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First Place Age 50

5K PR at Age 50

EnduraMan achieved first place in the 5K at age 50. Discover how fast EnduraMan ran in the Shamrock Distance Classic on May 4, 2024.

Fort De Soto Park

The Fort De Soto Park is a great venue for running races. It has lots of parking spaces and restrooms.

Packet Pickup and Parking

Since I was traveling from Palm Harbor, FL, and the pre-race packet pickup was in St. Petersburg, FL, I arrived early on race day to pick up my racing packet. I entered the parking lot at 6 AM and waited in a short line for my 5K t-shirt and racing bib number 3563. I paid $5.00 plus a $0.35 convenience fee for parking using the Park Mobile app.


The Fort De Soto North Beach has a restroom facility near the parking lot. Since I arrived before sunrise, it was dark, so I was happy with the spacious and illuminated restrooms. I recommend them over the dark and cramped port-a-potties. Another plus is the sinks, which have soap to wash your hands and paper towels to dry them.

5K Course Experience

The 5K course had no 5K signs. We were directed to turn around at the 10K sign, which was quite confusing. According to my Garmin Forerunner 255 watch, the course was longer than 3.1 miles. I recorded a distance of 3.32 miles. So, based on my Garmin’s GPS data, the 5K course distance was inaccurate by 0.22 miles.

Race Start Times

The first half-marathon race started at 7 AM, followed by the 10K at 7:15 AM and the 5K at 7:30 AM. Finally, the one-mile race started at 7:33 AM. All running races started at the North Beach parking lot heading North.

Temperature and Weather

The temperature on race morning, May 4, 2024, was sunny and 72 Fahrenheit (22.2 C). Humidity was high at 85%, with a wind at 10 MPH (16.1 km/h).

Course Terrain and Sun

The entire course was on paved surfaces. Most of it was unprotected from direct sun exposure, although I estimate one-fifth of it had shade. The terrain was very flat. My Garmin recorded only 82 ft (25 m) of ascent and 85 ft (25.9 m) of descent.

Post-Race Events

At the race finish, which was the same for all races, I had multiple cups of Gatorade. Then, I grab my phone from the car. To run my fastest, I leave my mobile phone in the car during the race.

I take photos of myself with my 5K medal, first-place male 50-54 award, and $15 gift card to St. Pete Running Company. Only first-place race winners got gift cards.


Instead of an award ceremony, 5K runners who placed in the top three waited in line to collect their awards. This process is more efficient than listening to everyone’s name. However, getting my name announced would have been a more rewarding experience.

Food and Drink

After the race, I eat a tasty beef taco on a flour tortilla. Then, I grab an IPA can of beer and sit at a picnic table under the shade of the race pavilion. I spoke with an old and fit Asian man who rode a bike to lead the 10K race. He said they changed the race course at the last minute because it was too short.

Also, I eat packets of trail mix with peanuts and M&M chocolates. Speaking with a younger Asian man who ran the 10K race, he said, “I turned around at the 10K sign, but it was only half the distance at the finish line. So, he did another loop.” He complained that the course distance was not right.

After finishing my beer, I grabbed Accelerator, a peach energy drink. It tastes okay, but I don’t like the artificial sweeteners. The event also featured non-alcoholic Corona beer, which is a good option for some people.

5K First Place at Age 50

Out of seven runners ages 50 to 54, I placed first with an official time of 25:01. I also beat John Guluma, the first-place runner in the 40-44 age group, and Stephen Kennedy, the first-place runner in the 45-49 age group.

Overall, I placed 17 out of 214 runners, which is the top 8 percent of all 5K runners. In a sprint to the finish, I edged out Walter Lysinger, beating him by six-tenths (0.6) of a second. Garmin recorded my 5K in 23:36 with a 7:36 pace per mile (4.7 km/h).

I am disappointed that the 5K course signage was missing and the distance was wrong. I would have pushed harder and run faster if the distance had been right. However, based on my Garmin data, the mileage was off by almost a quarter mile.

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