New mother Krajewski first in road raceIn rarity, woman finishes first in 5K race
Belfast — Winning a road race is certainly an impressive feat, especially when one considers the wide pool of talented runners that seem to participate in the almost weekly events throughout the Midcoast.
But for 30-year-old Jenna Krajewski of China, a victory at the Belfast Harbor Festival 5-Kilometer Road Race Aug. 21 seemed to carry a bit more weight.
It was not just that Krajewski finished the race in an impressive 17 minutes and 35 seconds or that she beat the rest of the field by a full 10 seconds — including all the male runners.
The performance also was special because Krajewski finished first in the race — that featured 104 registered runners — just three months after the birth of her first child.
Krajewski gave birth to her and her husband Sam's first child, a daughter, Vera, on May 18 at their home in China. To her recollection, the 3.1-mile Belfast race was the first she has ever won outright in "probably 50 to 100" 5K road races and marathons.
"It was just great," she said of her accomplishment. "It's my first race back after having Vera and I didn't really have any expectations for the race. But it was a lot of fun."
Krajewski has taken part in many races, including in 2008 when she was the top female finisher in the Mount Desert Island Marathon with a time of 3:03.02, which set a new course record for women. She has participated in six marathons, including the Chicago Marathon and the Sugarloaf Marathon last spring.
Needless to say, Krajewski could not have anticipated crossing the finish line before anyone else Aug. 21.
"I definitely thought I'd be slower than I was before I had Vera," she said. "But things have been coming together pretty good in terms of my training. I'm just training every day now."
Krajewski typically keeps herself in tremendous physical condition, which is evident given the fact that she continued to run daily up until three days before she gave birth to her daughter. Three weeks later, she was back on the road and attempting to get back into running shape.
"When I did start running again it was just one mile or two miles," she said.
Krajewski classified herself as more of a marathon runner than anything else and that the 5k races are "pretty short for me."
She and her husband typically run together, though Sam does not compete in as many races. Aug. 21 was the second time Vera had attended one of her mother's road races, and it will likely not be the last.
"We're getting her used to it," Krajewski said.
Krajewski is a 1998 graduate of Waterville Senior High School and graduated from the University of New England in 2002.
Village NetMedia Associate Sports Director Mark Haskell can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.