Joe Plant Memorial 5k

Joe Plant was a young St. Paul police officer who passed away unexpectedly in 2008. He was an avid runner, and his friends and family founded an annual 5k race in his honor. The race is called “Living the Dream”, and proceeds go to the Joseph E Plant Memorial Scholarship Fund at St. Cloud State University (my alma mater!) for students in the Criminal Justice program.

I learned about this event from my friend Pat, a current St. Paul police officer and former friend of Joe Plant. He and his girlfriend were planning to participate. I have very few friends who do these kinds of things, so I jumped at the opportunity to have company! On my way to the race at 8AM, I found out that Pat was just coming off a 30 hour work shift and was not going to make it to the race. Wow, I can’t blame him!

So I’m a loner, hanging out with a bunch of cops I don’t know and just soaking in the sun beforehand. It was going to be a HOT day with highs in the 90s. Good thing these races start early.

There appeared to be about 300 or so people in attendance. The horn sounded, and we took off around Lake Phalen in St. Paul. It’s nice to discover new places to run in the Twin Cities, and Lake Phalen was a great change to my typical runs around Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis. I don’t plan on driving to St. Paul regularly to run here or anything…just a nice change of pace 🙂







I started at a pretty quick (for me) pace of about 7.5mph… after the first mile I had only seen 2 other females pass me by, so I started to think maybe I had a chance of placing.  The rest of the race, only a few additional men passed me, and I paced myself with an older gentleman the last 1.5 miles. I finished confidently (despite REALLY having to pee) for a 5k PR of 25:19.

I am always so AMAZED at how fast some of these runners are. The top finishing guy ran it just over 18 minutes. It turns out I

was not the third, but the fourth overall female – there was another woman about a minute ahead of me that I hadn’t even realized was there. Dang! I think the fact that I was mistaken actually improved my time. If I had thought I had no chance at 3rd, I probably would have slowed down toward the end. The mind plays interesting tricks on us!

Although I was flying solo, I made conversation with some people, petted their dogs, and scarfed some fruit snacks and a chocolate chip cookie. Then I headed home and treated myself to an ice cold cider beer in the sun. Not a bad way to start a Saturday morning!

Have you ever done a race where you don’t know a single person there? How do you deal with heat and humidity on race day?


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