Exactly two weeks since the Bohicket Marina 5K, I decided to jump into a local race. Saturday was a big day for local running with a ton of events in the Charleston area, and I decided to run the Carolina Children’s Charity 5K.
The Carolina Children’s Charity 5K is on paved road and a certified course, not inaugural, and was the cheapest price. The $2 discount code the organizers gave the Charleston Girls Run This Town group was the make-or-break for me to sign up for this particular race.
On race morning, I realized quite a few things were working against me.
- Holy humidity. Ironically, it was not 100% humidity but it felt like it. Maybe the dew point was higher, but the air was especially muggy and breathing was tough. The calendar says it’s Fall, but Charleston weather says differently.
- Higher mileage. I’ve run approximately 45 miles per week for each of the last three weeks. I run 6 days a week, so it’s not like any runs are especially high mileage (does anyone else have a lot of ultra running friends and feel like they need to clarify that their weekly mileage is in fact, NOT the mileage of a single day?).
- Fatigue. Obviously my legs were tired from training, but I didn’t sleep too great the night before (I was chilly and my throat was a little sore).
I was okay with that because I was planning to run the 5K as a hard workout and socialize, so I headed to Hanahan for the race. Hanahan is a small community just outside North Charleston, and it was my first visit since a 1998 band competition. I didn’t play any sports in school and my only activity was band, so my school field trips in high school were music related.
I ran a two mile warm up around the parking lots, a nearby apartment complex, and parts of the course. Charleston in general is very flat but the 5K had a “Charleston Hill” in the last mile- meaning there was an incline greater than a speed bump. The finish line was also at a different place than the start, so runners had to run through the parking lot of the elementary school to finish. It still qualifies as an out-and-back, point-to-point course, but I suppose they had to add the extra .1 for certification somewhere.
The 5K started just after 8:30, and after everyone who went out too fast slowed down, I found myself as third female. I knew the lead lady, Kerry Robinson, from coaching cross country, and I knew I would not catch her. Kerry is 55 and ran a sub-20 5K. In fact, the top 3 runners in this race were all 55 or older, which shows how training is for life and not race-to-race. Running is a lifelong sport.
I hit the first mile in 7:03, which was right on target, and hit Mile 2 in 7:10. I didn’t like the positive split, but it was only 7 seconds off, so I was okay. I was gaining on the 2nd place lady and passed her shortly before the Hanahan hill (not to be confused with a real hill, but it felt like one to everyone’s flatlander, lowcountry legs). I felt myself slowing due to the incline and fatigue from the week before, so I just focused on holding my #2 spot. I did.
My Mile 3 split was a 7:23. I didn’t see that until the end of the race, and I was disappointed that my pacing slowed down, but I’ve had much worse splits in other races- so at least I’m improving. I stayed in second and finished in 22:21.
I congratulated the lady who finished third, not too long after me, then went on a 2.5 mile cooldown run with Kerry, where we talked about racing plans, life, work, family, and Mt. Pleasant Track Club. We ran down the course and cheered for people, especially the kids and the fireman running in full gear.
Since the race was a fundraiser for charity, the finish line had a lot going on. Along with the usual refreshments, a food truck served up breakfast burritos and sandwiches, and other vendors offered hot dogs and sno-cones. The 5K also had two jump castles for the kiddos.
For placing, I received a big basket full of goodies with the race’s logo, such as a canvas reusable bag, multiple koozies, cups, chip clips, and a mystery envelope. I knew it couldn’t possibly be money because it was a charity race and if a race has prize money, I am certainly not fast enough to win cash. In true blogger fashion, I needed a picture of my prize so I waited until I got home to open the basket and mystery envelope.
The envelope contained a $10 Subway gift card, which I’ve already used, along with various coupons. I now have coupons for a free Extra Value Meal at McDonalds, a free pizza from Uncle Maddio’s, 2 free ice cream cones from Sonic, 2 free ice cream cones from Ye Ole Fashioned, a free combo meal from Raising Cane Chicken, and a free cocktail from a bar on James Island (but only valid on Thursday night). Fast food coupons are a really unique award for a 5K and not something I’ve ever received, but I’ll use the Subway gift card and the free pizza.
All in all, this race was a good workout two weeks before the Georgetown Bridge to Bridge Half, and I’m hoping the heat and humidity go away before the race. I’m ready for Fall temperatures!
Race Name: Carolina Children’s Charity 5K
Location: Hanahan, SC
Date and Time: September 26, 2015, 8:30 AM
Terrain: Paved, road, certified. If you’re used to Charleston, the course contains a hill. If you live or run elsewhere, it’s flat. The course was closed to traffic.
Entry fee: 5K: $25 (advanced registration), $30 (week of), $23 with discount code.
Swag: Reusable bag, cotton shirt
Post-race Food: Fruit (bananas, oranges, apples), water, gatorade, animal crackers, bagels, breakfast burritos, biscuits, hot dogs, sweet tea, lemonade, sno-cones.
Weather: 75 degrees, 90% humidity, cloudy and muggy.