Saturday was the first ever Strutt with Your Mutt 5k in Kansas City. SWYM has always been a 3k walk through historic brookside with your pup to raise money for Wayside Waifs, KC's largest no-kill shelter. This year they decided to add a 5k portion that you could run with your dog. UHM-Hi, have you met us? We signed up instantly. When we showed up on Saturday, Goliath was in absolute heaven. There were booths with treats, hundreds of other dogs and people who didn't mind he jumped up to say 'hello!'
It was the first time for the 5k, and it became pretty clear this wasn't mean to be a very competitive 5k. There were no bib numbers, no chip timing (just a running clock) and oh we were running with our dogs. I noticed none of the local elite runners were there which kinda got my gears turning. We lined up at the mini-start, which doubled as the finish line.
They made a few announcements, and we were off. They actually started the race a few minutes early! Woah. So the first quarter mile was really thick. People were bumping into each other, dogs were darting back and forth-it was pretty chaotic. There were a lot more people running without dogs that I had expected, and they had the people sans pups line up toward the front. That made no sense to me, I would think that an event to benefit dogs where you run the dogs-the dogs would take priority. Am I right?
When I say it was thick, I mean it. It took us a while to break away from the big pack, but Goliath was a maneuvering rock star. He steered and I was along for the ride. Maybe it was instinct, but he darted around people and found the optimal and efficient routes. By the halfway mark which was also an aid station, I started to realize I could see the leader. I stopped and let Goliath get a drink, but he wasn't willing to waste anytime. The aid station volunteers told me to get to it because I was the second girl the pass. UHM EXCUSE ME?!
After that news, we got tunnel vision. We turned right and another right, and there they were the only people in front of me. I counted them all and the took a picture. Only eight people in front of me, and only two of them had dogs.
With the leaders in view, we got entirely too motivated. It felt like we were running 7s, but it was really 8s. I just wasn't use to running balls to the wall like that, but Goliath was. I'm sure the look on my face was priceless, most likely absolute terror. I felt like my heart was maxing out. One of the blockade officers laughed as we ran by, he said "Hey that's not fair! He's pulling you!" Listen bud, you wanna try to keep up with Goliath?? Be my guest. There was a pretty decent hill, and I passed one of gentlemen in front me. Unfortunately, my shoe came untied with less than a quarter mile to go. Panicked I had an internal dilemma, and decided to tie it even though it might have meant someone passing me. Luckily, there wasn't anyone near enough. We sprinted across the finish line and looked down at my garmin for the first time since the start, then the DJ says "Look at her checking her time! That's what it takes to be top 10!" balls. top 10. I came in 8th overall, and I was the 2nd female. Goliath was the 2nd canine.
I told someone a long time ago that I would win a local race one of these days, this just proved to me that I could. I won't cheapen this victory, so don't roll your eyes at the race design or number of runners. No matter how you spin it and try to lessen this, I came in 8th overall and 2nd female overall. You can't argue that.
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Mileage: 3.35 (it was actually long!)