I was astonished. That was a good four or so minutes faster than I had dared to hope for.
And there were hills! And I am not used to running on hills! The hills were a problem! I had to walk on a lot of the hills. And yet . . . somehow I was still much faster than I expected.
I feel that I was deprived of one important part of the race experience, though: there weren't any race bibs with numbers on them, just tiny yellow wristbands, and our times were not recorded. This is apparently what I get for entering a race described as "noncompetitive." It's annoying not just for the purpose of bragging rights but also because my workplace offers a $50 incentive if I can prove I ran a 5K or walked a 10K, but since this was described as a 5K Run/Walk, the failure to record official times means that I have no proof that I was one of the ones who ran it (er, well, except for some of those hills . . .) and therefore cannot claim the $50. Apparently I'm going to have to run another race for that.
Also, I had assembled in advance a totally cute, all purple running outfit for the occasion, only to be notified the evening before the race, when I went to pick up my race-T-shirt, that we were all supposed to wear the race T-shirts they gave us on the day of the race. I was annoyed, and seriously considered disobeying, because, um . . . apparently for me running is all about the clothes? But I promptly assembled a new totally cute running outfit to color-coordinate better with the assigned shirt, and then I was satisfied.
The rest of the crowd (almost entirely women, because it was a women's health-themed race) was a sea of indistinguishable black leggings and black or blue gym shorts with these assigned blue shirts. Well, aside from a few women in tutus. They and I were the only ones wearing skirts! Which means I was the only one wearing a skirt that wasn't sort of meant as a joke or a costume . . . Apparently I'm the only only runner who takes skirts seriously. Well, that's just too bad for all the other runners: they're missing out. Anyway, I like to look like myself, and not like a clone of everybody else, and I definitely achieved that.