It was an early rise for us this morning as we got up for the Watermelon 5k in Winter Park, Orlando. We were up around 4.20am to get ready as the race, along with most other races here in the summer, started at 7am and it was roughly an hour’s drive from where we are staying.
We’ve done this race a few times before and there’s usually a great turnout as it’s on the 4th July after all. The atmosphere is great and it has the feel of a community event but also compares to a much bigger event at home. There is no official timing but you get a t-shirt when you pick up your race number and the sponsors also handed out branded face cloths at the finish, which you could take dry or wet and I took wet as it was pretty humid. The best thing about the event is the watermelon they hand out at the finish, hence the name. Watermelons are in season here just now and are generally massive in size and are also the best thing to rehydrate after a race like this when it’s quite humid.
Everyone stood proud for the national anthem and a minute or so later, we were off. The course follows through the streets of Winter Park and is flat so if you can find some space, you can get a great time. Once we got through the first mile, I was able to get passed the ‘hopefuls’ – those who stand far up near the start of a race and quickly realise they can’t maintain that pace. I got round the first mile in 6:37 and then the second mile in 6:23. I started to dream that I could be well on for a PB until my body remembered that it was in Florida not Scotland and the humidity caught up with me. While I got round mile 3 in 6:35, the last .1 mile took me 35secs giving me a finish time of 20:10 which turns out is 44secs faster than last year’s race! Delighted!
On today’s performance, I really believe I can get a 5k PB (currently 19:54 set in the first half of the 10k at the Edinburgh Marathon Festival) and while I’m not sure I’ll do it at Run Thru Hell on Sunday, I reckon I can do it next Saturday at the Cool Summer Mornings 5k. After a few weeks of low mileage, it’s great to be back!
Do you run on holiday?