Saturday, November 20, 2010

American Heart Association 5K Fun Run

As part of setting a good example, the AHA conference this year held it's 18th annual 5K Fun Run. Several hundred doctors, nurses, and scientists came out at 6:30 AM in 37 degree weather to run up and down Lakeshore in Chicago. Many people also participated in the simultaneous 1 mile Fun Walk. The following is a cross-post of my race report from


Tuesday November 16 at 6:30 was the AHA's 5K Fun Run, my first at this conference. Had a great time, weather was gorgeous (37F and a little warmer when the sun came up). Despite this just being a fun run as part of a large conference of doctors, nurses, and scientists, they did a great job with official timing tags, and a well done course. It wasn't shut down to the public since it was only a few hundred people, but not crowded in the slightest (thanks to the early start).

I have been under the weather for several days so I didn't know quite what to expect when I got out there. I had hit up a few puffs of albuterol before leaving the hotel, but left the inhaler there. It was a 2 mile run/walk/warmup from my hotel to the start which I was handling fine.

I was near the start and the 20 or so people in front of me quickly set out at a pace I could not possibly match, so I settled in and ran roughly 6:00, 6:30, and 6:30 with a finish of 19:03-ish. Believe it or not, this was my first officially timed 5K, so hooray, new PR for me! (age grade performance of about 68%)

Shortly after, I wished I had brought the inhaler because I started coughing violently due to the heavy breathing and cold air. But with another cup of coffee and some short, methodical breathing, I was able to keep the coughing at bay long enough to get back the 2 miles to the hotel and get a few more puffs.

I must recognize that this race was a memorial for Ken Baughman. One year ago at the AHA meeting in Orlando, FL, Dr. Baughman was out running when, at the intersection of Sand Lake Road and Universal Blvd, he was struck by a car and died. People who knew him wore shirts for "Team Baughman" and we shared a moment of silence for him prior to the race. Thoughts and best wishes to his family and friends for their tragic and unnecessary loss.

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