A 5K Race Report?

This morning I got up to pee.

When I stumbled back to the bed, our 120lb pit-bull mixed breed female had moved from the foot of the bed, where she takes all my feet-room each and every night, to the little bit of space I do manage to carve out between my wife, two dogs, 5 pillows and stacks of blankets.

And she won’t move for nutin’.

Over the years, I have spent thousands of dollars on rescue dogs, and opened my home to the joys of chewed up home furnishings, window sills and running shoes. I’ve been through the canine surgeries and the traumatic, dramatic deaths that can bring a family to its emotional knees.

I’ve been known to pull over on the road and bury ducks that have been hit by cars, carry insects from inside to outside, and hang out with local geese as they welcomed their babies to our big, bad, busy neighborhood.

Animals. They run my life.

In Defense of Animals

start line at the In Defense of Animals 5K

As some people know, I am currently training to run a 2:55 marathon. This training requires much speed work, which I love, and shorty races are great places to work on that speed.

On Saturday, for the second year in a row, I supported the In Defense of Animals organization by running their local 5K race here in Duluth, Georgia – a hilly, 5K race in which every single penny raised goes to the organization.

In Defense of Animals 5K elevation

Did I mention the race is hilly?

But regardless of the hills, the vibe at the race is something that you have to see. There’s something about a large collection of people, all animal lovers and all up early in the morning to both test themselves and support a great cause.

There are dogs everywhere.

And where there are dogs, and people who love dogs, there are smiles and positive vibes ruling the scene.

No frustrations, just excitement.

No grouchy people, just kindred spirits.

It’s a beautiful thing.

Chasing Cross Country Kids

I love 5Ks and I’m getting a little smarter running them.

Because I knew the course was very hilly, I started conservatively, but still ending up with a 5:55 first mile. The course starts downhill, and I knew some of the runners that shot out to the front would whittle down on the climbs.

They did.

I went from 6th place after 2 miles, to 2nd place on the final climb; but it was this fast high school cross country kid that continued to fight me off and refused to let me catch him.

We finished about 5 seconds apart, 19:45 to 19:50, with him holding on to the lead, making for an exciting finish for those watching at the finish tape.

Lastly, making it that much more special was seeing the lovely Mrs. Griffith standing there with two of our mutts and cheering in the runners as well. I have a great family.

Thank You Sarita

So thank you Sarita Raturi for all you do for animals, for putting on such a great race, and for being so nice to me and my family.

As long as we live in the area, we will continue to support your efforts, your organization, and of course that great little hilly 5K.


*** Full Garmin split data

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It was great. best of luck with the speed work for your next 3 sub marathon…
I just got the finishing touches on my site! Request all a quick look to see why it’s a relevant for your readers.

Complete a Marathon in just 10 weeks (dvd).


All I can say Christian is that you are an inspiration for me. I have been slacking the last few years and since I have stumbled upon your site, I am back to it! Keep up the great reviews and insights, there are actually people out here, like me, who are very inspired by your actions! You sick f*&K! :-)

@John: thanks for the feedback, John. I appreciate it all – the props and warnings. I know race schedule and training sometimes appear sick. Unfortunately, (or perhaps fortunately depending on your side of the fence), I wouldn’t have it any other way. I never said I was sane. Just that I like to run …and associated experiences with running :-)

Thanks again.

Dude, I am the last person to say anything about ones ytraining and racing, but your race schedule is just brutal! And that doesn’t include all the training miles. Elite runners can’t and don’t schedule a year like you have, and it seems to repeat every year, if not getting more. Pick and choose your races, unless you are just willing to pay money for training. Just saying….Run smart.

@everyone: listen to AJ. A true legend of the sport!

Great report Christian! I’m a big supporter of shelter animals up here as well and all animals I come across,be they turtles snakes (yea they are reptiles)etc. That looked like a nice 5k course, all the ones I do in Jersey are flat as a pancake. Well done on your race too! Good luck on getting to a 2:55 marathon. I found that long tempo runs, 1/2 mile repeats, and 200 yard full out repeats at the end of a couple easy runs got me under 3 hours. Now I need to get back to speedwork; all this ultra running has made me slow.

AJ Johnson

Great report Christian! Congrats on your second place finish! I love the starting line picture too. All the guys on the right are cocked and ready to blast off the line, and the guys on the left are standing around as if the race doesn’t start for ten more minutes. Haha!

Thanks for the post and your Support for our Animals!
I have shared this with all my collegues/Friends at “In Defense of Animals” and our Animal Rights group in the Atlanta area. Caring people like you make such efforts successful!!!
Our 4-legged friends and I appreciate your participation and spreading the word!


What a beautiful report! Giving a high school cross country runner a run for his money. I would have loved to know what he was thinking when he couldn’t brush you off! :)

I ran a 5K called Run for Dogs and Cats in June. It is always fun to have all our running buddies at the races and fun to run for good causes.

Love it!


Nice report Christian. You are such a hard ass it’s nice to know you love animals. Though I don’t share your patience with insects, I never met a dog I didn’t like more than most humans.

I watched your race on Saturday – my family handed out water bottles. What an exciting event that was for us to be a part of. Thank you for supporting such a wonderful cause. And congrats on your exciting finish!!

@Gabi: really? wow. That’s awesome. Thanks for letting me know.

Love it! I ran the Stumpy’s Marathon yesterday morning and talked to another runner who reads your blog!


Loved the 5K race report…as I do all your race reports…I run with my Yellow Lab (Luke) on all my training runs and he is well know in the race community around Charlotte, NC.
and I too share my foot space in the bed with him…

Good luck with the speed work for your sub 3 marathon…

Will miss you this year at Hinson Lake….but if you want to come anyhow you can be my pacer…at least for a lap…

Later dude,


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