Charles Towne Landing Recycle, Reuse, Renew 5K (22:47)

The best way to ring in 2014 isn’t watching the ball drop on TV, going to bars downtown, or shooting fireworks in the yard.

It’s with a new 5K PR- 22:47 and 3rd place female overall.


Last year, I ran the last Race the Landing 5K in the summer series, and I was hooked.

First, the Race the Landing series is held at beautiful Charles Towne Landing, which is in West Ashley. West Ashley doesn’t have many races, so I like to support the ones we do have. Second, the race entry fees gets you a fun party with food and great awards (5 deep). Third, the summer races are on Thursday nights, and nothing ever goes on on Thursday nights. Plus, it leaves Saturdays for long runs.

After my Race the Landing 5K last summer, I committed to running as many races as I could at Charles Towne Landing- so when I heard about the Recycle, Reuse, Renew 5K, I signed up immediately… in November! I never sign up for 5Ks that early.

The Recycle, Reuse, Renew 5K is a fun concept. The race bibs were recycled from previous races, the awards were unclaimed (or un-won… is that a word?) awards from other SC races, and even the race shirts were donated from races that had extra shirts. You picked out your race shirt- many were tech shirts from the Charleston Marathon or Eagle Endurance races, but there were also older cotton shirts from classic races and runs all over South Carolina.


The race director obviously has some cool contacts to get such great shirts. There were shirts from the 1980s and from before some runners were even born. I ended up with a long-sleeved shirt from 1986- I was one year old!

The awards were mostly recycled from other Charles Towne Landing series races and various SC races. The oldest awards I saw were from the early 90s. One award was a mini pig trophy from a race called the “Hog Jog”.

I guess some runners might not like the idea of recycled shirts (even if the shirts were technically brand new) and awards, but I thought it was fun. In fact, I didn’t hear any complaints about the race minus the early start time. I guess 8:30 on New Year’s Day is a little early, but over 100 people participated in the race’s first year, which is pretty good!


In terms of running, I’ve done everything wrong for the past few days.

  • My diet has been full of desserts. Even my pre-race meal consisted of Cuties clementine oranges and Chex Mix while watching the Chick-Fil-A bowl.
  • I wore a pair of brand-new shorts I got on sale at the Nike outlet to the race (you never want to wear a new clothing item on race day).
  • It’s New Year’s Day, and I didn’t get a lot of rest the night before, but we did stay in and watch football.

However, I did one thing right. I threw out *all* expectations and just ran. I didn’t overthink. I didn’t “run my mouth” trying to declare this would be a PR or speak some mantra into existence. I just ran. Fast.


I don’t do GPS watches in short races, so I tucked in behind my friend and training partner Steve. Steve ran just under 22 minutes at the Winter Solstice 5K, but we’re usually well-matched and after the first half mile, I knew I was right using him as my pacer. We also run garages together and Steve’s my friend, so it was nice to pace off someone I know and someone who’s obviously not in my age and gender group!

The course at Charles Towne Landing is beautiful. It’s not flat and circular, but it’s a giant loop with a slight downhill start and a few slight inclines on the course, plus a wooden area and a LOT of curves/turns. Knowing how to run the tangents, I didn’t let it slow me down.


Thanks to Chandler at CBM Photography for the awesome race picture!

The race wasn’t super big, so I only picked a few people off. I heard a couple people behind me but never got passed. However, I passed a LOT of people. Passing gives you a mental edge because you get a boost of confidence in your brain, but it also messes with the person you passed because they’ve just been passed.

I was pretty hyped to see that I PRed and even happier to place overall! When she heard I was running, Lisa (the race director) picked out a cute award for me. I think she may have made it by glueing the little Princess Peach car onto the award base. It’s pretty much one of the coolest awards ever, even if it says 1st place award when I won 3rd overall female!


After the race, I hung out with Virginia, Rachael, John, Virginie, Cherry, Cherry’s husband Matt, and some other runners I met at the race (Tony and Ann). It’s fun to meet people who you’ve seen on your friends’ Facebook posts and you’ve seen on awards lists and never met- that’s why I like short races and the fun after parties. You sit with strangers, chat, and make new friends.


In New Year’s/Winter spirit, the post-race food consisted of chili, soup, cornbread, hot chocolate, collard greens, and hoppin john. There were 2 vegetarian soups, a vegetarian chili, and vegetarian collards and hoppin john’s. I can’t eat most collards and hoppin john’s at restaurants since they’re cooked with meat, but Race the Landing *always* has vegetarian food choices at the after parties.


If you’re near Charleston, I highly recommend Race the Landing. I can’t wait to sign up for the summer 5K series so I can enjoy the fun and the beautiful course again- and maybe even break this PR!

This entry was posted in 5Ks, Avondale/West Ashley, Charleston, Charleston SC, Holidays, Race Recaps, Race the Landing, West Ashley and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

31 Responses to Charles Towne Landing Recycle, Reuse, Renew 5K (22:47)

  1. What a cool race and I love the idea of using old race shorts and awards. Congrats on your 3rd place finish and PR.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Thanks! I always wondered what happened to the “leftover” shirts and awards from races. I guess they give the shirts to Goodwill or something usually, but this was a fun idea to get rid of leftover stuff and win something kinda unique.

  2. Steph says:

    Woo hoo PR! Way to kick off the new year! Just goes to show (not really) that healthy eating is overrated. Haha.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Thanks Steph. I always eat a pop tart before races. I’m sure the healthy living police would be all over that, but really… it’s super easy to digest, refined carbs. All the healthy choices like oatmeal and bananas were too heavy for my stomach!

