My first 5K was last Saturday. I had my IPod with my playlist all set up and talked with Eric and some friends before the race. That helped keep me calm. I was really worried about going out too fast and I think my concern about it balanced the pull of the pack of runners and I ended up right around the speed I had been running while training. The hardest part about this race for me: I do well running outside when I look ahead a block or more. But when you're running in the middle of a pack in a race, looking ahead that distance all you see is... more runners. So that was a difficulty. And then when I realized that was throwing me off a little, I admit it, I did start to panic. The middle part of the course turns on to a paved trail that was pretty narrow (maybe 3 people could fit across it if they were careful) and that got a little chaotic as I reached that part still in a pack and not soon after started encountering the super fast sprinter runners returning from the out-and-back. Apparently, those speedy gentlemen have not all learned the rules about staying to the right, because there was a lot of zig zagging and avoiding going on. But as we got about a mile in, the large group I was with started thinning out and then it wasn't as congested.