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|
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|
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...|
|Celebrating our efforts at the Peanut Pub after the race|
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.