Summerlin Firecracker 5K

July 15, 2017 | Comment

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Greetings fellow runners and fitness family! It has been a while since I have checked in. I moved to Henderson, Nevada, right outside of Las Vegas, two months ago. I have always wanted to move out west, so when the opportunity came I jumped on it.

Since I moved to the desert at the start of the summer it was a big adjustment for me. Most days the temperature is above 100 degrees by 10:00am. In the afternoon I have seen it as hot as 119 degrees.

Surprisingly I have adjusted to the heat well. Most days I’m the lone person outside in the afternoons minus the golfers on our neighborhood golf course. I guess the Louisiana humid summers prepared me.

Now the hills, that is a whole different situation. I live on the edge of the Las Vegas valley and our neighborhood is very hilly. Most of my runs include about a 100 foot elevation change. It is tough, but my legs are adjusting.

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The last race I competed in was the Quadburners It Takes Two Relay with my running partner in crime, Misti, back in April. It was my final race in the South. I was happy to go out on a high note and Misti and I took second place.

As far as races in Las Vegas in the summer go….they are nearly nonexistent. The only race I could find were trail runs of insane distances. The trail running community is huge here and they will run a marathon up a mountain in triple digit heat without batting an eye. Maybe I’ll work my way up to that one day, but not today.

I was able to find a fun July 4th themed 5K in Summerlin, Nevada which is on the opposite end of the valley from where we live. The race was held at Trails Park the evening before July 4th. Summerlin goes all out for the holiday so it was exciting to see the patriotic floats lined up for the next day’s parade.

My significant other graciously volunteered to run with me. It was his first road race ever.

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Even at 6pm it was still 105 degrees. The humidity was also higher than usual. I began to warm up around 6:30 and realized I did not charge my new wireless headset….bummer.

The race got underway at 7:00pm. The whole race was on an oversized sidewalk so I tried to get a good position at the start to avoid a runner traffic jam.

My goal was to stay with the lead pack of three females. I’m usually my fastest during the first mile but for some reason I was not at my usual pace and the first and second place females pulled away farther and farther.

I realized halfway during the first mile we were continuously running uphill and it appeared we would continue running uphill for a while. My legs were screaming. This lifelong below sea level New Orleans runner was not having these hills.

I hit mile 1 at 8:03, a disappointing pace for my usual 5K. The silver lining is the elevation tapered off and we started going downhill, woo hoo! My legs were just about done but I let momentum take over and was finally at a sub eight minute pace.

I completed mile 2 in 7:40. The elevation tapered off again and we ran on a mostly flat course for the final mile. The first and second place females were long gone at this point so I just focused on trying to keep a good pace.

I was excited to see my significant other at the last turnaround and that was motivation for me to push it through for the last half mile. I completed the 5K in 24:25. It is on the slower side for me but the heat and hills definitely played a factor in that.

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I met up with my significant other at the finish line and we waited around for the awards to start. One thing that I sure do miss about races back home is post race beer. Only in the south….sigh.

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I finished third female overall and first in the 30-39 age group. I got a cool medal with the race logo on it.

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Overall it was a fun experience and I was so proud of my significant other for finishing his first race. We celebrated with margaritas afterwards.

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Up next for me is the Legends of Cross Country 5K in Las Vegas on August 5. Sounds like more hills. Until next time!

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