Sea Dogs Mother’s Day 5k mascotEvery year, the Portland Sea Dogs put on a 5k race on Mother’s Day. The team mascot, Slugger, drives in the pace car with his mother around the course, which is one loop. It is a fun race that usually has less than ideal conditions. Not today, though. The weather was beautiful, with a slight brreeze, no clouds, and temperatures in the mid to high 50s.

The good weather contributed to a record turn out, sealing this race as the largest 5k in Maine. There were 1439 finishers of almost 1800 registered for the race. There were around 1300 runner pre-registered. All of the runners that have made this event as well attended as it has been allowed for there to be professional photographers on the course, and for bagpipers to be hired. They did the awards ceremony outside of the stadium this year, though, which was a little odd. There is a 1:00 game against Binghamton, which must be the reasoning behind that.

Portland Sea Dogs Mother’s Day 5k TrophyLouie Luchini decimated the field in 14:30, averaging 4:41 per mile and beating the course record by 42 seconds. Ethan Hemphill came in about a minute later in 15:27. Kristin Barry and Sheri McCarthy-Piers repeated last year’s top two for the women’s race, finishing in 17:35 and 17:49 respectively.

I had a better race than I could have expected. I was there a few hours early to register and to run the course backwards at a very slow 9:00 to 9:15 pace. There were no dead animals on the course this year. After standing around for a while I got a few more miles of slightly quicker warm-up in, and then got ready to race. I managed to come through in 16:43, which is a slightly quicker start than I normally have at this time of the year. Less than a month out from my marathon, I will take this as a sign that this year I will go below the 16 minute barrier. My best remains either 16:07 or 16:09 from an indoor track race in college. I managed to place third in the 25-29 category, and the trophies remain the only ones that I have that have a baseball in them.

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