Ninja 5k Race Recap

The Ninja 5k was a last minute race decision. Some of the Foothill Striders convinced me to sign up and they wanted to carpool up to Oak Ridge, TN, which worked for me!

I couldn’t really find any information on the Ninja 5k about the course as it seemed like a low-key race. Oh, by the way, the Ninja 5k was the same day as the L.E.A.P. 5k back in May. The Ninja 5k started at 8pm. We arrived to the race location about 45 minutes early, which was fine as that gave ample time to use the restroom and get in a good warm up. About 10 minutes before the Ninja 5k began, there was a ninja demonstration by the main race sponsor.

The Ninja 5k was a 2 loop course. I was very excited about the thought of a two loop course. It’s hard to find a two loop 5k course. I wasn’t necessarily going to try to kill it on the course as I raced pretty hard during the L.E.A.P. 5k. We also were out and about all day rock climbing with our friends, Gideon and Felicity, so I was a little bit tired.

The weird thing about the Ninja 5k course was that there were so many turns, as it was around a little park with a gravel and paved greenway. Some turns were 90 degrees, and there were a few that were about 180 degrees. There were also two narrow bridges we had to cross, so I was initially concerned about the second loop with the bridges in case there were walkers or groups of people who happened to be bundled together at those times. However, the Ninja 5k only had about 40 to 50 people registered for the race.

The race began and I led from the start. There was one guy who started out right behind me but within about a half a mile, there was a good bit of distance between us. At the end of the first lap, I was on pace to actually run a PR! I pushed hard into the second lap and passed several walkers. On the bridges, I had to shout, “On your left,” to let the walkers get out of the way. With about one half mile to go, there was a sharp left turn, I was still on pace for a PR.

I placed my right foot down to turn and ended up rolling my ankle. There was a little “POP” and pain running through my leg. I thought about walking, but I was able to put some pressure on it and I was winning the Ninja 5k, so I had to press on. I hobbled at a slower pace towards the finish and still managed to pull off a PR and a win!

My finishing time was 16:32, which was a big PR by roughly 38 seconds. Granted, the course, according to my Garmin 230, was roughly 0.03 short, so if you consider the pace I averaged, you can estimate that 0.03 miles would take about 10 seconds or so. Results can be seen here – RunSignUp.

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