A couple weeks ago, my friend Angela and I decided to make an hour-long trek to Santee to run the Hot Dam 5K.
Don’t worry- this blog is still G rated :). The race is at the Lake Marion Dam. Fortunately, the race name wasn’t misspelled on the t-shirts or anything major like that, but you know I made tons of dam jokes about the race.
Think Clark Griswold and Cousin Eddie visit the Hoover Dam in National Lampoon’s Vegas Vacation.
This race was super disorganized. The organization who operates the race timing was late- turns out they went to the other side of the dam thinking the race was there. That made the entire race start late, with the 5K starting at 10:30ish and the 10K starting after 11:00 (I don’t remember what time it started, but probably around 11:15ish). Of course, every minute counts when you’re in the South Carolina heat and humidity, so the longer the delays, the more miserable the run was when it actually started. Weather.com said it was 91 outside but felt like 116. Keep in mind we were in the shade when checking the weather.
When we were off and running, things went well for awhile, but there was only one water station (at the turnaround), and most of us said we really could’ve used at least two water stations with the heat. The course had no shade (hey, it was a dam), and all you could see was water and the road in front of you.
Nothing to look at + my ipod dying at the starting line = super boring 3 miles.
The heat definitely affected everyone’s times. I finished in 27:20, after walking intervals in the last mile. I wasn’t going to push it too hard in the heat- nobody PRs when it’s 100 out anyway. In a flat road race with cooler weather, I can run a 5K in under 25:00 fairly easily. But not this dam race.
I still did well enough to place 3rd overall for females :). I even won $25, which was the race entry fee, so I guess it’s a wash. The organizers are supposed to mail medals out (the explanation was that the medals were also on the other side of the dam, although we waited for over an hour to find that out).
I can honestly say this was the hardest race I’ve ever done. I don’t even remember the last time I’ve had to walk during a race- I even ran my entire half marathon in January. But, you gotta do what you gotta do, and sometimes your only goal is to survive have a good time. I’m glad I ran the 5K, but I’m super ready for September and October and cooler temperatures now!