Monday, March 11, 2013

Race Recap- Corktown 5k, Detroit MI

Yesterday the hubs and I did the Corktown Race 5K, in Detroit! 

Race Highlights

Pre-Race Training: 
I trained pretty hard for this race- I've been running 3x a week for the last 5-6 weeks now, and I do one easy run, a 5k at race pace, and a long run, in prep for the Freep Half Marathon- that's between 12-14 miles a week.

Going in to this race, I felt prepared and ready, although I tried to set a realistic goal time; since my time at the Super 5K last month was 27:17, I was aiming for a time of 26:30. Mike kept insisting that my time would be 25:37, which is a time he just made up. I laughed him off, but it was nice that he was so encouraging and positive, even if he was crazy!

Registration and Packet Pick-up:
I opted to do early packet pick-up, and drove out to Southgate on Friday to Total Runner to get our bibs and our Tech tees. I'd never been to Total Runner before- it's a small and neat run shop off of Dix-Toledo Rd.- pretty close to my in-law's house. Good to know in case I'm out that way and have a run-apparel related emergency! :)

Early packet pick-up was easy and smooth, although it's kind of a trek to get to Southgate from Ypsilanti. But that's pretty un-changeable.

Race Day and Course:
An AWESOME thing about Corktown 5K is that is started at 12pm! This was a big selling point for my husband, who considers weekend mornings to be precious time of immense sleeping value! We woke up on Sunday morning, ate a yogurt & granola breakfast, put on our gear, and left the house around 10:15am. Mike got a Brooks tech long-sleeved tee and some run shorts from Running Fit on Friday, so he was debuting this new outfit for the race. Previous to this, in our last race together, he looked- just a bit- like a hobo who had joined the run just for fun. 

We snacked on some mango slices on the drive into Detroit- was a quick drive until we got to the exit of the race, and then we sat in traffic for 15 minutes. We took a few obligatory pre-race photos, and then made our way to Roosevelt Park to get ready.

Pre-race line-up was CRAZY for us! With nearly 9,000 people, it was really difficult to figure out exactly where to go. We followed a mob of people only to be trapped by temporary event fence and told we needed to walk all the way around to get to the start line. Once we walked around to the place we were supposed to be, we tried to find our 'wave' (we were in the Gold Wave, which is 8-10 minute mile runners), and that was confusing too. 

At any rate, we found our way, we lined up, and everyone was in good humor even though there was a lot of general chaos! The Gold Wave was called, and off we went! Once we got onto the course, it was surprisingly un-crowded. The race course was essentially an out-and-back straight shot down Michigan Ave. with a turn around half way. There was a big, supportive crowd lining the course almost the whole way! Lots of green-clothed folks, handing out beer as we raced down M-12: so goofy! 

My Results: 
We both felt like we got off to a really strong start. Mike and I stuck together for the first quarter mile, but I ended up pulling ahead. Don't worry- we made a plan to rendevous at the port-a-potties on Wasbash if we couldn't find each other at the end of the race.

I hit the 1 mile mark and was doing great- my goal was just to continuously be moving forward, and to pass people as often as I could. Not in a competitive way, just to avoid getting "stuck" at someone else's pace when I felt like I could go faster. Then came the Griswold St. turn around at the Half, and I was still feeling good, surprisingly! 

There was an awesome street drummer on a corner right around 2 miles, and that beat helped me kick up my pace a bit. I hit 3 miles, and knew I was at a pretty good pace. Still feeling like I had an energy reserve, I kicked it into high gear for the last .1 mile, crossing the finish! I headed to the finisher's tents, grabbed a cookie, a banana and a water, and then high-tailed it to high ground to try to spot the hubs. I couldn't find him, so I doubled back to the port-a-potties, and there he was :) Whew! 

There didn't seem to be a live-time-tracker tent and my crappy phone camera scanner didn't work, so I had to wait 6 or 7 hours until the I found out the times were posted on I was SO EXCITED to find out that I totally shredded my goal time, clocking in at 25:44!! That's a 8:18 minute average mile- holy schnikes!

Race Swag: Very nice green & orange tech tee for racers, as well as a finisher's medal- yeah! Great swag, IMO!

Overall Thoughts:
Although I was surprised and dissapointed by the seeming dis-organization of the race, it was my biggest race to date. Maybe big races are just like this? Besides the parking and line-up confusion, it was smooth sailing. I did love running down Michigan Ave (something inherently cool about that!), and enjoyed the costumed-out supportive drunkards yelling out encouraging things on the run.

*Also, I need to plan to meet up with my twitter buddies who I know will be racing with me. Why didn't I do that? Great job to all my buds who rocked it yesterday! @Runfastmama @kmjones234 @Detroitrunner1 @Winetoweights

If you're looking for a big, fun race around St. Patrick's Day, consider the 32nd annual Corktown Race next year!


  1. Great recap. Yes, we should meet up at an event. I thought organization was good. You should read my Turkey Troy review from November if you want to see disorganization. Given the people here, they did an excellent job.

  2. Super awesome amazing job, Arika!:)

    And did you know your blog has a captcha.. :(

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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