Al’s Memorial 8K Race

Spring race season has begun! To help train for my two upcoming 10 mile races, I’ve added a few mixed distance races to the mix.

The first was an 8K race (5 miles) on Kent Island. A special race, Al’s Run raises funds for a scholarship to send one lacrosse player to college. The race is named in memory of Al Cantello, Jr., a beloved lacrosse coach who died in a tragic boating accident just two years ago.

Though my running buddy Cindi and I were likely the only two at the race with no affiliation with youth lacrosse, it was great to be part of the story. The race drew 193 participants to run the Kent Island Cross Island Trail route.

Since we had a 40-minute drive to get to the race location, I started early with some pre-race applesauce and a cup of coffee.

We had perfect conditions for a spring race: sunny and 65 degrees. Can’t beat it! We ended up getting there early, so we had plenty of time to jump around before the race started.

Can’t you feel our excitement???
Though I’ve been running 5+ miles for training this spring, this was my first 5 mile race. I also consider it a destination run since it’s my first time running this particular trail.
Getting ready to start! The course stretched 2.5 miles, so we started and ended in the same place.
Here’s a scene from the race–I managed to grab a quick photo!

I loved running through the trees. We also ran over a bridge, over the water, and had a couple of stretches that weren’t shaded–those were brutal as the sun rose higher.

I enjoy playing games when I run a race. I’ll spot someone ahead, try to match their pace, and push forward to run past them. I ended up running this race faster than any of my 5 mile training runs.

I finished the race in a solid 47 minutes and a little change. I tried using the Nike running app to accurately record my time, but held my phone in my hand, so I kept accidentally pausing it! From quick running math using the app and roughly adding numbers in my head, here’s a snapshot of what I think each mile looked like:

1: 9:35
2: 9:05
3: 9:10
4: 9:25
5: 9:10

I kept a pretty consistent pace throughout the race, with my first and fourth miles taking the longest. I like to start a little slower, and speed up as I go along. The fourth mile with this race was the toughest, probably because that was the open stretch mile, facing the sun with no cover. It was also slightly uphill, but not as drastic as the hills I have on my training run routes!


Overall, I’m pretty satisfied with my results! I finished second in my age group, and felt strong throughout the entire race. This was a great starter race for my spring training.


Post-race fuel: a banana, tons of orange slices, and iced coffee (priorities!)

Hooray for spring races! I can’t wait for the next one: I’m racing a 5K at a local camp in memory of a boy who lost his life in a tragic car accident last year. I like being able to contribute positively through running, especially when it benefits people in my community.

{I might have the opportunity to race earlier than that in Annapolis–still trying to sort out the details! That would also be a 5K race}

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One Response to Al’s Memorial 8K Race

  1. Tara says:

    I love that trail! When I used to live on the island it was only a couple minutes to the starting point so I walked it all the time. There are sadly a lot fewer trees now than when I started walking it though. : ( And I’ve definitely never tried running it!

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