Or can you?
No. You can’t. Which is ironic given the name of the race.
In case you’re wondering why you can’t finish, it’s mainly because the course wasn’t actually five miles in distance. It was closer to four and half miles. Seriously. Check out my Garmin at the end of the race:
Not quite 5 miles.
But I digress. Let me start at the beginning.
My husband is running the Track Shack Running Series and this is one of the races in the series. Last week he asked me if I wanted to run this race again (we also ran it back on 10/10/10). After looking over my half marathon training schedule to see if the race would be a good fit and then checking with my trusty training partner Beth, I signed up for the race. And because I am alumni, I saved a couple of bucks on my registration. Score! All three of us are UCF alumni, so it’s always fun to take a jaunt back on campus.
Sunday morning, D, Beth and I set off for the main campus. There were jokes to be made about trying to find an actual current student that was awake since it was eerily quiet near the dorms.
A household united.
Beth and I did, however, run into running friends and took the opportunity to catch up. Also, the sunrise was a gorgeous backdrop to the start of the race.
I’m a sucker for sunrises.
And did I mention the weather was perfect? Because it was. It was in the 60’s and cool, perfect for a run around our old campus. The race started on time (or at least I didn’t notice it starting late) and Beth and I set off running mile intervals (run one mile, walk one minute, repeat). We were busy reminiscing about our college years as we ran the first couple of miles. However, when we passed the three-mile marker, I noticed that my Garmin didn’t match up. And then when we passed the four-mile marker, Beth pointed out that the last mile seemed to go by too fast. Sure enough, when I checked my Garmin, I had a shorter distance.
We also started to notice that the course was getting confusing. There were cones lining a route, but runners going in a different direction. We noted that having volunteers there would probably help with the confusion. In fact, volunteers on the course seemed to be scarce. We later heard from our friends that they ran the wrong direction and had to turn around. Even with that error, they still didn’t hit five miles.
Also, I also couldn’t help but feel like the race course wasn’t quite taking advantage of the sprawling UCF campus. There were a couple times that we ran down one street just to double back. I’m not a big fan of doubling back unless I’ve lost something.
As we neared the finish line, I knew something was wrong. We weren’t supposed to finish yet! And sure enough, when we passed the finish line my Garmin showed our distance completed to be 4.54 miles. Enter all of the “you can’t finish” jokes you can think of. Oh, the irony!
5.00 4.54 mi.
- Time: 50:46.92
- Avg Pace: 11:10/mi.
- Get to run around campus without being chased by campus police
- You’ll PR for sure since there aren’t many 5-mile races … or 4.5-mile races
- Nostalgic race for UCF alumni
- You get to see all of the new buildings that weren’t there when you were a student
- The 5-mile race wasn’t actually 5 mile in distance
- Course was confusing at times
- Volunteers were scarce
- Only those that completed the double distance received medals (I saw way too many racers walk up to get a medal only to be turned away… AWKWARD)
- Not a lot of spectators
FINAL VERDICT: I’m a big fan of Track Shack events, but this one seemed to lack the organization that their other races typically have. Also, I like people to cheer me on and this race didn’t have a lot of that going on. And, like a friend on Facebook said, I paid for five miles and only got four and a half miles. Overall, I probably won’t run this race next year. However, I will consider streaking on campus. :)
Did you run the U Can Finish 5-miler this year? What did you think?