Carrera de los Muertos, UNO 5k: RECAP

Hey guys!!!!  Big things were happening this weekend!!!  Of note I ran a 5k on Saturday with my running group (The Venados): UNO 5k: Carrera de los Muertos.  This was my first time running this race and spoiler alert- I’d totes run it again!

It is a fairly small (but from what I understand this race has grown over the years- as it should) neighborhood race, that took runners through the Pilsen, and University Village neighborhoods of Chicago- two neighborhoods I have never really run through- but was excited to.

One thing about this race that really hit the dietitian in me was their mission: “UNO understands the positive impact that good health and wellness plays in our communities. By providing opportunities like 5k races, UNO wants to support and encourage our neighborhoods to start living long and happy lives by being active!” I mean I would have been sold at that point even if a majority of my running group was doing the race.

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The packet pick up and race day were all well organized!  It was a great experience- there was  HUGE volunteer and spectator presence throughout the entire race- it was so amazing!  Additionally there was a lot of on course entertainment like DJs, dancers, mariachi bands!

This race flew by for me.  I really wanted to PR, but I was really nervous that morning because it was so cold, and I was worried about going out too fast and pulling a muscle.  My personal best was 29:09 and I wanted to crush that.  My average pace for the first mile was 8:33- which made me nervous- I was convinced I would hit a wall immediately.  The second mile went up to 8:44- and was still certain I was going to hit a wall.  Around mile 2.5 I was ready to just be done with the race because I had a terrible side stitch that I could not correct- every hit on the pavement was like a knife in my lung.  I was super crabby.

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I gutted it out- and did something I was really surprised about: kept my pace under 9 minutes – huge accomplishment for me!  My official finish time was 27;52 average pace was 8:55/mi.   This was  a huge deal for me.  I was so pumped when I saw my unofficial time on my watch- and realized that I was well under 29 unofficially.  This girl is running 25 in 2014 🙂

Before, during, and after the race there was plenty of delicious Mexcian food to be consumed, following the race there was an aware ceremony- the top 3 finishers in each age group got this bitchin’ hand painted skull.  Afterwards the Venados partied in style with beers, mimosas, doughnuts, and Mexican food.  I was seriously in heaven.

This is 1000% a race I would sign up for again.  Packet pick up and race day were all well organized.  I loved all of the community support, the spectators, and on course entertainment- you could feel the neighborhood pride throughout this race.

Since I don’t have a lot of pictures from this race I’ll do the next best thing.  One of my groups co-captains is a total paparazzi and filmed so much of the race/pre-race etc.  So here is a video compliments of: theenriquerivera youtube channel- keep your eyes peeled for me around 1:58 – I’m wearing the zazzy shoes and green headband!!!!

This was one of my favorite races of 2013!  I really enjoyed my time doing this race!

What has been one of your favorite races in 2013?

What in your opinion makes for a great race experience – outside of how you perform?

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