{race recap: hollis fast 5k}

I ran a sub-30 5k and survived!

I decided last year that I wanted to run a sub-30 5k. I was doing speedwork on the track as part of my marathon training and saw some pretty serious gains, so I figured I could totally nail a sub-30 this spring.

Someone suggested I register for the Hollis Fast 5k because it’s downhill.

Why not? I’ll take any help I can get!

So I registered back in January of this year… as it turns out, I was the 9th registrant. HAH.

The day of the race I made the mistake of grabbing Mexican for lunch, so I was feeling kinda heavy and gross. I didn’t feel hydrated, I felt tired to my core, and I was honestly thinking I wouldn’t even hit my goal since I hadn’t done ANY speedwork this year.

But I showed up anyway.

emily at start line

This race is a one-way course, so you park near the end and ride a shuttle to the start line. I found getting to parking, getting my bib, and running to the ladies’ room to be a breeze.

I bumped into a colleague who was also running, so we rode the bus to the start together and chatted for a while.

Then I met up with my SRTT girls for a group photo.


I’ll skip the rest of the details and just go straight for the race experience.

It was, in fact, entirely downhill.

I ran my first mile in an 8:58 which, if you know me, is BLAZING fast. But this enabled me to take it a little (VERY little) easier the rest of the race.

To run a sub-30 5k, you need to run an average 9:39mm pace.

Anyway… I found it interesting that in a race of 1,500 runners, and where I’m normally closer to the back, I was NEVER alone on this course. There were people around me the entire time.

I ended up crossing the finish line in 29:30 (the clock said a different time, but it took me time to cross the start line with those 1,500 other runners).hollis fast 5k race results

To be honest, even though I knew I made my goal, I wasn’t as excited as I thought I would be. I was relieved, though – I never have to do that again. I even thought, “NICE… now I can go back to running for fun!”

Also… this was seriously uncomfortable. It usually takes 3mi for my body to adjust to a run, so the entire race my lungs were on fire and I felt like I was getting blisters on the bottoms of my feet. My legs felt tired… but they carried me down that hill pretty damn fast, so I’d say that’s normal.

What DID ring my bell, however, was finding out that my friend’s sister knew I was gunning for a sub-30, so she was right on my heels the whole time (without me knowing). I paced someone to a PR! Woo!

two runners at finish line
Image Credit: Jessica I.

So, there you have it. A downhill race can help you PR and hit your goals if you don’t put in the work and make the mistake of eating Mexican for lunch the day of the race.

Side note: I wore my custom INKnBURN shirt with Guin’s fabulous mug on it and noticed some low-key stares… kids seemed to love it, though.

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