On Friday, I started 2016 out on the right (or maybe left) foot by running the Race the Landing New Year’s Day 5K.
Most of my friends and the usual Charleston running suspects ran this, and I believe everyone just does it for fun and without any time or competitive goals, but to be with each other, enjoy the delicious soups, and kick off the new year with a run.
This was my third time running the New Year’s Day race (you can check out my recaps from 2014 and 2015), but my 13th time running this course since we use it for the summer series. The race is recycling themed, so all of the shirts and awards were from previous races and donations were encouraged. If you’ve ever wondered what happened to leftover t-shirts from other Charleston races, this is where they go.
Due to real girl responsibilities like my job, buying a car, and the holidays, I was very stressed going into this race. I run to relieve stress, not add it, so earlier in the week, I decided it would be a “race-out”. That’s my term for a race I use as a speed workout. Race the Landing would be my tempo for the week, and I ran other hard workouts the week of the race.
When I woke up to pouring rain on Friday morning, I was happy that I’d taken all the pressure off myself to run a certain time. The Race the Landing course is beautiful, but very curvy and not fast. With two upcoming races this month (Charleston Half Marathon and Charlie Post Classic 5K), it was not the time to shoot for a PR.
At the race, I picked up my number and a long-sleeved t-shirt from the iRecycle race in Spartanburg, SC. My friend Cherry donated that shirt, as well as a lot of other shirts and awards. Cherry even donated a t-shirt from the Boston Marathon (not a race participant shirt, but a Boston shirt bought at the expo that she just had). She also took pictures of everyone who received the awards she donated.
I ran a 2 mile warmup on the race course. The course has a lot of cracks and little dips, so we had some puddles. I was grateful I brought older shoes to warm up in so my racing shoes didn’t get soaked.
The new 10K started at exactly 8:30, with the 5K starting a few minutes after. I had to weave around some 10Kers in the first mile (7:04), but that was a good chance to cheer for them and they cheered back. Both courses were clearly marked with helpful volunteers at each turn. Admittedly, I went out too fast in the race, but it’s hard not to do that since the first mile is a slight downhill and the only non-curvy mile of the course. I flew through Mile 2 in 7:13, which is closer to what my tempo runs should be.
As always, Mile 3 got me. By this time, I’m just ready for the race to be over, but especially on this course. You see and hear the finish line long before you cross it, and I was dodging puddles. I didn’t pay attention to my watch, but this mile was a 7:34. Ouch- that’s almost half marathon pace!
I was just ready to finish and dry off, and I cruised through the finish in 22:22. I collected my medal, ran a 2 mile cooldown with Melissa, then headed inside to eat soup and cornbread before awards.
I ate soup with the Wednesday night track crew, and I think all of us placed along with some new PRs.
Race the Landing goes five runners deep for age groups awards, so most people place. Everyone got their choice of a vintage donated award or an award from a previous Race the Landing summer series race. Race the Landing awards are pretty fun, and this is a good chance to earn a sword or gator if you missed those races or didn’t place in them.
Melissa placed 2nd overall female and got a pretty epic poster.
For my award, I chose a medal from the 2005 Burn the Bridges Run. This was the last run held on the old Cooper River Bridges before they were demolished.
Growing up, I remember how scary it was riding in a car over the old Cooper River Bridges. I love running the current bridge, and this medal will be perfect for next year’s Christmas tree.
This wasn’t my best race- in fact, it was my worst finish time in awhile, but I had a lot of fun. Running with friends is the best way to ring in a new year, and just being there was a great stress reliever after my car problems.
I hope I can ring in 2017 with this race too!
Race Name: Race the Landing New Year’s 5K
Location: Charleston, SC (Charles Towne Landing State Park, West Ashley)
Date and Time: January 1, 2016, 8:30 AM
Entry fee: $25-40
Course: Flat road, one wooden bridge, curvy course, shade.
Swag: Finisher’s medal and your choice of a donated vintage t-shirt (runners donated shirts) or a shirt from a previous local race (many local races were represented).
Post-race Food: Array of homemade soups and chilis, including vegetarian and vegan options. Cornbread, water, lemonade.
Weather: 64 degrees, 100% humidity, cloudy, dreary, and raining.