Last Thursday night, my husband and I headed downtown with a friend to participate in the i5K (Innovators 5K) race.
Sponsored by the Charleston Digital Corridor, the i5K is an evening race from the Aquarium down East Bay Street to the water and back, passing the fountains and the historical homes. It’s a beautiful route and the streets are closed- it’s pretty much the only time you can run in Downtown Charleston without worrying about traffic, minus the Charleston Marathon and Half Marathon.
Most of the runners and walkers worked at tech companies in the Charleston area with big teams, shirts from their company, etc. Clay’s company didn’t have a team, and all my coworkers are in other cities, so we were unattached and felt a bit left out. Even though the race was open for everyone, we felt like the contests, after party, pre-run cheers, and pretty much everything except the run was geared toward the companies that had teams participating.
A few runners wore costumes, which was pretty interesting. One company had banana suit shirts made for their participants.
Our first hiccup with the race occurred when we picked up our packets and Clay didn’t get a shirt. Even though preregistration was required (the race sold out with 800 participants), the only shirts left were L and 4XL- Clay wears an XXL which isn’t a weird size or anything- so his packet was basically a reusable bag, a chapstick, and a pen. We did contact them after the race about the shirt, but it looks like he just won’t have a shirt, which is a real shame since we registered so early.
Of all the races I’ve done, this is the first where I’ve noticed this… but not everyone actually completed the run/walk. People stopped at the East Bay Street bars and hung out, then just walked back to the start. It’s not really fair for those who put in the effort to run or walk the entire 3.1 miles. I also heard (my friend personally saw this) that some of them were smoking outside the bars.
Not a good way to represent your business, folks. Definitely not fair to those who would’ve completed the course and were waitlisted due to it selling out.
Despite the issues, the course was still beautiful. Then again, it’s hard to beat the beauty of running in Charleston, though- I’ve become spoiled by the running scenery here.
I wasn’t sure how this race would play out, because I was *extremely* sore from doing BodyPump the day before and running on tired legs from training so hard for Race for Taylor. I really just set out to do this for fun, but even after my one mile warmup, my legs still felt like lead. Despite my low expectations, I finished in 23:53 then ran down the course for awhile to cheer for the other participants. I hope all the participants I cheered for actually ran or walked the whole distance…
Clay and I hung out with one of my friends from run club at the after party and ate the Andolini’s pizza and Clay enjoyed a post-race beer. Pretty soon the awards started, but with so many girls my age in the race (Does every 20something female in Charleston work for a tech company?), I didn’t expect anything.
However, the race director called my name and I went up to accept my award… which I *thought* was 3rd place female (20-29). The award was a certificate and a reflective light that would be mailed. With close to 100 girls in the age group, I was happy to get anything (I don’t really pay too much attention to who passes me or who I pass in a race). I barely heard my name, and I didn’t hear the placement. By the time I got up to the front, the race announcer had gone on to other winners, so when she finished, we got the certificate and hit 26 back to West Ashley.
The next day, the final results were available online, so I checked them before writing my time and placement on my bib, just to be sure (plus I wanted to know exactly how many people were in the age group). That’s when I saw that I was *1st Place Female* in 20-29 rather than third. Oops. I contacted the race directors via e-mail, and last week, my actual award came in the mail.
Along with the certificate, I got a $25 gift card to The Foot Store in Mt. Pleasant. I will say it was a pretty sweet prize.
Obviously I like this award much better . I offered to drop it by the downtown office, but the organizers didn’t need the 3rd place certificate back, so I threw it away. I guess they printed another one for that girl…
The course was beautiful and my prize for winning my age group was impressive, but with the hiccups with Clay’s shirt, lack of course monitoring, and feeling left out due to not working for a company with a huge team, I’m not sure if I’d do this race again. Running on the streets downtown when they were closed to traffic was a great experience, though, and lots of people had fun with it.
Wanna keep reading? Check out…
- Shamrockin’ Out- Shamrock Shuffle 10K Recap
- LifePoint Gift of Life 5K and Saturday Fun
- Outside my cubicle comfort zone: On Yahoo’s telecommuting changes