The Facts About The 5K I Won

See that?  It’s a trophy.  I Instagrammed it– Valencia filter– because I care.

A champion's trophy.

A champion’s trophy.


I care because it’s my trophy.  I won it.  And I won it by running my middle-aged bee-hind off in a 5K race.  I was the first woman to cross the finish line.  Because most of my readers are American, they’ll want to know my time.  We care about that stuff– we want hard numbers, figures, metrics, facts, the exact location of that downed airliner.  I get it.  It hardly counts if I can’t produce the numbers, right?


I ran the race in 26:08:47 minutes.  And because your calculator is hidden in some annoying place on your phone, I’ll do the quick math for you– my pace was 8:44 per mile.

I should probably stop here.  Press “publish” and let the glory stand for itself.  No doubt I’ve already gone too far.  I’m bungee-jumping and I just passed the first look-out point.  I’m still hurtling downward, waiting for that safety rope to catch and pull me up with a jerk of my neck.  It hasn’t yet.

So more:

I’ve never won a race in my life.  In second grade field day I almost beat Melissa Zimmel in the 50-yard dash, but she elbowed me viciously at 35 yards, and I went home empty-handed, while she had a third-place ribbon pinned to her stupid pink Izod shirt. Bitch.  Two weeks later she tried to cheat by copying my spelling test.  I laughed inside when she spelled desks as “deskes” to earn herself a 94, six points below my perfect 100.

The race in question, though, the one that I WON, was a small affair, I admit.  Four dads who seemed to sprint the whole time beat me.  They, like me, ditched their children to worship the gods of speed and endurance.  We let our spouses handle the pesky work of keeping our children off the course and out of traffic.

There were other women in the race, I swear.  That they were either orthodox Jewish women running in long skirts or benevolent do-gooders shepherding a gaggle of earnest Girls-On-The-Run participants (most of whom had never run more than six yards) is none of your business.  There was one teacher huffing it, but I passed her when I sailed over her oxygen tank like a stag escaping a hunter’ rifle in hot pursuit.

Someone had to be the first woman across the line.  Someone had to enlist her husband to custom-build a trophy case to house the golden, stubby statue that I now call my own.  Someone had to pose for victory photos, seek endorsements from local businesses and offer to headline next year’s charity ball.

There are more facts that are still obscured to you, dear readers.  Facts about the weather, the wind’s velocity, the post-race swag, and the course measurement.  It’s possible you deserve those facts and I should serve them up like I did my times.  Maybe I’ve only served you the mashed potatoes, but you richly deserve your roast beef and fresh peas.

But perhaps I’ve said too much already.


50 thoughts on “The Facts About The 5K I Won

  1. Congratulations!!! If I won a trophy for something (especially something) that involved running, I would be screaming that news from the rooftops. Some of your lines here cracked me up. I hope you really did make your husband build you a trophy case.

  2. Ha ha ha. There was a Melissa Zimmel in my life. She took my position in netball using underhand teacher-flirt tactics. In home economics, I pretended her perfect pineapple upside downcake was mine while she was at her trumpet lessons. I ran fast after that.

  3. Congratulations!! I just ran a 5k and was so proud. I did not win, but I felt like I did. I raised money for HIV/AIDS prevention. Bask in the glory, you deserve it!

  4. That is impressive…..the win, the trophy, and the telling of the story. All impressive! Yes, someone had to do it, but YOU were the one who did 🙂 So, congratulations to you.

  5. Woohoo! Congrats on the trophy. I hope you practised your victory dance in advance 😉 Oh wait, is that going to be another post? 😀

  6. I am so impressed. I used to be that bitch who won all the races in grade school, but the joke’s on me now (bad cartilage). What I wouldn’t give to be able to run a 5K…

  7. The only 5K I ran was when I turned 40. I was impressed I finished. Granted only three people were behind me, but I wasn’t last. I was kind of disappointed that I didn’t beat the guy that had heart surgery three weeks before. I am now done with running. Keep up the good work.

  8. Like the other readers, I enjoyed this post a lot. What a fun topic! I enjoyed the specifics describing the competition like the teacher and the oxygen tank and the pink Izod shirt of that “bitch” that stole the other victory. Great humor. I enjoyed the presentation/order of this story, too. Great choices in your writing. As a reader, I still wanted to cheer for you, the runner, even if the event wasn’t the Big Marathon.

  9. You totally deserve that trophy! Heck, if you hadn’t won one, I would have started a fund to buy you one after that post. 🙂 The only 5K I’ve ever done was with my then 4-year-old. We were, quite literally, the last to finish. They were pretty much rolling up the course behind us. But we did it, and though we didn’t get a trophy (*grumble*), I’m still pretty proud of us. Mostly of me. That’s 5 kilometers of tired 4-year-old I was dealing with. Anyway – great post. I loved it.

  10. Good for you. I never won a trophy in my life. My athletic son, now 14, has a decent collection of sports trophies. I get vicarious pleasure out of each and every one of them.

  11. Congratulations! That’s great. I used to run. Now when I try I ache for days. The only time I won a cross-country type race (in college–when I was young and semi-spry) there were only five other women in the race. Still felt good!

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