7th Annual Finish for a Guinness 5K Road Race

Finish for a Guinness 5k 2015
(L-R) Amy Stone, Tara Thibaudeau, Paul Stroessner, Erin Kopecky, Shannon Cisneros, and Holly DaSilviera

The 7th Annual Finish for a Guinness 5K Road Race was held on September 6, 2015 in Warren, Rhode Island. It was a perfect day for a race. Growing up, we had an annual Labor Day cookout at Colt State Park in Bristol. We did this for many years, and I believe it only rained just one of the years. So, I just knew it was going to be a really nice day.

Quick picture of the starting line when I arrived. It would soon be packed.
Quick picture of the starting line when I arrived. It would soon be packed.

Before I went to the race, I stopped by the gym for a few minutes, and stretched out using a foam roller for my legs and back, and an ankle stretcher. Next, I went to the race. At 9:15 there was already a big crowd for the 10:00 race. I got my number – 47. Most Rhode Islanders find it a source of pride if they get a low numbered license plate number. I was excited to have a low race number! I had 432 last year.
I also got my awesome looking shirt!
I love how they hang up the shirts from the previous years’ races.

Finish for a Guinness shirts

I arrived at the starting line, and happened to see some of my friends from the gym. We were standing next to the starting pistol – the biggest starting pistol I’ve ever seen:

Finish for a Guinness starting pistol

RJ Lima sang the National Anthem, and was incredible. Right in the middle of it…BOOOOOOM!!!! We were either under attack by the British, or the cannon accidentally went off. Suck it, King George! Oh, wait. No, the cannon accidentally went off. Luckily, nobody started running. And RJ impressively sang the rest of the song just as strong as when he started. Very cool. Then the cannon officially started the race, and we were off.

I felt very comfortable, and my ankle was holding strong. Here is my favorite view of the race, which is towards the beginning. I bet that not too many races have this view.


The course actually had a couple of decent sized hills. There’s a course I’ve been practicing on, once a week, that has hills. That helped me run up the hills with no problem. There were times throughout the race when I felt like I was having trouble breathing, and other times, I was able to pick up a pretty good pace.
I have been struggling (by my standards, at least) lately, running 3.1 miles anywhere from 35-38 minutes. As recently as a few days before the race, the fastest time was no less than 35 minutes. I finished this race at 33:27! I was happy about that. Definitely heading in the right direction!

Just as last year, the post-race party was awesome! Of course, I got my free Guinness:


There was a lot of food too. I had some chowder and fish tacos, as well as some fruit. I stayed away from the donuts. I’ve been finally losing weight again, so why ruin my progress? Instead, I opted for some pizza.

There was a medal ceremony, where the top 3 finishers for each age group would get a medal, as well as the top overall male and female finishers (which happened to be a husband and wife this year). Before that, I medal was given to the oldest participant – a 90 year old woman, named Rita, who did the course with her walker. And, what is more amazing was that this was Rita’s first 5k! So, there is no excuse, people! Barring injury, anybody can do this!
Rita’s daughter, Sharon, has a blog, and wrote an article about this: My 90-year old Mom does her first 5k!


Here are some medal recipients:



It was nice hanging out with my friends after the race, and taking pictures.

Total Fitness gang at the Finish for a Guinness 5k 2015Then I got to meet all of the sisters who hosted this event. They are all extremely nice, and are a great family! It was fun seeing them trying to round themselves up so I could get a picture with them (which is at the top of this article). It was very nice talking with Tara in person. If you read my previous article, you know that this race was created in the honor of Christopher Stone, who died from ALS in 2009. I had the honor of talking with his wife, Amy, for a little while. I saw their son, Christopher. Christopher was a week from turning 2 years old when his father died. It was nice seeing him happy, and playing under the tent.

ChristopherAmy and ChristopherChristopher

Speaking of children, I do have to say that everybody was very well behaved, and happy. I never heard any kids acting up. And the adults were also well behaved. There was alcohol and loud music by the water. If this was an awesome ’80s movie, a fight would have broken out, and somebody would have ended up in the water. But, not here! It was a fun party. And another amazing thing that stood out to me was that there were two separate occasions when the DJ announced that somebody lost their iPhone, and if it is found, to please bring it to the DJ booth. In each case, in less than 5 minutes, the iPhone was found, and it was brought back to the booth. There were a lot of good, honest people in attendance.

There were 691 people registered for the race. They should be able to shoot by the 700 mark next year. Although I am doing a 5k in all 50 states, I’m going to continue the tradition of running in the Finish for a Guinness race. Mark it in your calendars – next year’s race is being held on September 4, 2016.

Christopher StoneI cannot express enough how smoothly this went, and what a great time I had along with everybody else. This was so well organized, and very well done. I’m sure Christopher Stone is proud, and was smiling down on us.



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  1. TaraThibaudeau
    September 9, 2015

    Thank you

  2. Janice
    September 11, 2015

    love the article. Best of luck in the next race.

  3. Paul Stroessner
    September 12, 2015

    Reblogged this on Return to the 80s and commented:

    If anybody wants to know about my journey of running a 5K in all 50 states, here is an article on my first race, which took place last Sunday.


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