Times spent with friends always last longer than times on the finish clock…
This weekend, my friend Belinda visited with her son to go to a wedding here in Charleston. Affectionately known to me as “Track Mama”, Belinda and I coached distance together at the Florence Track Club and got really close last season, so I was excited for her visit. After all, it’s great to see people you miss- and Florence still feels like home, even after seven weeks here in Charleston.
Running the Isle of Palms Beach 5K was her idea, and since my half training schedule only called for three miles, and I run on IOP almost every Saturday, it worked out great. I can’t really turn down an invitation to a race!
Belinda and I ran in honor of her son Taylor, who was killed in a car accident on his way to visit Charleston three years ago (you can read about him here). Every year, his family holds a race in Florence in his honor, and Belinda and her husband Greg are running a race in all 50 states in honor of him. We took this pre-race picture and got Taylor in there too.
I never actually met Taylor, but I know he was a great guy because his family radiates his sweet spirit every day. The first year I ran that race, I was super sick with anemia and didn’t know it, nor did I know his family at the time, but I believe there was a deeper purpose for me being there. Who would think his mom and I would be friends and run a race together two years later?
The race was much more organized than the Trophy Lakes Cross Country 5K I ran a few weeks ago. It was pretty big, with over 200 people in the 5K and almost 100 people running the 10K, but everything was very well organized. Lots of water stops were available as well as post-race refreshments and of course- the beach!
The race started promptly at 8 AM. I missed my TrySports group run to do the race. Fortunately, I saw one of the run group leaders, Jim, during the first mile of the race. He was finishing up his morning run and said hi when he saw me doing the race. I missed running with the group and our fun conversations this weekend, so I was glad to see him! I also wore my headband to represent the run club here, Believe Achieve, and I wore my Running to Heaven shirt to represent Taylor and Florence running.
The ‘out’ part of the course was great, but the ‘back’ was pretty tough- no way would I run faster in the second half of the course. A few people passed me, and I saw the 3 mile marker sign and thought it was the finish, so I started my “kick” a little early. I saw the time clock and pumped it out hoping for a sub-26 minute 5K, but I hit 26:00 exactly. That wind was brutal on the way back! Belinda was there cheering and getting me water as soon as I finished (she is definitely worthy of the Track Mama title). She finished in 24:26 and placed 1st in her age group- she is super speedy!
I placed 3rd out of 22 in mine (had to correct the stats on my race number), and even though awards were only for the top two in the age group- I know I did my best, and the city has some fast females! 5K awards were mailed out, but we hung around for the awards ceremony and had lots of catching up conversations.
We had a great time running together and hanging out at IOP- hopefully we can run together again sometime.
After the awards, she headed back to her hotel to get ready for the wedding she was going to that afternoon, and I went home to head to lunch with Clay. We went to Roly Poly, which is a wrap/sandwich restaurant here, and I had my favorite post-run snack, frozen yogurt!
It was tart frozen yogurt with chocolate and caramel syrups, granola, and dark chocolate chips- so delicious.
This was a really enjoyable race and it’s always great to see friends when they visit (if anyone visits Charleston and wants to run, just hit me up, I’m always up for it!). Like always, I had to write my time and quotes on my race number too.
Other posts you might enjoy: