Proof of Concept, Race, er, Walk Report, Magic City Run 2019

Fit To Ride

USA: Happy Thanksgiving
World: Happy Thursday
Magic City Run
Birmingham AL, USA
Sunday, November 24, 2019

Time – 54.26.7 minutes
Pace – 17:31 minutes per mile
Overall – 570 out of 627
Female – 319 out of 369
Female, 55-59 – 14 out of 16

My course map from RaceJoy. Race results are from official start to my finish. RaceJoy numbers reflect when I actually crossed the start.

I will never run a marathon. I have neither the knees nor the patience. However, many big name marathons offer easier alternatives that take place on the same weekend over the same course. The B.A.A. 5K starts/finishes at the Boston Common and tours the scenic Back Bay area. In London, the Westminster Mile finishes in front of Buckingham Palace. In NYC, “Runners will zip through the streets of Manhattan, and finish at the famed Marathon finish line in Central Park—without running 26.2 miles.” Run Guides: NYRR Dash to the Finish Line 5K


In order to test the theory, I signed up for a local 5k. I had no intentions of running a single step. The goal was to stroll around downtown Birmingham enjoying the sights.


Unlike any other activity in recent history, I was not the slightest bit nervous. I had utterly no doubt that I could walk 3.1 miles. On a day when I hand-walk both horses and the dog, I can easily cover over 2 miles. The only adjustment I would have to make would be to hussle up a bit. My walks around the pasture are more in the nature of moving meditation than power walks. I needed some speed if I wanted to stay in front of the broom wagon.

Or in this case, the broom balloon. For the half-marathon, runners in brightly colored red-and-white Waldo outfits ran the course at set paces: 1:40, 2:00, 2:20, etc. For the half and the 5K, a Waldo holding a large bunch of balloons brought up the rear of the pack. It was easy to turn around to see how far from the end I was. After a while, I lost sight of the balloons.

I met my goal of finishing under an hour. I enjoyed walking without needing to worry about curbs and stoplights and cars and the total inability of drivers in most US cities to deal with the concept of pedestrians.

But I digress.

In addition to what I expected, the people watching was OUTSTANDING, both in the run and on the sidelines. One spectator group had disco music, silver lamé outfits, and a bubble machine. Since the race was affiliated with Girls On The Run, I was surrounded by preteens and parents in multi-hued tutus and related costumes. One fit gentleman of middle years was walking with three girls. He worn black pussy cat ears and a bright pink tutu. He was the definition of ‘Are you man enough to wear pink?’ I probably spent more time looking at the people than at the city sights.

I did get a medal. They ran out of 5K medals and handed me a Half-Marathon medal. It feels rude to show that off.

Will I ever take advantage of this in a major marathon city? Who knows. Now I know it is feasible.

Nod of appreciation to Marathon Runs for the photo, “@Copy Right: These photos are free to download/print/use for all 2019 Magic City Half/5k event participants” Marathon Runs2019 Magic City Half/5k. Border added.

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

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