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!