Coffin Island 5K Recap, Overall Win and PR (22:05)

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.


Thanks to Chandler Meadows of CBM Photography for the race pictures. Be sure to check out her Facebook page.

This entry was posted in 5Ks, Folly Beach, Race Recaps, Race the Landing and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

41 Responses to Coffin Island 5K Recap, Overall Win and PR (22:05)

  1. tinyrunner85 says:

    Congratulations on the win! And well done on a new PR, great effort 😀

  2. Pingback: Coffin Island 5k Race Recap – 4/12/2014 | DoomBuggy Runner

  3. Laura says:

    Congrats! Awesome job!

  4. Chaitali says:

    Congrats on the win and the PR, that’s awesome! And I love your philosophy about setting a goal to run the best race you can.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Thanks. That’s really all we can do, just do our best in a race- whether that’s a 20 minute 5K or a 40 minute 5K. That is why it is a personal best, it’s personal :).

  5. Pam says:

    Congrats Amy, great job on winning and a nice PR too! Next time you will go sub 22! You have such a great attitude about racing. I know many runners who could take a lesson from you. i agree about who shows up makes a difference on how we place. In my marathon last month, I was the only 60 year old female and I was thrilled with my time, but also was first AND last in my AG!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Thank you! I 100% agree with you on placing and you were FIRST in your age group. Think about it like this, out of all the 60 year olds who could have went to the race and given it a shot, you were the only one who did. That is something to be admired.

  6. Adrienne says:

    Congrats to you! Excellent run! and we LOVE Folly… lets go back for just a fun run! =)

  7. spectacuLAUR says:

    Congrats on the PR and first overall female! 16 seconds is definitely HUGE considering it was super hot outside. I never understand how people run in full on costumes on hot days, either. I remember running my half marathon with someone dressed in a MASCOT costume. I’m surprised he didn’t pass out.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Thing is, it was only 88% humidity on Saturday. Not too bad. Just that it was one of the first hot days of the Spring, so most of us haven’t really acclimated to it yet.

      People in the South wear a ton of clothes when they run, I’ve noticed. I’ve seen people running the bridge in fleece vests when it’s 50~ degrees out and I’m wearing shorts and a dri-fit short sleeved shirt. I’ve never run a race in a costume, but running in a costume has to be tough anyway and then when it’s a heavy, hot costume on a humid day, that has to make it really rough!

  8. Great job on being the top female! I knew you had it in the bag! It was good seeing you at the race, and getting to finally meet Clay. Thanks for the 5k tips for this long distance runner! 🙂 Here is a link to my recap:

  9. Congrats on being first overall female and getting a significant PR. I’m sure you’ll be sub-22 by the end of the year.

  10. A 16 second PR is HUGE at your speed. That is so awesome.
    I must admit I am always hesitant for any Folly races because of the crazy traffic.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      The traffic getting onto Folly wasn’t bad, just that the course was not closed so cars trying to get off the island were driving around. When we were leaving, it was VERY backed up with people trying to get to Folly for the festival.

      For someone who’s planning to attend the festival and likes to run, it is worth doing the race for just to avoid traffic.

  11. kristenk says:

    Congrats on the PR and overall women’s win! My aunt lives on Folly Beach and I love visiting her there – what a pretty place!

  12. You’re almost to those 21s! Good job girl!

  13. ahellams says:

    Congrats on the win girl!! Thats awesome!

  14. Stephanie Kliethermes says:

    Congrats! Your racing season is off to a fast start!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Thank you! Honestly, the “season” comes to a close here in SC in about May. I have quite a few races in May, but after about mid-May, the expectations change a bit as the humidity and temperature rises. But you’re so right, I had some big improvements this winter :).

  15. harveylisam says:

    That’s a big PR for a 5K – congrats! Funny, your season “ends” as mine begins, haha.

  16. Congrats on your PR 🙂

  17. congrats on your race! 1st female and a PR, sounds like a great race! Now I guess it isn’t too bad it gotpostponed 🙂

  18. Run To Munch says:

    Congrats on the overall win!

  19. Wow! Nicely done! Impressive run on a warm day.

  20. carmyy says:

    Congrats on your PR! and willing overall womens! Those runners in costumes always impress me. I can barely run when my layers are being uncooperative let alone in a full costume!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Thank you! Yeah, I agree on the costumes, especially if it’s not something you can do a practice run in before a race. I guess I could manage anything for a 5K, but it would be majorly uncomfortable.

  21. Elizabeth says:

    WOW- that is so exciting!!! First female is awesome. You nailed it. And you didn’t even know you were in the lead. Great finish line photo too. You’re getting so fast!

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