On Thursday, I ran the fifth and final 5K in the Race the Landing summer series in Charleston.
The Race the Landing 5K series has been one of the highlights of my summer, and it’s one of my favorite running events in town. By registering for the series and using a discount code, I got five 5K races (including the best post-race food and beer in town) as well as a series tech shirt for under $100.
But wait- the perks didn’t stop there. Runners receive little gifts at each race, such as workout towels, tervis tumblers, sunglasses holders, and socks. This year, each race also had a finisher’s medal with a different animal on it. I proudly run for the bling and can’t wait to add the medals to my Christmas tree this winter.
A lot of runners avoid racing during the summer. Not me. I’ve been on #Team5K this summer and focused on running 5Ks as tempo runs to stay in shape for the Fall. Fortunately, I stayed injury-free and had no scheduling conflicts, so I ran all five 5Ks in the series this year, which was my goal.
I didn’t improve each race or set any PRs, but I know completing this series will make me a stronger runner this Fall.
Thursday night, I got to Charles Towne Landing a little early to pick up my number and gift, then started my warm up. A lot more runners registered for this one, so we were advised to get there early. I believe it was the biggest Race the Landing ever, with over 350 people completing the 5K, and more kids than usual in the kids run. Charleston doesn’t have many races in July, so anyone who wants to run a race each month didn’t have many to choose from. Plus some runners who hadn’t made it to a Race the Landing wanted to run at least one.
For a warmup, I decided to run through the park instead of the subdivisions nearby. For 5Ks, I usually run a 2 mile warmup and 2 mile cooldown to hit 7 miles (my usual weekday mileage is 5-7). Well, I took a wrong turn and got lost in the park.
I feel like an idiot getting lost because I run at Charles Towne Landing all the time and know the the cracks in the sidewalk and the roots on the 5K course. I saw some fun wildlife and a few statues I’d never noticed before, but I was glad to get back to the start (plenty of time to spare, no worries).
My warmup was 3.2 miles. Longer than the race distance. Oops.
In the race, I tried to pace around people I knew from the series. The bigger crowd slowed me down a little and thankfully, my mile splits were a little closer in this race than the others (I always go out too fast!). I passed one lady and one lady passed me. A few of my track buddies “raced” this one for time and took off pretty early. Despite the heat, the race had some pretty fast finish times.
After running the first half of the race well and surviving the twists and turns of the second path, I crossed the finish in 22:55, collected my medal and freeze pop, and headed off for a cooldown with John from the Wednesday track workouts. We ran a mile to cool down, cheered for the other runners and walkers, and conveniently ran by the photographer to get a picture where we didn’t look like racing death.
Brian is the best race photographer in Charleston- another great plus to this series because you know you’ll get a great picture.
At the after party, everyone hung out and took lots of pictures, and I had some delicious food (macaroni and cheese!) as well as a watermelon beer. I’m not much of a beer drinker, but after running in the heat, this one was kind of refreshing. There were four types of craft beer as well as cans and bottles of store-bought stuff. They called out the awards, and I placed third in my age group to win a wooden gator.
I also got a beach towel for placing in my age group in the series. Melissa placed in her age group, along with Larry, Michelle, Deanna, and a lot of other running friends.
It’s been really fun sharing the race series with so many great people and seeing the races grow as more people find out about it- especially people from out of town who vacation here and decide to run this 5K when they’re in town.
If you live in Charleston or ever visit during the summer, come on out to Race the Landing!
Race Name: Race the Landing 5K
Location: Charleston, SC (Charles Towne Landing State Park, West Ashley)
Date and Time: July 9, 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, several discount codes floating around online.
Swag: Tech shirt (blue tank) for series participants, finisher’s medal for all runners, workout towels.
Post-race Food: Hamburgers, hot dogs, macaroni and cheese, rice cole slaw, fruit, mini muffins. Each person receives one beer ticket; you can purchase more or obtain them from non-drinkers. The finish line has freeze pops.
Weather: Sunny, 84 degrees, 79% humidity
Professional photographs in this post were taken by 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.