Last Saturday, I jumped into the Floppin’ Flounder 5K, a race sponsored by the Charleston Running Club that benefits the Sullivan’s Island EMS and Fire Department.
Typically, the Floppin Flounder 5K marks the first hot weekend of summer, and this year was no exception. Combine the heat and humidity with the sunny course and UV rays from the ocean, and the flat and fast course is a lot tougher.
Originally, I hadn’t planned to run this 5K, but when a friend offered to transfer an entry, I took her up on the offer (Her daughter had a track meet). Two 5K races and a track workout in one week is a lot of speedy running, but the Floppin Flounder shirt was a yellow tech tank top and I needed a new tank top for summer running. I wore the tank top on my run last Tuesday morning and it was great- it fits well too.
This race is worth it for the shirt, but I questioned myself at 5:30 AM when my alarm went off. Sullivan’s Island is a drive from my house, and I had to leave earlier due to drawbridges. I got out the door, ate my blueberry pop tart on the drive over, and made it to the island early enough to run a 2-mile warmup with Tina, who I hadn’t seen since the Cooper River Bridge Run.
Once the race started, I went out too fast- typical 5K. The course is a figure 8 and offers some incredible views of homes on the island. It’s on the road, certified (my first legit 5K in a while), and would be PR-worthy if the race wasn’t in June.
I tried to stick close to some runners I knew, but a few of them are much better at pacing. After the first mile, I ended up in a pack with Lisa, Bronwen, Tina, Greg, and a couple others. You pass by the finish line in the second mile, but that’s kind of fun because when you run toward the finish, the run/walkers are on their way out and cheer for the leading runners. It was nice motivation to pick it up at the end, and I finished in 22:33.
Since I jumped into this race a few days before, it was hot, and I had a hard week of workouts, I was content with my finish time. I got water and cooled down with Bronwen and Jacci.
My only complaint about Floppin Flounder, and it was one that a lot of us had, was the lack of water stops. The course only had one water stop around Mile 1.25, which was not sufficient for a 5K in June with 450 runners and walkers. The water stop was not visible so some runners missed it because they were running on the other side of the road, and I heard they ran out of water when the walkers came around. We needed a water stop just after the Mile 2 mark.
The Floppin Flounder after party was pretty awesome. It was in an outdoor venue with plenty of seating and misting fans, and the refreshments were sufficient enough for a post-run breakfast. I hung out with Christine, who runs and blogs at Into the Glimmer, and we enjoyed the refreshments and company. Like me, she’s doing a lot of 5Ks this summer to build speed for Fall half marathon training, and it’s always fun seeing her at a race.
I had a burrito, some green juice, a piece of homemade cake, and a chocolate King of Pops popsicle. You can’t beat King of Pops after a 5K! There was no beer at the after party, but you could take your bib to a local bar for a free one.
Tons of door prizes such as gift cards for local running shops, personal training, and entries for future races were given out too. The awards started after the giveaways, and the speedsters received their cash. We age groupers received pint glasses, which are pretty cool because they have the place that we won on them (I was 2nd place in the 25-29 female age group).
However, the highlight of the awards presentation was a special award given in memory of Peyton Moore. The first 5K finisher under the age of 12 received the award, and it was a little boy named Marshall who was one of Peyton’s best friends and on the Mt. Pleasant Track Club Team. Marshall ran a 20:33, and I know it meant a lot to Noah and Jennifer to present the award to Peyton’s friend and teammate.
I enjoyed the race, and it was worth the early wake-up call and drive to Sullivan’s. I’d consider running it in the future, too, as I thought it was a pretty good deal for the swag it included and the after party. Everyone had a lot of fun.
Race Name: Floppin Flounder 5K
Location: Sullivan’s Island, SC (outside Mt. Pleasant)
Date and Time: June 6, 2015, 8 AM
Course: Road (no beach!), flat, figure-8, USATF certified.
Entry fee: $30 for general public, $25 for Charleston Running Club members (I am not a member).
Swag: Tech tank top, frisbee, coupon for free cinnabon, reusable grocery bag
Post-race Food: Burritos from Triangle Char-N-Bar, Fresh green/vegetable juice, baked goods (donuts, cake, cupcakes), King of Pops, watermelon, oranges, bananas, coconut water. One post-race beer compliments of Dunleavy’s Pub (had to take race bib to Dunleavy’s)
Weather: 73 degrees, 94% humidity