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Event recap: Anthem 5k

Temperatures are inching upward, daffodil chutes are beginning to peak through the ground, and the Louisville Triple Crown of Running has begun…it must be spring!

Nothing signals the end of winter in Louisville than the Anthem 5k. The race is the beginning of the Triple Crown and, to me, the beginning of spring. There are several thousand local runners who agree with me, I guess, since 8,525 of us finished Saturday’s race.

It didn’t hurt that we had gorgeous weather. While it was still quite cool at the 8 a.m. start on the Ohio River waterfront, there was a generous amount of sunshine and the promise of highs in the 50s. We were hopeful and eager after weeks of snowy, icy, frigid runs.

The Anthem 5k starts just north of Louisville Slugger Field in the second year of a new route. Like all of the Triple Crown races (and the Derby miniMarathon that follows in April), runners are packed in at the starting line and elbowing each other for a teensy bit of space. Even though the walkers are supposed to start behind the runners, the first mile at least is quite uncomfortable for everyone. The pack spreads out a bit after that, but it’s still a ‘cozy’ affair through to the finish line.

My training buddy, Valerie, and I met up for this race, as per tradition. I believe this is our fourth year of running Triple Crown races together. This was our best showing for Anthem, though, and we were proud that our track workouts with the group from the Ken Combs Running Store are paying off.

Although I know dozens of people that ran Saturday, I saw very few in the throngs of people. But I had no trouble seeking out the Panera Bread tent for my cinnamon crunch bagel (another tradition)!

Like all the Triple Crown events, the 2010 Anthem 5k was well-organized and festive. New this year was the timing device that replaced the chips: it was incorporated into our bib numbers and was disposable. That helped the bottleneck at the finish line quite a bit.

I feel like every Louisvillian should run (or walk) the Triple Crown races at least once, simply to experience the sense of community that comes with crossing that finish line. It doesn’t hurt to celebrate spring with a jaunt through the city with a few of your (literally) closest neighbors, either!

– albledsoe

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