Race Review: 5k Rotor Run

The 5k Rotor Run was a race that I had no plans on running at all.  The family was originally supposed to be on vacation, but due to a death in the family, and funeral services earlier in the week, we decided to postpone our trip until next summer.  After talking with my coach about possibly running in it (he had already signed himself up to run it), and seeing that the Two Rivers Running Club discount was still good (hard to pass up a $15 5k), I signed up 6 days before the race.

The 5k Rotor Run takes place on the runway of the Goshen (Indiana) Municipal Airport during its annual Rotors and Ribs festival.  The race started a 8:00 which on hot days is very much appreciated.  For the middle of July, it was a pretty cool, comfortable morning it was also overcast so the sun was not an issue. 

I arrived at the airport right before 7:00 and the gates to the parking lot were not open yet and it was actually confusing to figure out where we were supposed to park.  After driving around a little and asking people where we should go, finally made it into the parking lot. From there we had to take a short walk to get to packet pickup. 

At packet pickup, they had to stop at a table to get your drawl string bag (donated by a local bank).  Inside was the race shirt (tech) and flyers.  Nothing that I was too interested in, but there was a coupon for a Road ID, so if anyone needs one, let me know and you can have it.  For the price of the race, it’s a good shirt. 

After getting the bag of stuff, we had to go over to the timing table to get our bibs and timing chips.  The timing chip was one you had to tie on with your shoelaces.  Been a while since I have seen that.  I am used to the ones on the back of the bibs.  Going back to having to go to a second table, it was a small enough race that they could have probably just had one stop.  Not a big deal, just my thought. 

After returning to the car, my coach (Jake Gillette) and I went out on a warm up discussing race strategy and just life in general. 

At 8:00 the race began and we ran across the pavement (not sure what you call this area but it’s not the runway or taxi). About .2 or so down we made a right turn and onto the taxi.  This race was completely on the runways and taxi area of the airport. 

From the start I was probably somewhere between 10th and 12th overall.  Winning was completely out of the question today as there was some good competition but I felt top 5 was obtainable. Unlike a few years back in 5k races, I have started to resist taking races out too fast (yep, it took over 20 years to learn this). So with me being 10-12 place at the start was not a big deal. I figured a good portion of them would come back to me. 

By the end of the first mile, I had moved up to 6th overall.  I had actually ran it slower than I had planned in 5:58.  Was aiming for a 5:50.  Apparently I started too relaxed.  Right before the mile marker, we started heading down the runway, over a mile long, so the second mile was almost a straight shot (had to turn right before the 2nd mile. Shortly after the mile I also moved up to 5th. 4th place was a considerable distance ahead of me but I was starting to gain. Mile 2 was completed in 6:09.  Once again, slower than planned. 

The third mile finds you running on the taxi and then cuts acrossed to the run way, then cuts back across to the taxi and into the finish.  This was the section with the most turns.  See map of course below for a better idea of the course. My third mile was faster than the second in 6:03.  My overall time fell way short of what I wanted.  I finished in 18:38 which is faster than I ran at Courthouse Classic but I am definitely not a short race runner anymore.  I really want to run a 10k soon but will have to wait a few more weeks for that. 

I did end up finishing 5th overall and 2nd in my division.  There were probably right around 100 runners for this event which just held its second race.  So not too bad.  I was run very well and smoothly by the race committee.  The shirts were nice and the age group awards were unique as well. 

Plaques for the overall winner and medals and ribbons made from wood for the age group awards. 

This was a good race and I hope to see it grow and become more popular.  I am just not sure how many people want to run a race on a runway.  It is a unique venue and flat as well.  

What’s next:

This weekend is the Parade 5000 at the Elkhart County 4H Fair.  It will be on Sunday afternoon.  Temps look like they will be in the 90s.  But the temps won’t be the only factor.  The race has a history of interference from the two train tracks that we have to cross.  Last year I did get stopped by a train along with about all the other runners. 

Then the following weekend I will be running in the B Strong 5k in Bremen, IN. 


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