This was by far the smallest race I have ever been in. They gave out bib numbers as people signed in and the highest number I saw was 39. It was about half runners, half walkers.
I started out of the gate a little too fast. In order to sustain running for 3 miles, I have to maintain a pace of 5mph/12 min mile. I hit the first 1/4 mile at 2:30 (6mph). I was excited to be running that fast but I knew I couldn't keep it up. I started struggling around 1 1/4 mile and I remember my husband said not to worry too much about running the whole time, I should try to enjoy it and have fun because otherwise what's the point. So, I allowed myself to take a short (maybe 1/8 mile) walking break. When I started running the second time I felt more energized and was able to run faster again. I took another short walking break at the 2-mile point to take advantage of a water stop. Turned out to be a bad idea since I felt sick as soon as the water hit my stomach. I probably didn't need to take a third walking break, but I wanted to make sure I was running across the finish line. I'm glad I had my watch so I could pace myself to finish on time. Despite taking three walking breaks, I ended up beating my old time by 2 1/2 minutes (35:41 compared to 38:15). Whoo-hoo!
I am definitely a fan of the run-walk method. I feel better during the running periods, I don't want to die at the end, and I don't get the usual aches/pains/blisters. I feel like I could go out and do another one right now. I read it is better for your body too because running and walking use different muscle groups so it gives your muscles a chance to recover. I'm glad I have 3 more 5Ks left to experiment with different running strategies. It's also kind of fun doing them solo because I don't have to worry about keeping up with the other person or slowing them down too much. My next 5K is solo, then I have one with my running partner, and then one with my husband. Then who knows!