One of my favorite smaller races is the Leiden Ladiesrun. They have a 5k loop, which you can run twice if you want to do the 10k and there are around 1200 participants. It is not organized by some big company which charges you a lot of money. On the contrary, it is a well organised race, not expensive and thanks to sponsors most of the entry fee goes to charity. They raise around 10.000 euros each year and each year they pick another charity. And on top of that they also give you a very nice medal! What’s not to like?
Last year I did the 10k and ran a PB. But I also noticed that most of the women running did the 5k and thus there was hardly anyone who did the 10k. Maybe because it’s a double loop, but I’ve heard they are working on making it one loop in the future. Since I have Berlin marathon coming up and I don’t like running almost on my own during a race (I can do that any time, but I like to have other runners around me during a race), I decided to run the 5k this year.
I’ve done some 5k speed runs during marathon training and noticed that those were going pretty well. And this course is a good one to get a PB for me since it’s not too busy (which is often the case with other 5k runs) and it’s in the evening, which works out for a night owl like me. I don’t do a lot of 5k races, since most of them allow way to many participants on the course for such a short distance. Therefore my 5k PB was set at the not that sharp a time of 39:57. So I was pretty confident I could beat that, only question was: by how much?
I started at the back so I would have more space to run. I felt quite nauseous the first km and I worried that I might not have gotten my nutrition right before the race. But when I saw my split time of 6:42 I realized why I was nauseous, I never go this fast! So I tried to slow down a bit to get rid of the nausea, but not too much, because I was still going for a PB. Eventually the nausea went away and I was able to keep running around a 7:30 pace. In the end I crossed the finish line in 36:38! A 3:19 min PB! Quite pleased with that! And I got another nice medal.
The first 500 entries also get a goodie bag. Last year I didn’t enter on time, but this year I did because I was curious about the goodie bag. Turns out it’s a lot of flyers and stuff, but also a runner’s world, a lip balm, cookies (speculaas, yay!) and some flower seeds.