Race Recap and Review: I Run 4 Cal 5K

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I was recovering from an injury all last week from a twisted ankle at last week’s half marathon, and I originally intended on walking this 5K. But, with my sub-8 minute pace 10K two days before, I figured I could end up running this after all! My ankle looks like it recovered fully, and I’ll be back on my normal running routine.

After a wonderful day of KTV and Settlers of Catan Saturday, Erica, Michael, and I stumbled up at an ungodly early time (8am) Sunday morning and headed north to Berkeley. The plan was to drive up, run the 5K, have lunch and meet with fellow alumni, and then take it easy the rest of the day.


It was a beautiful day on campus too! A great day to run.

As always, the Cal 5K is two laps on a very hilly course on campus, with the steepest parts at a 6% grade on the path in between the East Asian Library and McCone Hall, and a long stretch from VLSB to Durant Hall towards the Campanile. I started off way too fast in the beginning (allegedly a 6:31 / mile time, 20 seconds faster than my 1 mile PR), and was nearly panting at the very end. Erica and Michael cheered me on midway through the course and towards the finish, and that was great 🙂

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I finished at 23:22, or 7:31 / mile. Not a personal record, but about a minute faster than the last time I ran it. Woo hoo!

One logistical factor I really didn’t enjoy that I should share: usually the people collecting tags at the end of a 5K grab your tag to record your time after you cross the finish line, as the last several feet before the finish line you’re sprinting at top speeds. This time, the tag collector decided to stop people and collect tags by blocking the finish line and nearly elbowing runners in the gut so they would stop in order to collect tags. That certainly felt uncomfortable.

Other than that, it was a wonderfully planned event, a great course, and I like the technical T-shirt that came with the race! I’ve been meaning to get a Cal Tech Tee for a while. Big thanks to the 5K organizers, the Cal Alumni Association, and to Erica and Michael for getting up at such an early hour on Sunday morning. Go Bears!

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