The LaDainian Tomlinson 5k was held on Saturday June 14. I signed up because I needed to do more races that were shorter in length and I wanted to have an opportunity to be near one of my favorite (former) Charger Players LT. They had packet-pick up available the day before at our local RoadRunner Sports store but due to my busy schedule I was not able to attend.
The morning of the race I arrived at the NTC Park, where the race was being held, around 7:15am. There was plenty parking available. It gave me time to pick up my bib and t-shirt, take a selfie at the start line, and head back to my car to finish my breakfast.
Before the race began the gave the announcement that runners should be in the front while walkers, strollers, and those running with pets remain in the back since there would only be “one corral.” (This will be important later) Then they introduced LaDainian Tomlinson and he spoke for a few minutes about the race. They played the national anthem and at 8:15am we were off.
The race began on the road. Shortly after we were on a dirt trail. The trail was not very wide so here is where it became hard to move around people. People were walking 2, 3, or 4 people wide. So I was dodging walkers, trying not to get run over by strollers, watch out for kids, and not step on dogs. I tried to pass people by saying “on your right/left” but quickly realized that it would not be an option when a group of people didn’t move and the person behind me cut in front of me so I almost tripped. So I tried running when I could but did a lot of walking. When we began running on the sidewalk again it became easier to start dodging people. We had our first water stop around mile 1.5.
Mile 2 had us run the only (short) hill on the course. While everyone stopped and walked it I felt that I had the advantage as I am too familiar with that hill from the San Diego Half Marathon. Once I got down the hill I felt my pace start to go faster. I tried to make sure I did not burn out but I felt great so I had to keep moving. We hit the second water stop right before mile 3. Once I saw the Mile 3 marker I ran as hard as I could. I passed a bunch of people and crossed the finish line with a smile on my face.
The last few months of running have been a battle but I felt great this race and was happy to see that my pace has improved, although it is not where it used to be. I ended up doing negative splits during this race which is something I have not been able to do for a long time. This run has left me optimistic that my road to recovery might be getting on the right track.
After the race I got into the autograph line. Although LT left before I could get to the front of the line, I was still able to get an autograph from the Charger players Jason Verrett, Branden Oliver, and D.J. Adams. Once I got my autographs I decided it was time to head home.
Overall I will definitely recommend this race. If you are looking to finish with a PR or by a certain time then I recommend that you start at the very front otherwise this race makes for a fun run with friends.