On Saturday, Clay and I ran the Coffin Island 5K, which is a part of the annual Folly Beach Sea and Sand Festival.
I registered for this race in early March, after learning that some friends (John and Rick) were taking over as race directors. The original date was March 29, which was the weekend before the bridge run and a rather slow weekend without other races or festivals. I registered hoping to run hard, then planned to run the Bohicket Island 10K on April 12 if I felt like I close to 45 in a 10K- planning for next year’s Cooper River Bridge Run and a nice test race before Race for Taylor 10K in Florence next month.
The Thursday before the race, the Town of Folly Beach decided to postpone the festival and the race due to the potential of bad weather. The race directors didn’t want to postpone, but the Folly Beach mayor and police gave them no choice since the race was a draw for people to stick around post-race for the festival. Lots of my friends registered but had to back out due to mud runs, destination races, and a few other local races.
Since I was already registered, I stuck with the Coffin Island 5K race, and Clay registered later since the initial March 29 date didn’t work for him. After all, the organizers couldn’t help the postponement, and Folly’s a much closer drive for me than the other race options.
Clay and I got to Folly Beach pretty early because Folly traffic is a beast on Saturday. It’s a two-lane road that’s being widened, so it backs up pretty badly. We beat the crowds, parked a block or two from the race start, got our shirts and bibs, and I did a little warmup. The race was all on paved roads, not beach, but it was pretty toasty out. A 9 AM start time is great for March, but not so much on an unusually hot weekend in April. Thank goodness for a slight breeze…
The race started on time and as usual for a 5k- runners always start too fast, myself included. I paced off of a little boy who I think runs for one of the schools here until we were neck and neck (then I passed). The course was basically a circle with one turn down a side street to run down the next street, and I tried to see if anyone was behind me, but didn’t see any shadows. The course was open but with very little traffic- but when a car did come, I noticed they sped up a bit after passing me, which meant there wasn’t anyone immediately on my heels.
I turned onto the side street at Mile 3 and then back onto Ashley Avenue and started to kick. It was pretty tough with the heat, and I saw the clock hit 22 minutes. My heart sank a little, but I still had a race to finish.
I finished in 22:05 and was first female overall.
The second place female crossed 3 seconds behind me- I led the whole time and had no clue she was that close (pretty sure that would’ve pushed me to under 22…). I congratulated her because she ran an excellent race with a negative split.
I caught my breath, then cheered Lisa in (she was 3rd female overall), along my friend and fellow blogger, David (DoomBuggyRunner). He finished in 23 minutes, then swept the course with his friend Luke to run a total of 6.2 miles; they are training for the Nasvhille half in a few weeks. You can read his recap here.
I started a cooldown to meet Clay on the course and cheer for the other runners. Clay had a tough time due to a car that ran him off the course and not feeling 100%. We ran and I told pointed out which houses on Folly we need to buy when he makes the big bucks as a software developer.
We rounded the corner and I told him to kick it in and finish hard and get to 40 minutes before the clock did- and he succeeded!
After the race, we enjoyed cookies, oranges, bananas, and water provided by Earth Fare Charleston and hung around for the door prizes and the best pirate competition. Major props to the guy who ran the hot 5K dressed in that costume.
All overall and age group winners got gift cards to Fleet Feet Mt. Pleasant, and I’m excited to combine this gift card ($40 for OA female) with the one from the You Can’t Run From Love 8K and save a lot of money on my next pair of shoes. Big thanks to Chris at Fleet Feet for sponsoring this race and providing such generous prizes.
We headed home to shower and freshen up then out to lunch and grocery shopping and enjoying our Saturday. Since we were getting slightly “crispy” from the sun, we didn’t stick around for the festival, but maybe next year we’ll attend. Folly Beach is a nice place and this race and seeing the beach made me super excited for our upcoming cruise vacation.
Overall, I’m really proud of my PR. It’s a 16 second PR in a 5K, and when your 5K is in the 22 minute range, 16 seconds is actually significant. Winning overall is a nice bonus, but placing at a local race is more about who shows up. You can’t control who shows up (or doesn’t show up), so I never set a goal to place, but to run the best race I can on that particular day. I can’t wait for Tuesday’s speedwork run and the Race the Landing 5K series this May.