Old Village Harbor 5K (21:20)

Consistent hard work + good coaching and training partners + positive self-talk go a long way.


On Saturday, I ran a cool local race, the Old Village Harbor 5K, which is held each November in one of Mt Pleasant’s most beautiful neighborhoods, the Old Village. It’s a relatively cheap race ($25) with cool overall and age group awards, great shirts, and a fun time. The Old Village is (supposedly) where Darius Rucker, aka Hootie of Hootie and the Blowfish, lives. I’ve run there plenty of times but never seen him, and I guess he’s too cool to be a course spectator at a neighborhood race…

The Old Village 5K is in its 15th year, and Clay and I ran it last year, dressed for a November 5K in Charleston- in shorts and sleeveless shirts. This year, a crazy cold snap occurred on Friday night… time to dig out all the cold weather running gear that you bought at that 90% off sale in May!


I wasn’t too worried about the cold temperatures, but I hated figuring out a new race outfit because I wanted to wear my 2012 Charleston Marathon shirt since it has Tate Nation’s art on it. Tate’s a Charleston-based artist who paints contemporary lowcountry scenes, and he designs the t-shirt art for both Charleston Marathon and this race.


My recent 5Ks have been on trails, connectors, or in record heat… not the best courses or conditions, and I was ready to see results from those grueling Monday night tempo runs (I think my coach was ready too). Before the race, I told some friends that this race would end my string of bad luck races, and saying that out loud helped my pre-race attitude- and my race performance. 

I got to the race early and parked 1/2 mile away at Mt. Pleasant Academy, which is the best place to park for this race and ensures you will adequately warm up and cool down. I listened to my ipod for my warmup and cooldown but decided not to race with it. All my faster running lately has been iPod-less, and I regretted leaving it behind when I spent the first half mile listening to this runner in a BenefitFocus (local company) t-shirt breathing heavy. I finally passed him, still wishing I had music.

I tried to hold back in the beginning, and compared to the crash-and-burn Avondale 5K, I did. My first mile was in the 6:40s and I was happy with the split. When I hit 2 miles, I noticed my second mile was a bit slower than the first, but knew the rest of the course was straight back to Alhambra Hall and I could reel it in.

Approaching the finish on Middle Street, I tried kicking it in but another girl passed me, and then there was the BenefitFocus breathing runner. Both the other girl (4th female) and BenefitFocus guy out-kicked me. Maybe it’s smart I’m training for a half where everyone’s exhausted in the last .1 mile…

My frustration with being passed at the end was short lived when I saw the clock- 21:20. I placed first in my age group (5th female overall) and won a woven sweetgrass Christmas ornament.

I congratulated the people who finished around me then took off for a cooldown run to stop by the car before the giveaways and awards ceremony (this race has tons of door prizes, like Tate Nation art and gift cards for local restaurants). I didn’t win any door prizes, but PRing the race made up for it. I hung out with Bill, Christine, Deanna, Lisa, Becky, Ashley and some other fun runners.



A few people mentioned that Garmins didn’t quite read 3.1 miles, but the course is certified and it was the same course as last year. A few days later, the race posted that they turned the runners around slightly early and the course was about .04 short. I wish they hadn’t publicly admitted that, and just let us be proud of our slightly faster times!

The time may not be right, but this was 45 seconds faster than my 5K PR, and my first time averaging below 7 min/mile pace in a 5K. I can run .04 in less than 45 seconds, so I still consider the race/pace a PR.


With the tempo runs, intervals, and faster long runs lately, it will hopefully be a short-lived PR.

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27 Responses to Old Village Harbor 5K (21:20)

  1. Great job and congrats on the PR and first in your age group!

  2. Pam says:

    Wow, awesome job on your race Amy. That award for first place in your AG is fantastic. I am anxiously waiting to receive my AG award in the mail from Richmond.

  3. Hollie says:

    Nice work Amy. I’m sorry it was a short course but it would still be a PR either way.

  4. Congrats on the PR. The “medals” are really cool.

  5. harveylisam says:

    Darn them for admitting their short course! But regardless, congrats on the PR!!!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Thank you! Yeah, if it was way short, it would have been different to admit it. The course is certified but I guess this is what happens when you put the cone in the wrong place or draw the chalk line a little early…

  6. Tiny runner says:

    Brilliant work!! You’ve clearly been training consistently well and it pays off. Congratulations 🙂

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Thanks! Consistency is definitely key in this sport. I think the increase in volume will help too and of course just training all these weeks post-injury. As long as I can avoid getting hurt, the rest of 2014 and 2015 should be fun!

  7. Wow speedy! Congrats!! That cold weather running pic looks like me haha

    • Amy Lauren says:

      I’ve seen tons of runners dressed like that around here lately. As long as I have my gloves I am usually fine. I am not one to wear tons of layers unless it’s very, very cold.

  8. Kara says:

    You should definitely still be proud! But I’d be mad the race organizers admitted it, too. Haha. Regardless, CONGRATS on an awesome time!! (A 6:40 mile?! So impressive.)

  9. Jennifer says:

    Ahhh too bad about their announcement, but still a nice PR. Congrats!

  10. Christine says:

    Congrats! And boohiss at their announcement, but even so, like you said it still would have been a PR. And I definitely laughed out loud about the Benefitfocus guy. I think I’ve encountered him at a few races as well. Either that, or there’s more than one guy who wears Benefitfocus t-shirts at races and huffs and puffs really loudly.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      He was really a nice guy, I congratulated him after the race, he did a great job. I guess the breathing was just his way of working hard in the race because he certainly did. Whatever gets you to the finish the fastest, I suppose.

      They have a whole team of runners at BenefitFocus who do various races; many of them did the OnShore Summer Series on Daniel Island but I’ve seen them at all the races wearing those shirts. They’re like running billboards for BenefitFocus!

      • Christine says:

        Yeah, I know…I work there. 🙂 I’ve seen the team shirts. I haven’t gotten one yet, but since I’m back in the race circuit now, I figured I probably should so I put in my order for one. Should be getting it soon. I don’t know most of the runners there, though. No one in my immediate team or any of the groups I’ve worked with participates that I know of.

      • Amy Lauren says:

        Oh okay- that’s neat that you worked there. I never knew where you worked. I think it’s fun that they are involved in the community and active. A lot of the tech companies here do the i5K and Cooper River Bridge Run and I like that BenefitFocus does tons of the local races that aren’t tech themed or huge events.

  11. Brittany says:

    Way to go!! Amazing time.

  12. I just had the same thing happen to me! I ran a 10k that turned out to be 6.08 miles long. It also would have been a PR with the final .12. But nice job, sounds like a pretty fun race!

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