Last Saturday I packed up the kids and headed to Salisbury, Maryland for the 11th Ben Layton Memorial 5k run/walk. This is a run I have always wanted to do but June is typically a pretty busy time for me and my little family. With nothing on the agenda for the day I knew I would finally get to run the race!
This race is special to a lot of people as it is in memory of Ben Layton, a young boy who was diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia shortly after his second birthday. Ben and his family are the reason the infamous “Ben’s Red Swings” at the Salisbury Park and continue to get better each year. Before the race this year they celebrated the ribbon cutting of the newly added bathrooms to the playground. You can read more about Ben and his story here.
My plan was to push the kids in the stroller for the race, however my awesome father-in-law decided he would join us at the race. Since the race went through the zoo; and what kids don’t love the zoo- he walked them around and entertained them as I got to run the race kids-free! The race started promptly at 9:00 and the runners took off first through the zoo and through the city park. I have run this course many times but have never actually run a race there. Around mile 1.5 or so we took to a short portion of trail which looked really pretty that morning.
Once out of the trail we were back on the main drag that continued around the park. We quickly reached mile 2 and got to see Sammy the Seagull, the Salisbury University mascot and hit the water stop. I was feeling pretty good at this point and skipped the water stop to keep on cruising towards the finish.
The race finished just feet away from where it started as as I was nearly the finish line I knew my time was near my fastest 5k ever (26:23) however my GPS was showing just under 3.1. As I was running through picnic island, I heard my kids start yelling for me and waving! It was fun having them at the finish line and cheering me on!
My official finish time, according to the race results was 26:24 which was not quite my PR but it was fast enough to score an age group win for the 30-34 group! I was sad to find out I missed again another race award ceremony where I actually won something but we were busy getting some play ground time in.
The race was great and I will definitely be back if my schedule allows it. I really have enjoyed getting back into the local 5k scene- with or without the stroller. This race had a great after party and the playground close by which is always a treat for the kids!
Do you have a favorite local 5k?