      I am trying to get back into the swing of (mostly) healthy eating because training and racing feels better when I am. But anyone who doesn’t eat dessert each day is missing out!

  3. mikemccann3 says:

    What an awesome concept with the recycled & reused bibs & shirts, I’ve never heard of that. Way to go on the PR!

  4. spectacuLAUR says:

    Love all of the vegetarian options at the end of the race! Thinking about us veggies is always a good thing 😉 CONGRATS on the PR!!!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Thanks! It’s great to see you responding again, I was wondering where you’d been lately and thinking of you, so I hope all is well and you had a good Christmas. All the Race the Landing races have good veggie options, the organizer definitely understands that.

  5. My best races have always come when I don’t expect them. I really like that. I actually really like that concept of a race. How cool and yes that trophy is super cute.

    Congrats on getting your 5k PR!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Thanks Hollie :). My best races tend to come when I don’t expect them either. Sometimes I take this whole running thing a bit too seriously, hopefully in 2014 I can do less of that, especially since it seemed to work on Wednesday.

  6. Congrats on starting the year off with an awesome PR.

  7. Christine says:

    Congrats on your PR and 3rd place overall! Exciting stuff! I am definitely planning on checking out the Race the Landing series, although not this summer because, well, I’ll be otherwise occupied, but definitely next year!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      This is the third summer of it. The races are great, sometimes they have things like this there that aren’t during the summer so maybe next year you can do this one. It is a beautiful course!

  8. I must say that I am in love with your little reward-trophy car thing-a-majig 😉 I’m in love with princess peach, and that has to be one of the cutest things I’ve seen ya get. So adorable. I’m glad you had fun. Sometimes… you just have to run & free your mind. Don’t think of anything but 🙂

    Have a great Friday!


    • Amy Lauren says:

      Thanks- yeah it is such a fun little Princess Peach car award :). I had a great time at this race, and I think everyone got an award, which was really cool since it was on Jan. 1. If you start your year at 8:30 AM running a 5K, you kind of deserve any award regardless of pace!

  9. Laura says:

    3rd overall female is amazing!! What a way to welcome in the New Year, huh??

  10. harveylisam says:

    Princess Peach!!!! Congrats on the PR and placing 3rd; that is so exciting!! Now I’m all pumped for race reason (which doesn’t start until April up here in Winter Land).

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Yup, your race season will start as ours ends. Around here, races kinda die down after the first weekend or so in May. Or at least it seems that way! We do have the summer series at Charles Towne Landing and there’s a new series this year that I might do, but most of our races here are Feb-April or Oct-Nov.

  11. Jan says:

    Congrats on 3rd place overall & your PR! I love the idea of recycled awards/shirts.

  12. Congrats on the new PR, nice work lady!!!

  13. Kara says:

    Way to go! That’s so awesome. Congratulations! I’ve always wanted to run a new year’s day race. Maybe that will be my 2015 goal, haha. Hanging out with friends afterward is definitely one of the best parts. Looks like 2014 is off to a GREAT start for you! (Oh, and I LOVE the idea of recycling old shirts, etc. So creative!)

  14. allieksmith says:

    The whole concept of this race is so cool to me! From the awards, to the bibs, to the race shirts. That is just amazing! I also think it’s awesome they provide some vegetarian post-race food options, too. If I lived in SC, I would definitely be into these races!

    Congrats on your new PR on the first day of 2014! Woo hoo!

  15. Happy New Year, Amy! That’s really neat about the PR and the Reduce, Recycle, Reuse 5K! Did you bring any of your former prizes, or were the prizes from people who had won the race?

    I’ve been starting to like chili thesse past couple year. Funny how I disliked it as a child, yet I want more of it as an adult. I’ve never tried vegetarian chili before, but I’m sure it’s yummy. I love my meat!

    Ahhh, your prize makes me miss playing Marior Kart on the N64, back in the year 2000. I know I gotta move on though. 😉

    • Amy Lauren says:

      2000 was a good year.

      Vegetarian chili is really good. It’s just chili without the meat… you could use some of the fake meats in it, I guess. I wouldn’t like that, though.

      The awards were donated from races that had left over ones. They were all age group awards because every race has overall winners but not all age groups. Like for example, a race might have 6 awards for the 60-70 age group (3 for males, 3 for females), but then only 3 people between those ages even show up… so 3 leftover awards.

      I actually have a ton of awards and some that I really don’t want anymore, it’s weird. I have medals from races and I don’t even remember what race they’re from. A lot of runners say they “do it for the bling” (medals) and race for a finisher’s medal, etc… most all of mine are earned/won and there are still tons of em.

  16. LilMysNinja says:

    I have to say that this is a cool race! I would love to try this out next year! That’s a great way to use up those leftovers or unplaced items. I’m going to add this to my race wish list for next year.

  17. What a cute trophy! I love recycle races like that – we have one here in August. Random bibs and shirts, and the race is roughly a (trail) 5k and you have to predict your time. No watches allowed! Closest to their guessed time wins. A 5k is a great way to start the year!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      I would love to do a prediction race! But, my times are all over the place even in a 5K, it just depends on how I feel that day. I’ve ranged from this 22:47 to a 26+ minute 5K on a trail (granted it was 2 weeks after my marathon and I was just running it for fun). I bet if I knew the course, terrain, etc, I could make a good prediction though!

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