Winter Solstice 5K Review (23:34)

Hey everyone! I’ve taken a little break from blogging due to the holidays and being busy with work, but I’m back today with a race review.

The final Charleston-area 5K race of the year, the Winter Solstice 5K billed itself as your last chance to PR in 2013. Now, my current 5K PR was in February at the Ashley Ridge Fox Trot 5K. I’ve since run a half marathon, full marathon, and kicked up my training to 35-40 miles per week consistently. In October, I ran a 21:51 at the Pajama Run 5K, but that was really a 3-miler, so I was hoping for a PR to end 2013 racing.


We don’t always get what we hope or train for.

Knowing you’re capable of better racing based on your training is frustrating. It’s almost like the money’s in the bank, but the ATM is closed. The training is there, but the race where the training pays off is nowhere to be found.

I’ve had a few good races this Fall- the Pajama Run 5K (err, 3 mile) and the Thunder Road 5K, where I was so close to breaking 23 minutes. I went into the Winter Solstice 5K hoping to PR or finish in 22:xx, and it didn’t happen.

While I’m trying to improve my ferritin levels, my thoughts lean that I’m overreaching in workouts or not recovering correctly. I’ve battled anemia and my last blood test revealed a ferritin of 13. Trying not to blame the heat, ferritin, or the post-marathon weight (kudos to female runners with enough confidence to truly disregard the scale- I’m not one), I was pretty bummed.



Anyway, back to the race. The Winter Solstice 5K was 3 laps around Hampton Park with a detour at the finish to run the full 3.1. I didn’t wear a watch, since I could see the clock each lap around- and tend to overthink pace when I do wear my watch- but I pretty much died that last lap. My splits for the first two laps were (barely) on track.

My heart sunk seeing 23 on the clock at the end, and I had zero kick. Minus the 3.1 miles on the pain train, I had fun at the race, hanging out with friends before the holidays, enjoying the refreshments, and taking pictures.

John and I- most loyal race volunteer ever.


Rachael and I. She rocked a 50K last weekend. I’m sure she was thankful today’s race was only 1/10th of last Saturday’s run.


This was the first professionally-timed event from OnShore Racing, a new race company here in Charleston, SC. I like taking a chance on inaugural races and supporting locals, and while sometimes that doesn’t work out so well, this race was worth it. OnShore Racing has lots of other 5K and 10K races planned, in addition to the May Day Marathon and a series on Daniel Island this summer (here’s the complete schedule).

Virginia is my close friend and one of the brains behind OnShore Racing.


You couldn’t beat the price- $11 got you a race, koozie (no t-shirts), and post-race beer and refreshments. Charleston-area 5K prices can get out of hand, especially for families. Very few races offer no-shirt options or reduced prices for families or kids. Timing and permit costs are associated with races, but I’ve seen some local 5Ks that were close to $50.

I don’t think many people missed the shirt, and the low prices, warm temperatures, and lack of other races brought people out.

The race had one water stop near the start/finish, which worked great for a 3 lap course because you could get water twice (assuming you would not get water .2 miles into a race) and tons of great refreshments at the end, like bagels, beer, bloody mary, hot chocolate, breakfast casserole, fruit salad, and the best ever… Costco cookies!


I’m biased toward the mint/fudge striped cookies, but they were far from the best thing about the finish. The race had a bubble machine making it “snow” at the homemade finish line. Yep- SNOW… on a day when the high temperature in Charleston got close to 80 degrees. Thanks to Chandler at CBM photography for the awesome snow finish photo.


Despite not meeting my goal, I squeezed in 3rd in my age group to win a coveted pint glass. I only run against myself and my previous times, not so much others, but lots of fast competition came out today.

Despite my running performance, I had fun at the race and would recommend OnShore’s future races, especially if you like low-frills races on the cheap. It was a great last hurrah before Christmas. Hopefully I’ll figure out what’s “off” in my training and racing and kick off 2014 running with better race performances- but until then, I’m thankful I could enjoy a Saturday morning race with a great group of people.


This entry was posted in 5Ks, Anemia, Downtown, OnShore Racing, Race Recaps and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Winter Solstice 5K Review (23:34)

  1. Looks like fun! Congrats on the 3rd place!

  2. Laura @ Mommy Run Fast says:

    Great time, even if you didn’t meet your goal! You’re right, they don’t always go as planned. And $11 is a steal!

  3. Great report! Yesterday was super warm so no worries on the PR, now you got a goal for 2014! I got 22 in around 3:48, that sun started zapping us!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Yeah, I am doing that Jan. 1 race here in West Ashley, Race the Landing. So hopefully the weather will be cooler that day *crosses fingers*, maybe I will at least come closer. I was 40 seconds off where I needed to be and shaving 40 seconds is no joke.

  4. Reblogged this on DoomBuggy Runner and commented:
    Here is a recap of the Charleston Winter Solstice 5k from my friend Amy.

  5. harveylisam says:

    Ah well, you’ll get your PR in 2014! Maybe it’s a good time to mix up your training a bit and see if you can something that works great. 🙂 Congrats on a great race, regardless!

  6. Amy says:

    I have had iron/ferritin issues all fall and it is not fun. It really does take a toll on your running. Be sure to give yourself the rest your body needs. It is not fun, but necessary sometimes 🙂

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Thanks girly. Yeah, apparently 13 is in the normal range, but it’s between 8 and like 200. 13’s a little too close to 8 for me. I’m taking iron supplements 2x a day to bring it up… I do feel a little better in my speed workouts than I did, at least!

  7. chasingthekenyans says:

    The snow at the finish is too cool! Congrats on a great racing year in 2013 – that 22:xx is coming soon in ’14, I know it! Congrats also on the award. I agree – wish there were more races that let you opt out of the t-shirt!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Hey lady :). Sorry to spoil it for ya, but the 22:xx came on January 1!

      This race didn’t have shirts and I don’t think anyone really cared. I like race shirts if they are fun, unique, or tech shirts. I don’t like white cotton t-shirts with nothing but logos :). Those aren’t even good for the sponsors, as they just end up as most people’s car wash rags anyhow!

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