Flapjack 5K Recap

2019-06-02 - Flapjack 5K logo

A race that features a running pancake cartoon and all-you-can-eat pancakes at the end? Count me in!

The Flapjack 5K and Mile Fun Run took place on Sunday, June 2nd in Macomb, MI. I had actually planned to do a swim/run race in Ohio that day. When a pre-race email mentioned an E. coli advisory for the creek where I’d be swimming, I decided to bail on that race. Apparently some people still swam, but if it’s bad enough to issue an advisory, it’s bad enough to keep me away. At first I was bummed, but I knew my friend Carmen (visit her blog here) had planned to do a pancake run on Sunday. Since my schedule was open and it sounded like fun, I decided I’d join her.

The race has been around for 15 years and benefits the Kids Coalition Against Hunger. I signed up on Friday evening prior to the Sunday morning race and was still able to get a cotton t-shirt.

2019-06-02 - Flapjack 5K shirt

I got there an hour before the 9:30 start and found Carmen in the elementary school’s gym where we picked up our packets.

2019-06-02 - Flapjack 5K janet carmen

It was a sunny morning in the high 50s, and although it felt a little cool while standing around, I was sweating by the end of my mile warm up jog. This race attracted lots of younger kids and their families, and the morning started with a mile fun run about 20 minutes before the 5K. When it was time for our race to begin, I didn’t push very close to the starting line because it was clear that the kids were ready to blast off. I knew it was better to have them in front of me so they wouldn’t trip over me!

2019-06-02 - Flapjack 5K start

Thanks to Greg Sadler for the great race photos.

I’ve done enough races to know that the younger kids might make it a quarter mile before it becomes hard to maintain the all-out sprinting speed. A few of them made it a little bit longer, and a few kids who were older ran solid races. The crowd thinned out pretty quickly as we worked our way through the flat neighborhood roads.

2019-06-02 - Flapjack 5K map

This 5K was more intimidating to me than the half marathon I ran a week earlier. I feel more comfortable doing longer, slower endurance runs. Whenever I “race” a 5K I know it’s going to hurt. I push my pace to the threshold and just hope I can hang on. I had run some 400 repeats at my goal 5K pace a couple times in the weeks leading up to this race, and that had been the extent of my recent speedwork. I had no idea what I was capable of.

I ran by feel and my first mile was just under seven minutes. It was hard work and I didn’t know if I’d be able to keep it up. I kept hoping I wouldn’t crash hard. I could only see two women ahead of me but didn’t know if there were more out of sight. I caught up to one of them within the second mile and wondered if I could be the second woman. The other woman kept getting faster and there was no way I’d catch her. As the crowd spaced out, I wished there were more people around to motivate me not to slow down. Somehow I kept running strong through the end, but it sure was tough.

I managed to smile just in time for my finishing photo. If you look closely, you can see something stuck on the bottom of my right shoe. Somehow I picked up an arrow sticker from the road when I rounded a corner. It was pretty annoying to have that flopping around for at least a mile of the race, but I wasn’t going to stop to peel it off!

2019-06-02 - Flapjack 5K finish1

I was pretty shocked and happy when I saw that I had officially finished in 22:16, especially since my distance was a little long. It was hard to hit tangents with all of the twists and turns through the neighborhood.

2019-06-02 - Flapjack 5K splits

I was surprised that my pace was so consistent…and that I maintained it somehow. When I do speedwork I typically consider 7:00 pace my 5K pace. I didn’t think I was in 5K shape so this was a really pleasant surprise. I was also happy when I saw that I was the second female and had won my age group. That’s one thing I love about smaller races – I stand a better chance at placing well!

2019-06-02 - Flapjack 5K results

I cheered for Carmen as she finished soon after me. Then it was time for pancakes!

2019-06-02 - Flapjack 5K pancakes

After the nice breakfast we went to collect our age group awards. There was a group standing around in front of the pancake poster where I wanted to pose. When I asked if I could get in there for a picture, one of the guys cracked me up as he posed with me.

2019-06-02 - Flapjack 5K award1

I thought it was fun that we received little bottles of maple syrup for age group awards. The clay pancake medals were pretty great too.

2019-06-02 - Flapjack 5K award2

Overall, it was a fun morning. I was pretty close to my ideal 5K speed and wasn’t expecting that at all. If I can already manage that kind of speed when I’ve barely put in the work, it gives me hope that I could have a promising summer of racing once I DO start working on it.

– Janet

Follow me on Twitter @reidphotography and Instagram @janetboltz






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