Race the Landing 5K #1: Southern Comfort (22:40)

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!

Images from the 2015 Race the Landing 5k series by Friends of Charlestowne Landing at Charlestowne Landing in Charleston, South Carolina.

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.

Images from the 2015 Race the Landing 5k series by Friends of Charlestowne Landing at Charlestowne Landing in Charleston, South Carolina.

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.

Images from the 2015 Race the Landing 5k series by Friends of Charlestowne Landing at Charlestowne Landing in Charleston, South Carolina.

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.

Images from the 2015 Race the Landing 5k series by Friends of Charlestowne Landing at Charlestowne Landing in Charleston, South Carolina.

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.

This entry was posted in 5Ks, Avondale/West Ashley, Race Recaps, Race the Landing, West Ashley and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Race the Landing 5K #1: Southern Comfort (22:40)

  1. Pam says:

    Congrats on a great race Amy. Running by feel at a race must be a very different experience and now I am considering it for the only 5k I plan to do this summer. I am terribly envious of your race the landing series…between the gifts, post race marathon food and AG awards, it is such a great event for runners.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Running by feel (or should I say “naked”) is different. I guess it gives you something less to worry about in a race, but then you might still worry because you don’t have the reassurance of the Garmin. You should try it, it’s really not as bad as it seems. Plus the 5K course is timed, so you know the overall time and distance for your training log even if you don’t know individual mile splits (in a 5K they don’t matter as much anyway).

  2. You know, I feel like I’ve always run races better by feel, but I can’t resist the urge to have my Garmin. I’m sorry that you felt slow – but you still managed to win your age group, so it couldn’t have been so bad!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Yeah, I was fortunate that the girl in my age group who is faster keeps placing overall, hehe :). It is hard to run without a Garmin but it’s also kinda freeing too.

  3. Hollie says:

    I always race by feel honestly. My garmin could tell me I’m going slower than normal but I never really care. Most of the time my garmin isn’t even working during big races LOL (see: NYCM and my half marathon PR). I agree completely with you though, 5ks hurt.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      I guess in that sense, yeah I do always run by feel (when it’s hot out, that’s the best way to do it instead of pushing the pace too hard on an easy day). So, I guess I should say running without the Garmin is running “naked” :).

      I’ve heard a few people talk about how Garmins stopped working in big/long races. I guess doing a few 5Ks Garmin-less is kinda nice, in case that ever happens, I won’t be too worried about it because I’ve at least raced Garmin-less before.

  4. Angela says:

    Congrats on another great race!! 🙂

  5. I was so glad the rain held off and it cooled down a bit for this race.
    Oh, and dear heavens Stella might be the cutest little girl!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      She is- All the children are so cute! I love that they have shirts and medals for them, and also 2 distances for the kids.

      Stella grows so fast. If I miss seeing her for a week or two then see her, I can tell she’s grown. It is amazing.

  6. lizlicorish says:

    Haha the “Aunt Jill” bit made me laugh – that must have been fun! I tend to have zero kick at the end of a 5K too. I’m usually holding on for dear life. This race sounds like it was a lot of fun and that southern comfort platter looks delicious!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      I didn’t have to deal with Aunt Jill’s cheers last night. I’m not sure if her people were out there or not, but looking at the results, she was about 50 seconds ahead of me at the finish anyway, hahaha. We do have a nice batch of spectators for a 5K at these races.

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