August 15, 2014

Race Report: Lost Dog 5k Series

Pacers Events and Lost Dog & Cat Rescue Foundation put on a small series of 5k races every August, with a race each Friday for four weeks. There’s no shirt or premium and there’s no amenities, just a group of runners who want a humid 5k happy hour to end the week. This was the first year I signed up, and I raced two weeks of the series. The 5k is an out-and-back on the W&OD trail starting in Arlington. There’s a limited field size, but you still have to contend with some evening walkers and bikers on the trail.

A big draw of the series is you can run with your mutt, and prizes are awarded to the top dogs in various weight categories. I enjoyed showing up early each week to check out all the mutts and play with the puppies up for adoption from Lost Dog.

Lost Dog 5k #2: August 8

My first race with the series (Lost Dog Race #2) was a very hot and humid evening, so I pushed it on the way out and just tried to hold on after the turnaround. I watched the lead runner vanish pretty quickly in the race, and heard the third place runner on my heels at times, but I essentially went the distance in second place. It was a very relaxed race, with a lot of casual runners offering high fives on the way back, a few dodges around dogs, and a bag of mini pretzels as a reward. It was a fairly slow race for me, coming through in 19:10 (6:11/mile), good enough for second overall and first in my age group. For my sweat I was awarded a Pacers ‘Top Finisher’ draw string bag.

Results:    19:10  |  6:11/mi
Podiums:  2nd Overall  |  1st Age Group (M30-39)
Lost Dog 5k #3: August 15

My second race (#3 in the series) was a similar hot and humid day, but I felt more prepared with the prior week’s course preview and an extra week of heat training in my lungs. I was jettisoned from the lead early by a couple cross country runners, but I came through the finish stronger than the prior race. I crossed the line in a tidy 18:44 (6:02/mile) for fourth place overall and again first in my age group.

Results:    19:10  |  6:11/mi
Podiums:  4th Overall  |  1st Age Group (M30-39)
Summary and Puppies!

It was a very low-key 5k series, but all the money went to support a fantastic rescue organization, and it was a fun way to add a few extra miles of speed work in the marathon training months.