The b Strong 5k was held on July 29, 2017 in Bremen, IN. The weather was as close to perfect as you can hope for in a late July Race. Temps were right around 60 degrees, it was sunny, and a slight breeze.
This was the 3rd annual b Strong 5k, which also features a 1 mile fun run for both kids and adults. The inaugural year, I volunteered at the race while my wife ran. Last year we all ran in it, and this year we all ran it again. The 5k race began at 8:00am.
The race is held in honor of Karen Newley, who’s:
“love for God and his faithfulness gave her strength through her journey with lung cancer. Karen never smoked, was an avid runner, and lived a very healthy life. Her courage and positive outlook in a very difficult circumstance inspired and gave hope to many. She will not be remembered as a cancer patient, but rather as a brave and faithful follower of Jesus Christ. Karen leaves behind a legacy of hope. She had a deep love for people, and she made everyone she met feel like a close friend. Karen deeply loved children, and had a passion for teaching and mentoring students. Karen’s last words were, “pray for the children”. The mission of the b STRONG 31:6 fund, created in her honor, is to continue her legacy by helping children and families in our community thrive in faith, education, and fitness.”
Registration: we registered for the 5k when fees were only $15! Great price for an awesome race. Registration did go up as the race got closer to $20 and then $25. Online registration was completed on runsignup.com. There was race day registration.
Swag: along with your bib, you received a race shirt and a bag with sponsor information, as well as other local race information. Each participant also receive a green b Strong cup as well. This is the third year we have received this cup sowe have worked up a pretty good collection.
Atmosphere: prior to the race, the DJ was doing a great job playing upbeat music to get everyone pumped up to run. Also leading up to the race announcements were being made making sure people knew what was going on. Right before the race, a young girl sang the national anthem (she was awesome) and a prayer was given.
Race: the race started right at 8:00. The course is mostly flat with one hill right before mile 2. It’s not too bad of the hill but it has been named “b Strong Hill.” The best part of this race is that it is a completely closed course to traffic. There are volunteers or police officers at every intersection making sure that no cars went onto the course. There were also 3 aid stations on the course. They were located at mile 1, mile 2, and a little past 2.5.
Post race food: never a shortage of food at this race. Always have plenty of fruit, granola bars, and especially cookies. The cookies were awesome! There was also bottled water as well.
Awards: awards were given to the top 3 overall male and females in the race, plus top 3 in each age division. Divisions were broken down to every 5 years. There was a new medal for this years age group winners. The size difference is deffinetly noticeable. The back of the medal:the ribbon:
I do really like the medals, they are awesome, maybe go back to a little smaller. Just a way of saving some money for the foundation. But who knows, maybe they were donated. I really don’t know, but they are unique and specific to the race which I like.
Overall: as much as I don’t like 5k races (it’s the distance, not the race itself), this is a very well run event. It is a race that is on our schedule year after year and always want to make sure we are in town for it. The organization is always top notch, and the town really supports this race. Bigger towns can learn from them.
My Race: My goal coming in was to run in the top 3. Last year, I finished 9th with a pinched nerve in my back and really felt that I could have been in the top 3 if it wasn’t for that. But, just like any year, it all depends on who shows up.
From the start, I focused on not getting sucked into a fast start. At about the half mile mark, I was probably somewhere between 20-25 place. As I approached the first mile, I just kept passing one runner at a time. The first mile was 6:07.
The second mile I really slowed down with a purpose. I knew the hill was coming up and I am not a strong hill runner. I completed the second mile on top of “b Strong Hill” in 6:25.
The Third mile I picked it back up again with a slight down hill. At this point I am still passing a couple runners and have climbed back up into 7th place. I ran the third mile in 6:07. I crossed the finish line in 19:33 which is just about the time it took last year to finish 3rd overall. This year, it was good enough for 7th overall and first in the 35-39 age division. Maybe not the place I wanted, but overall I am pleased. The Course was a little long, and my pace was actually faster than I ran 6 days earlier when I ran a 19:19 5k.