This evening was the first of 19 5k races that will take place every wednesday night over the next few months. Now sponsored by Portland Trails and the Maine Running Company, the series is a free 5k with a cumulative score and prizes at the end. All donations and t-shirt sale proceeds go to the Portland Trails organization and the prizes are donated by the Maine Running Company.

When you register for the race, you are given a race number that will be used for the remainder of the series. I got race number “2”. Which, coincidentally, is what I came in this evening. It was 53ยบF but raining slightly. The trail, which is very loose gravel, is not the fastest surface to run on even when it is dry.

My goal for the race was to go out for an easy 18:20 to 18:30. I am racing another 5k on Sunday and I have a marathon in two and a half weeks that are more important. The lead pack stayed together for about a mile, and then a couple of us split off. I haven’t gotten to see the “official” results yet, but I am guessing that the winner came through in around 17:50 or so. I finished in about 18:11, still feeling plenty strong.

I do not imagine that I will do a lot of racing at this series, but I will most likely show up and do some speed workouts through it. Next week I will probably run quarters or halves through the course and see how long it takes me to finish the 3+ miles.