun and I was happy to help out the local schools. I would definitely check it out again.

Have you run a race that was this long?