I missed 5K road races.
I also forgot how much they hurt.
I’m not sure why Charleston had a race drought in April, but Race the Landing #1 was my first 5K race since Catch the Leprechaun. A few days into May, I blew my running budget and signed up for several 5Ks, including the Race the Landing 5K Series. The Race the Landing series is the highlight of summer running for me, and I even blogged on the top reasons to run them.
Thursday looked pretty dreary on the running front. It rained nonstop until around 3 PM, and a few people on Facebook questioned if the race would be cancelled. Running is not baseball, and races don’t cancel for rain, so the organizers ensured that unless it was lightening, the race would go on. In case of thunder and lightning, runners could come eat, drink, and party but no 5K.
Fortunately, the weather cleared up and it was great, in the 60s with a little breeze, but still humid- Welcome to Charleston!
I got to Charles Towne Landing a little early to pick up my number and gift. Each race provides a gift for the first 150-200 runners to pick up their packets, and we got running socks. Since it was the first race of the series, I also picked up my blue tech shirt. Then, I went for a 2 mile warmup run through the park and some West Ashley neighborhoods so I could make it back to see Stella (Virginia’s almost two-year-old) in the kid’s run. Stella had fun toddling to the finish and all the kiddos were super cute.
The adult race started at 7 PM promptly. I wasn’t feeling the best and with so many races coming up, including another 5K Saturday morning, I decided not to wear my Garmin and race by feel. Spoiler: I felt and ran slower than I would’ve liked.
I raced without music, but the course had plenty of volunteers to cheer as well as some yelling out splits. The splits are often off because the volunteers don’t know the exact second the race starts, and obviously seconds matter for splits, but at least it gives runners some idea. The volunteers were very encouraging and ringing cowbells for us.
Plenty of women were ahead of me, and a little after Mile 1, I heard a man and two kids cheering for “Aunt Jill”- so I knew another lady was right on my heels. I passed the man I was pacing off of on the bridge, and a little boy (maybe 11-12?) passed me, so I tried to pace off him. The last mile of this race is the toughest because it’s curvy and full of turns.
We approached the parking lot, and “Aunt Jill’s” cheerleaders were right there. It worked well for her, as she blew past me at the Mile 3 sign. With my non-racing amnesia, not only did I forget how badly 5Ks hurt, I also forgot that I have zero kick at the end.
I finished, got some water and collected my finisher’s medal, and headed out for a 2-mile cooldown jog. I ran down the course, thanked the volunteers, and cheered for friends, then ran a bit with Michelle, a friend from the OnShore Run Club. Michelle is pretty much a rockstar, running a 3:24 last Friday at the May Day Marathon, then winning overall female at Race the Landing.
Each race has a theme, and this night’s theme was Southern Comfort, so the food was traditional Southern cuisine. On the menu, we had fried chicken, rice, fried okra, mac and cheese, cole slaw, collard greens, and rolls. The food was pretty good, and the volunteers who served were generous with the portions.
Hooray for running a 5K and eating like it was a marathon!
Age group awards were five years, five places, and I won my age group, receiving a bear award.
I wasn’t thrilled with my time, but Race the Landing is fun and familiar. My 22:40 was far from a PR, but it was faster than all my Race the Landing times last summer, including #3 and #4, when I was injured and couldn’t race.
A healthy runner always beats an injured one, and I’m hoping to complete the whole series this year!
Name: Race the Landing 5K
Where: Charleston, SC (Charles Towne Landing State Park, West Ashley)
Date and Time: May 7, 2015, 7 PM
Terrain: Flat road, one wooden bridge, curvy course.
Entry fee: $105 for 5-race series, $30 early registration, $35 late registration.
Swag: Tech shirt (blue tank) for series participants, finisher’s medal for all runners, running socks.
Post-race Food: Fried chicken, mac and cheese, rice, collard greens, cole slaw, rolls. Beer (one per runner, extra tickets can be purchased or obtained from those who don’t drink beer).
Weather: 54 degrees, 58% humidity
Professional photographs in this post are courtesy of Brian Fancher Photography. Brian is a local runner and triathlete, as well as a fellow TrySports Mount Pleasant ambassador. Please consider Brian Fancher Photography for your sports, wedding, portrait, or commercial photography needs.