Friday, May 5, 2017

Can we talk about the Klompen 5K?


Can we talk about the Klompen?

First of all, what is it? The Klompen Classic 5K run/walk is an event in nearby Pella (IA) that has been happening for the past 24 years. It's the big kick-off for the annual Tulip Time Festival every spring. It's an evening race, benefiting the area families sponsored by the Crossroads nonprofit organization.

This was my first year taking part in the celebration. The hubby and I drove up with our friend, Barb, and met another friend, Chuck, there. At the risk of sounding like a racing snob, I do not do many 5K races anymore. It's not that they aren't plentiful, but I just prefer the longer distance events much more. It's only recently that I have a new respect for the 5K distance, though. Although the distance itself is pretty short in terms of running (especially for runners who are accustomed to running much farther), that short distance becomes a pretty tough challenge if you try to run it at a faster-than-usual pace.



Ready for the start line
I have been known to run "races" as part of my 26.2 training, though those races are often much longer in distance. I was intrigued by the notion of doing a 5K as part of my training, and treat it as a speed workout. Couple that with the notion of an evening race...and it had all the makings of a great out-of-my-comfort-zone challenge on tap.

So, what are some thoughts of my experience in this endeavor?  If we were chatting over coffee, for example, here are some things I'd share with you:

The race setting was almost perfect. We're talking temps in the mid-50's, sunshine, and a race course that had some gentle rolling hills, but was pretty flat and fast for the most part. The race began at the town square (which is the main hub for all of the Tulip Time activity), and basically took us on an extended loop around the town square. And, when I say the course was fast, I'm not exaggerating. The overall men's and women's champions finished in 16:32 and 19:39, respectively. Even the master's division winners were speedy: 18:49 (m) and 21:12 (w)!
It was great having the hubby there
 Almost all of the participants were where they were supposed to be! Seriously, I have done a lot of races, and nothing infuriates me more than that first half mile or so of (necessary) nonstop dodging of walkers, strollers, and groups of unsupervised kids. Granted, there was a little bit of that shuffling in the first mile or so (and several rambunctious kids throughout the entire race), but for the most part, the crowd of runners all moved in constant motion....because we were all in sync.

I almost missed seeing the tulips. True. It was one of those races where I was totally in the zone. The crowd of runners really never thinned out much, so I was constantly on "high alert" to my surroundings in case I'd need to pass someone or catch a glimpse of someone coming around me. Most of the boulevards are lined with nonstop tulips....and there were several times along the course that I didn't think to even look for tulips, let alone take time to appreciate them.
Just some of the many tulips...
It almost was my fastest 5K ever...key word: almost. I haven't had time to dig out my previous 5K's to verify my current PR. I have a few that I know are under my Klompen finish time (which was 26:05), but I think all (or most?) of them were shortened courses. When I checked my splits (after the fact), I was pleasantly surprised to see how fast they were: 8:12, 8:23, and 8:08. The fact that my final mile was my fastest (after already running two previous miles at a good clip) kinda blows my mind.

I almost placed in the top three in my age group. Yes, you read that correctly...another 4th place finish. The gal who beat me to the 3rd place finish was a mere 14 seconds ahead of me...14 seconds! Somehow that revelation is both satisfying and frustrating at the same time. My stats showed I finished 4th out of 67 other gals in my age group, 71st out of 1105 women, and overall 286th out of the total 1874 5K participants (which also includes walkers). All things considered, I'm pretty happy with everything...though it would have been a nice reward to make the podium for my efforts.

Celebrating our efforts at the Peanut Pub after the race
All in all, this was a great event. The course was fast and pretty flat, and there was quite a bit of crowd support...especially along the final stretch to the finish line. The race attracted a lot of runners from outlying communities as well as many local residents. It's definitely a race I'd like to do again.

So, talk to me! Have you ever done a similar race as part of a local festival or celebration? Ever have a 4th place finish? Have you ever run a 5K as part of training for a longer race?

I'm linking this with Meranda and Lacey and Rachel for the Friday Five 2.0. 




 I'm also linking with Nicole for her  Fit and Fashionable Friday link-up.

And, since it's the first weekend of the month, I'm also linking with Deborah and Coco for the Ultimate Coffee Date


42 comments:

  1. Oh heck 14 seconds, that stinks! Well there is always next year. Sounds like a great race!

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    1. HA! I definitely want to go back next year and avenge this finish time ;-)

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  2. Wow those are some speedy 5k times! Congrats on your almost fastest time too. I once did a downhill 10k and was pleasantly surprised by how much faster it was. It's a great confidence booster too!

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    1. It was good to see I have a little bit of speed in me (as we know, speed is relative...this is very speedy for me LOL)

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  3. I totally get the plus/minus of those 14 seconds, but I think you should focus on the positive! Congrats! The main reason I don't do 5ks is because there's a low time-to-running ratio - you still have to get there early, etc., but only run 3 miles. Once it a while it is fun to focus on speed though!

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    1. I agree...it usually takes me 3-4 miles to feel warmed up...I did a 1-mile warm-up for this, and I think that gave me a little bit of a power boost

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    2. I was thinking of your 14 seconds after today's 2:00:24 marathon. !

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  4. That's such a plus that all the runners started where they should be! Nothing is more frustrating than having to weave in and out of runners during the start of a race!

    Congrats on your super speedy run!

