On Thursday, I ran the second 5K in the Race the Landing 5K series at Charles Towne Landing. The first Race the Landing 5K was the Thursday before, and we had gorgeous weather with low temps and low humidity. This time, we weren’t as lucky but since we had a breeze and much of the course is shaded, it wasn’t unbearable.
Evening races aren’t usually my best runs, mainly because I have to wait until the end of the day to run and watch what I eat that day. When you run in the morning, you can go on an empty stomach or a small snack, but most of us eat at least two full meals before a 7 PM race. With the heat and food intake all day, I get stomach pain on some summer evening runs. I also work on Friday mornings and cannot stay up and sleep in- so no pre-race caffeine.
My running goal for Race the Landing is to use it as a hard mid-week workout, but my *real goal is to have fun and make memories with friends because this series is excellent for that.
Race the Landing chooses not to offer prize money or be “competitive” but attracts and welcomes runners and walkers of all abilities. The awards are five places deep, everyone receives a finisher’s medal, and the kids runs give everyone in the family a chance to participate. It’s a fun event that’s close to home and a big highlight of my summer.
Like the previous week, I got to the race early and warmed up running through the neighborhoods at Charles Towne Landing. I finished up in time to see the kids run and talk to some friends while debating running with my Garmin or not. I ditched my Garmin and ipod (goodbye to all the electricals!) and we lined up to start.
The race crowd was a bit bigger this time (270ish) and no one on the course was yelling out splits, so I have no clue what they were or if they were close. I remember a man in a pink tutu running ahead of me, and I’m not sure if he lost a bet or what but it was interesting to say the least.
I settled into the pace but not knowing any of the runners around me and running Garmin-less, it was purely effort-based.
The race felt a lot harder than the previous week due to the heat and running speedwork the day before. Unfortunately, I had some stomach cramping from the heat + food earlier in the day. I ran near another man for the last 1/2 mile and he kept cheering for me and pushing me (turns out, he coaches for Porter-Gaud School). The last .25 or so of the race loops around a parking lot, so you see and hear the finish line when you’re still pretty far away. Such. a. tease.
I finished in 22:48. I was 28th overall, 6th female overall, and won my age group.
I collected my medal and ran a 2 mile cooldown on the course to cheer for the remaining runners and thank the volunteers before heading inside for dinner and awards. It was Barbados night, and I loved that we had fish on the menu because I’m a seafood girly and was glad to get some protein in after the run. If you leave Race the Landing hungry, it is your fault because they have the best post-race meal in town.
I hung out and chatted with a lot of people after the race, including my friend Andy. He also had to miss the series last summer due to pneumonia but has made quite a comeback, finished under 20 minutes, and won his age group. Neither of us ran our best times ever, but this time last year, we were not able to run. Sometimes being healthy enough to race is the biggest victory. I am the tiny terror and he is the tall terror.
The OnShore Racing Sunday Run club represented too, placing in our age groups or overall as well. The awards were raccoon trophies, and this week’s finishers medal had a raccoon on it as well.
Although my time was 8 seconds slower than the previous Thursday, I was happy with my performance. It was hotter and I ran on tired legs from speedwork. It was a great “race-out” (race run as a workout) and fun time with friends. I’m glad to have a few weeks off of Thursday night races but excited for the next three.
Race Name: Race the Landing 5K
Location: Charleston, SC (Charles Towne Landing State Park, West Ashley)
Date and Time: May 14, 2015, 7 PM
Terrain: Flat road, one wooden bridge, curvy course, shade.
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, sunglasses.
Post-race Food: Fish (mahi), chicken, rice and beans, coleslaw, pasta salad, sweet potatoes, fruit, beer (one per runner, extra tickets can be purchased or obtained from those who don’t drink beer).
Weather: 72 degrees, 78% 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.