Accept Zero 5k After Action Report

You know how they say that it’s not the heat that gets you, it’s the humidity? That is not always correct. Sometimes it’s neither. It’s the WIND! Saturday, April 23rd, 2022 we found ourselves toeing the start line under a wind advisory slapped down by the National Weather Service! It was a warm but breezy morning for the Accept Zero 5k in Independence, MO.

Mental Health is a big deal. Poor mental health can lead you down roads that you never thought or wanted to go down. The Accept Zero 5k aims to shine a light on mental health and end the epidemic of suicide. A noble and worthy goal to be sure. A goal that I am happy to give my registration dollars to support!

Wind gusts were over 40mph and the starting temperature was in the mid-upper 60s. It was almost the perfect morning for a race. Darn wind.

The race itself has changed locations from the Truman Sports Complex to Waterfall Park in Independence. I’ve done this course many times. This seems to be a location growing in popularity with race directors in the area. No traffic control or police presence needed for this location. The parking is ample with everyone parking in the Bass Pro lot.

I say this not to upset any race director of this race who may read this, but it definitely appeared to be a low attendance race this year. I heard talk that registration was around 300. That is unfortunate as this is a very worthy cause. I am not going to sit here and back seat race direct, but the most glaring problem I could see was that this race fell on the same day as a very large race held in another part of town. A 5k in Independence, MO going up against a Full, Half, 10k, and 5k race in Olathe, KS is going to come out on the short end of the stick every time. I will admit that I was not happy having to decide between the two options, but I do really support the charity partner and the overall goal of this race. The competing Wizard of Oz themed race was just going to have to do without me this year.

Nothing new and different about the course this year, other than the fact that we ran it backwards. At least that made the course just a little different. All other times I had done this race, we went in a more clockwise route, this was counter.

We got to finish on a nice downhill and I always appreciate that. A strong finish can make even a bad race feel better. I came across the finish line at 36:46. Of course, I hoped for lower, but I will never be upset at anything under 38:00 these days. There have certainly been years previous when I was happy with anything under 40:00. As you bring your finishing times down, so also should your goal times fall. Always set the bar to achieve your best!

I went hard on a course I knew I could do well at. I ran pretty well despite the horrid conditions. Again, not the race's fault. They cannot control the wind.

A big thank you to the folks from the Accept Zero 5k and Comprehensive Mental Health. I enjoyed the race and the morning. I got a picture taken with KC Wolf and that is never a bad thing! I’ll see you good folks next year. They’ve already announced that they will be back and now it will be a Sunday race. I like it! Hopefully, a little less local competition will get this race back up and get some funds flowing in for a worthy cause! For me personally, this was 5k #ninety-nine. Tomorrow’s race will be the big 100!