Posted by: Ingrid | August 15, 2011

Free 2 Run 5K: A great race, an even better cause

This is something that I regret not blogging about sooner and more often.  Back in February, during missions month at church, we had the privileged to hear from Kevin Austin from the organization Not for Sale.  He spoke about human trafficking and slavery and brought to light the struggle of of more than 30 million individuals across the globe.  This was all new information to me.  The thought that slavery existed in my county in Michigan was not on my radar.  The idea that my shopping habits could support slavery depending on what brand of chocolate I purchased was utterly foreign to me.

The information really gripped a group of the teens in our youth group.  In fact, I vividly remember two of the young women coming up to me one Sunday evening to tell me that they really wanted to put together a 5K to raise money to fight human trafficking.  Out of that idea, and with lots of hard work of a group of teens, some very supportive adults, and great sponsors, came Saturday’s 5K.

First, having only witnessed second hand all the planning and work that went on, I have to say that I never knew so much was involved in planning a running event.  There are planning handbooks that could serve as  potential weapons due to size alone, and there are many more details than simply pulling together a large clock, some goody bags, and piles of post-race oranges and bananas.  I am so proud of what our teens and their volunteers put together.  Not only did they raise over $5,000 for their cause, but their event was well done.  I’ve participated in first year events, and this one, from the flow, to the timing chips on the race bibs, to the speed in getting results together, to the post-race food, was fantastic.  Even the weather cooperated, which in Michigan is saying something!  The thunderstorms predicted arrived in the evening rather than in the morning, and the day was beautiful.

Of course, this is also a race report, my one and only from this pregnancy, so in personal terms I would have to say that this was the best cause I’ve run for while simultaneously being my “worst” 5K ever in terms of performance.  But with being injured and having run only a handful of times in the last 2.5 months, I am really just happy that I was able to run the whole thing.  I hadn’t run in almost 3 weeks and with the acute groin pain I am experiencing on both sides the day after when I walk and stand, I am pretty sure I just relegated myself to not running until after I give birth.

I finally got to wear my running shirt this pregnancy, but I’m sad that this is the only time it will make it out of my drawer.

The race itself was lots of fun, with over 330 walkers and runners.

At the last minute, Clint was able to run too, even though he hadn’t been training at all, so he took the stroller and let me go ahead after we ran the first .2 miles together.  Isaac was showing signs of wanting to throw a fit if I left his sight, but once he got distracted I moved ahead.  It was such a beautiful day and so fun to be running with everyone!  The fact that this event took place in my neighborhood and with so many community members participating made it really special.

I didn’t really pace myself or push or even have a time goal since I didn’t know how my leg would feel, but of course the excitement got to me and anyone who has been pregnant knows how fun it is to pass people when you are visibly pregnant.  At mile 2.1 the pain started in earnest, but any runner knows that at that point you’ve made the commitment and you can’t stop, baring lots of blood or chest pain or the like.  So I kept going, and it was still great, even with pain radiating down my leg.  My finish time was 26:48, making it my slowest 5K yet.  I think the one 5K I ran last time I was pregnant was 24 something.  It actually was enough to earn me 3rd in the women’s 30-39 age group, but I couldn’t help thinking that if I’d run my 20:38 time from the hilly 5K I did late last September I could have won the women’s division overall.  That, of course, got me wondering if the pain will ever go away and if I will ever run under a 6.5 minute mile again.  But I suppose it’s best not to dwell on that.

I finished and then joined Clint and Isaac to run across the finish line again at the 30 minute mark.

Isaac proceeded to eat my post-race banana and cupcake and then take off on his own private race that involved running everywhere except the direction I wanted him to head in.

I got my medal

but of course Isaac thought it was rightfully his, just like the cupcake.

It was really incredible to see this event take shape and come together.  There are those moments when I look at these teens, almost half my age and think to myself: This is how the world gets changed.  You take what you’re passionate about and what breaks your heart and you do something about it.  To all of the teens who made this event happen; you are an inspiration and I am so proud of you.



  1. aww..way to go! I know it must be tough to get out there and run at this stage of your pregnancy, combined with your injury. I know that you will get back into your running stride post baby # 2.Love your cute family pics!

    • Thanks! I definitely look forward to running without pain again. This last 9 weeks that I should just take off from running completely seems like an eternity right now.

  2. Wow, congratulations to your youth group on organizing the race! That’s really impressive.

    And your time is enviable, though of course nobody is running close to their PR at 30 weeks pregnant! I’m quite sure I couldn’t run 5k at that speed right now. My legs might be up to it but various other body parts/internal organs would have a different opinion. So congratulations on that. Hope the injury is ok.

    • Thanks! It was definitely fun even though I am paying for it now. I am just glad that I can cross-train without pain, even though it hurts like crazy to actually walk slowly into the gym. No walks for me and my pregnant self right now. 😛

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