Harvest Field Ministries is a local missionary organization, based here in Orlando, yet their primary “mission field” is in Romania. William Thomas heads the mission, with the help of Eastpoint Fellowship church and their pastoral family Danny and Cookie Strickland.
Venue / Course / Weather
If you have done an Avalon Park 5K before, the course will appear familiar, as it goes down Tanja King Blvd to “the loop” and then comes back to Avalon Park Blvd. The main difference is that the start / finish was placed outside Founder’s Square, rather than the town park, making the course longer, which is good because the park s/f line only yields 2.75 miles. This one came out to be 3.1 miles or a little more maybe (by our estimate). It is a flat, fast course.
Founder’s Square is roomy enough to host a small event, but when they get up to 500 or more runners, they will probably have to move up the street to the park. One oversight this year (which I am sure will be fixed for the next one) was lack of public restrooms. We already have that in progress for the next one.
The weather was cooler than normal for May, which was a blessing. At 8am (start time) it was a cool 67 degrees. By 9:30, when all was done, it was still in the 70s. Sunny and clear, perfect day for a run.
There were about 90 runners, so I got to start pretty near the front. I was feeling pretty good so I took off at a higher pace than normal. I knew people would be coming by me as I eased up so it didn’t demoralize me. I used sidewalks and tangents to run the shortest course, as I intended to put in a fast time. I have been unable to get below 31 minutes for a true 5K recently and today my goal was 30 minutes.
I hit mile 1 at 9:40 so I was on schedule. I had to walk briefly at the mid-point water stop, so my second mile was 9:59. The third mile was downwind with a warming sun, and it slowed me down a bit. It may also have been that I knew I was ahead on time. I picked it up towards the end, and crossed the line at 29:57 for a recent history PR (Since the age of 30). I did a 29:10 once on my “home” course in December 2011, but I don’t think it was a full 3.1 miles.
I felt great at the end, and was looking forward to greeting all the other Orlando Runners and Riders as they finished. Michelle Tribble came in right at 40 mins. Kathleen set a new PR with 43:57. Even Cara Wells, who is dealing with a spinal injury, came in around 53 minutes. She was “representing” with her ORR tech t-shirt.