First 5k

Not my first 5k, my daughter’s.

This past Saturday was the Rutgers Big Chill 5k. The entry fee to this event is a new toy for ages 3 to 14 so each year thousands of toys are donated and distributed. I’ve written about this event before because it’s a fun event. This year it wasn’t particularly chilly though.


A wall of gifts


Party before the start

Last year I raced this event, but it’s not set up well for racing. They set up a front area and only people with certain, different colored, bibs are allowed up there, and I never seem to get one even when I’ve indicated how fast I’d be running (and talking to people with those bibs in the past, it never seemed to be about speed anyway, and they even had no idea why they had one).

Now my daughter is 7 I decided I wanted to do it with her. It seemed like an ideal race for her first one because the entry fee was for a great cause, and with that many people it didn’t particularly matter how fast we went and I knew there’d be a lot of walk breaks because the furthest she had run before was 1 mile (we did have to weave around a lot with that many people, including walkers who had, for some reason, decided to start further forward).

The day didn’t quite start as planned. I had intended to use the trail-a-bike to ride together to the start (about a mile and a half) but didn’t realize the new rack I had put on my bike was blocking me from attaching it. So, she agreed to ride her own bike to the start (duathlon!).

We successfully met up with her friend at the start (despite not arranging it, and there being over 8000 people) and once it started we moved slowly towards the start line. I started my watch as we crossed the line so I could record the time.

The start


They both did well, keeping it going for the first mile without walking. We had long breaks at the two water stops, where it seemed they were never going to stop drinking, which was probably the only time they stopped talking along the way too. They got lots of support along the way, with a few people saying how amazing they were. After the 2 mile mark, somehow talk turned to getting money if they could keep running (I’m really not sure exactly how that came up, but I probably shouldn’t be surprised) and somehow before I knew it, I was promising 50 cents to get to the water stop without walking, and another 50 cents from there to the finish. They pretty much did it (there was a very minimal amount of walking) but they didn’t get any money from me… yet.

As we neared the end, there were lots of people cheering everyone on, and they definitely got a boost from that. The time on the clock as they crossed the finish line was around 44:45, and of course I forgot to stop my watch for a little while, but it took us about 2 minutes to cross the start line (when I finally stopped my watch, which wasn’t too long after) it said 42:53.

Strava apparently calculated a moving time of 39:43, I told you we stopped for a long while for water:


They got their food, we cycled back home, and then she went off to run around some more at her friend’s house.


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