Greetings everyone! I hope you all are staying warm. Here in Charleston, we are getting a day or so of winter weather. That’s how it goes down South and near the coast. Every year, we have a day or two that actually feels like winter, and today, it barely got to 50 degrees. On Saturday, it will be 75. Yikes!
We didn’t really get snow here- or even frost. But it is chilly!
Fortunately, we had great weather for the Old Village Harbor 5K Saturday in Mt. Pleasant. This race is in its 14th year, which is pretty amazing for Mt. Pleasant, as many of our races in this area seem newer- with the exception of the very large 5Ks like Turkey Day Run, Charlie Post Classic, and of course, the Cooper River Bridge Run.
The Friday before, Clay and I went to TrySports Mt. Pleasant to pick up our shirts and race numbers. The shirts featured artwork from local artist, Tate Nation. Most of his paintings are Charleston/Mt. Pleasant scenes such as Shem Creek and Rainbow Row. Tate was also at the race selling prints, and we plan to purchase one for our house soon.
Here’s the artwork that was on this year’s shirt. Another big plus was that the race had plenty of shirts, including XXL. I was glad that Clay *finally* got a shirt that fits- not all runners are size XS or S, and the shirts were sized properly too (he got a XXL from one race that fits his dad, who usually wears a size Large).
On Saturday morning, we left our house about an hour before the race and got there with time to go to the bathroom and for me to do a short warmup. The 5K begins and ends at Alhambra Hall, so you have a pretty incredible view of the harbor.
You can even see the cruise ship, the Carnival Fantasy, in the background of the picture.
The course is also pretty- and anyone who attends the TrySports Run Club has an automatic advantage on the course, as it’s our usual Tuesday and Thursday morning route. Aside from a slight incline on Pitt Street, the course is flat and pretty fast- with a great view.
The race wasn’t very large and the way the course was designed, I got to see a lot of runners on the double out-and-back course. Clay gave me a high five at one point and a few beginner runners I knew were cheering me on. I always like to run back on the course and cool down when I’m done, so I can cheer them on too.
I stayed close to my TrySports Ambassador teammate Joelle who finished just ahead of me. The second place overall female was a little ahead of her, and the female winner was a good minute ahead of me (I never saw her during the race). I wasn’t fully recovered from the James Island Connector Run 10K and a hard training week, so it wasn’t my best time ever, but I still had a lot of fun! Joelle edged me for 3rd female overall, but I won the 25-29 age group, even with my 23:18.
I know I can run below 23 minutes when my legs aren’t trashed- and I also found out my iron stores/ferritin are low *again* last week at the doc. Yikes. Gotta get that up if I ever want to run fast.
After the race, I did my usual course cooldown and cheered for the runners. I ran beside Clay for a little while and “coached” him. He tried to tell me he couldn’t run any faster- and I told him that if he could talk when running, he was very capable of running faster!
Clay actually beat his time from the James Island Connector 5K by over 2 minutes, and I think this was a new PR for him (38:37). For someone who’s newer to running, he’s doing a great job and is very dedicated to his training.
The awards at this race were also super neat, and both Clay and I got them (he was 2nd in his age group). Instead of a medal, the Old Village Harbor 5K gives out sweetgrass basket Christmas ornaments. If you’ve ever visited Charleston, you’ve seen the ladies weaving sweetgrass baskets on Hwy 17 in Mt. Pleasant or in the City Market, so it’s a great locally flavored prize for a long-time local race. Every year at Christmas, we can put our ornaments on the tree and think of the race, unlike a medal that just hangs up.
The race also had tons of giveaways and door prizes- really good ones too! We were only one number away from winning a gift card to Triangle Char-N-Bar (one of our favorite Charleston restaurants)~ oh well! At least we made out with age group awards that were earned.
Post-race, we came home and showered, then went out to eat at Mex 1 to celebrate Clay’s PR with some nachos. We both enjoyed the Old Village Harbor 5K, and it was great sharing it with Clay.
As a TrySports Mt. Pleasant athlete ambassador, I received a complimentary race entry, as TrySports sponsors the race; however, all opinions expressed are my own. I am especially grateful for TrySports’ support to our local races, running community, and to my own training.