The Race the Landing 5K Series is one of the highlights of my summer each year. Race the Landing 5Ks are some of the only running/walking events in West Ashley, and I’ve been running them since 2013.
Race the Landing caters to runners of all abilities. The races offer finisher’s medals for everyone, along with age groups that are five years and five places deep- so many who don’t normally place in their age groups can place here. If you’re more competitive, you can win series awards for your age group.
I haven’t run any races in a few weeks, so I was excited to get back out there with familiar faces and a familiar course. I’ve run so many 5Ks at Charles Towne Landing, I should have the roots and cracks in the road memorized by now. The course is beautiful but not easy. It’s flat, as this is Charleston, but with lots of turns and curves in the last mile, I question if the Mile #2 water station was actually the post-race beer.
I got to the race a bit early and went off on a 2 mile warmup. I like to warm up in the neighborhoods near the course. It was chilly out for May, and it drizzled rain on my warm up, which made me a bit colder. The weather was by far the best we’ve experienced for Race the Landing- and times reflected that.
Knowing I had the Run for Brighter Days 10K on Saturday, I originally planned to tempo this 5K, but the nice temperatures, that race plan went out of the window faster than the kids who sprint at the start. Besides, I had Friday off work to recover.
We got started on the winding course and the slightly downhill Mile 1 (6:45). I settled in at a comfortable pace around other runners I knew (Michelle & Larry the Legend). About 1/2 mile in, another female I didn’t recognize surged ahead, but the three of us passed her on the curve- probably all thinking maybe she went out fast. The course had some business signs to advertise and some encouraging signs so that was nice, and it is one of the most beautiful courses in Charleston anyway. I slowed down a bit, as did everyone, then hit the wooden bridge.
Right after Mile 2 (6:55), the lady who surged out earlier passed Michelle, Larry, and I. She took off and there was no catching her. She won the race for the ladies, and I talked to her after and found out she was a college soccer player hoping to join a professional team after graduation in a few weeks. I hope she makes the team.
In the last mile (7:15), I focused and dug deep. I wanted to kick the series off with a good time, and I crossed the finish in 21:27.
In typical Race the Landing style, the awards ceremony had catered dinner and post-race beer. I’m not usually a beer person, but I tried a Holy City Pecan Dream beer and it was pretty tasty. I think the beer helped me relax and calm down so I could sleep well- important with a Saturday race coming up. The dinner was also tasty, especially the corn on the cob and mixed vegetables. After the really hot races in June and July, I never feel like eating much, but since it was cool outside, the warm food tasted delicious.
I placed second female overall and received a squirrel figurine award and tickets to the Southeastern Beard and Mustache Competition. Everyone who placed got them, so I guess the exposition will be full of facial hair and fast runners.
The awards at Race the Landing go five places deep, so everyone at our table won an award, and we took our traditional award picture!
This was my fastest time on the Race the Landing course, which is a difficult course. I was happy to run a decent time on tired legs- gotta love cumulative fatigue. We have another race on Thursday, so hopefully that one goes well, too.
Race Name: Race the Landing 5K #1- Southern Comfort.
Location: Charleston, SC (Charles Towne Landing State Park, West Ashley).
Date and Time: May 5, 2016, 7 PM.
Course: Flat road, one wooden bridge, curvy course, shade. USATF Certified.
Swag: Finisher’s medal and tervis tumbler cup for all registrants.
Post-race Food: Pulled pork barbeque, grilled chicken, macaroni and cheese, mixed vegetables, corn on the cob, cole slaw, potato salad, rolls, water, lemonade, Holy City Brewery beer (one beer per person, additional could be purchased).
Weather: 70 degrees, 33% humidity. I didn’t realize such low humidity was possible in Charleston.