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    1. Well, it was a little congested at the start line, but it evened out faster than I thought, so it worked out well

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  5. I enjoy all race distances (well, up to a half, obviously). They all have their challenges. I actually think I'm better at the shorter races (not that I'm anywhere near placing), but I just enjoy the challenge of a longer race.

    I have never even come close to placing in my age group. Except in my last race. Which was tiny (100 runners). Except being such a small race, and a trail race too, no AG awards. Oh well.

    I'm not sure how I would have felt about it if there had been, though, considering I was very close to DFL anyway!

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    1. You're right...every distance has its challenges. I had never thought of a 5K as a "fast" race until recently...I'd always thought of it as a "short" race instead LOL

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  6. I agree with Coco! You should be proud of your race. 14 seconds is a lifetime in a short, fast distance--embrace your accomplishment!

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    1. Thanks, Wendy. And, yes, I am proud. This is a very fast pace for me, so I'm embracing what I was able to accomplish all on my own ;-)

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  7. Congratulations on your race! 5K's can be a lot fun though I admit I don't do them often because the speed intimidates me! Nice job getting out of your comfort zone and having a very speedy run!

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    1. The 5K is such and "over and done fast" race...crazy!

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  8. AWWWW 4th place! I have finished 4th before too. Booo!
    Either way, you totally nailed this run and the paces! Congrats!

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    1. If I had a dollar for every 4th place finish I've had....LOL I've also had a few 2nd and 3rd places at events where they "didn't count." My reality.

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  9. Sounds like a really awesome race. I would be frustrated to learn I was beat by 14 seconds buuuuut... 14 seconds in a 5K is an eternity so there's that. I think you did a great job and it sounds like fun!!

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    1. I know...14 seconds in a 5K is a long time. I did a 1-mile warm-up (per your suggestion), and I think that gave me a great start line boost ;-)

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  10. Congrats! That sounds like a fun race! I have a similar 5K coming up in 2 weeks and it is a part of the big Mayfair on the Lake celebration. It is a night run too! Only difference is it will probably be in the middle 80's for a race temp start!

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    1. WE don't have many evening races here, so I was excited to find this one. I like doing out-of-the-ordinary things!

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  11. Oh man, I placed 4th once by .1 seconds and I was MAD. I love that all the runners lined up how they should. That's my least favorite part about racing, is slower folks and walkers seem to line up in the front which gets in the way! And doesn't impact their time since pretty much everything is done on chip time anyways!

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    1. wow, .1 second would make me angry, too! It's crazy how close those finish times can be!

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  12. Those are hella fast splits my friend! Congrats! I took second my 2 seconds once. I thought I was in third. I don't even wanna talk about it.

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    1. Well, it's not my first 4th place finish LOL And, I've had a few 2nd & 3rd place finishes at other races where they weren't acknowledged...#shunned

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  13. Congratulations on a speedy 5K! I got beat on a 5K AG placement by 1 second.... but the race was not chip timed... I can't let go that I could have placed.

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    1. It's frustrating to be that close! My 14-second deficit is frustrating, but I doubt I would have been able to make up that difference even if I'd known at the time. We were chip timed, so I have no idea if this gal was ahead of me or behind me at the finish line.

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  14. Wow!! Congrats on a speedy race and placing 4th! I'm so far from a PB that it might not happen at all this year but you never know!

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    1. Well, the personal bests don't always happen when we expect them (or even when we've trained for them). I take them when I can get them, because they certainly don't happen very often ;-)

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  15. Gah you were so close to getting 3rd place! Still, you did great! Ive been tying my 5k pr (or being 1-2 seconds off) for years. Who know if Ill ever break it.

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    1. It's frustrating, but also kind of invigorating. If I was doing the exact same course every time, that would certainly add a better means of comparison....but even the same course will have different variables each time (weather, crowd, state of fitness/injury, etc.).

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  16. I love 5K! I'm not a racer but when I do I geared towards this distance. And those are fast splits! Congrats!

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    1. Thanks! I used to do 5K's more frequently when I was relatively new at running...I have veered more towards longer distances now. It's always fun to do a 5K now & then to see what my speed is doing LOL

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  17. Congratulations on your speedy time! We have so many 5ks around here that usually means there's not a ton of competition so yeah, I've gotten 4th too many time to count. And every time, I think ....dang, why didn't I push myself just a little bit harder! :)

    Those tulips really are beautiful! Have a great weekend Kim!

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  18. Congrats on a speedy 5K! I don't run 5Ks very often either, but keep thinking I should add more in just to work on my speed. It's nice that people lined up where they were suppose to - rarely happens these days!

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  19. Congrats on a great race! I did a 5k last year. I won't mention the time...lol...but I was happy because it was my first one.

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  20. Wow you're speedy!! This race sounds like a lot of fun running down tulip lined streets.

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  21. I love the 5K distance these day and my times are all over the place. I think it's a lot of fun to incorporate races into marathon training. It breaks up the monotony.

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  22. Never would think of doing a 5k as part of my training either. Kind of cool for speed work though. :)
    Congrats on your time, that's an awesome 5k finish IMO!

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  23. Congrats on a great race!! Your 5k time is awesome!

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  24. So many so closes!! At least you didn't miss those pretty tulips!

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  25. Congrats on a speedy 5k, missing the AG award by 14 seconds is tough though. I think I'm going to do a lot more 5ks this summer as "speed work"... I really like that idea of yours.

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