Race the Landing 5K #1: Southern Comfort (21:27)

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.

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32 Responses to Race the Landing 5K #1: Southern Comfort (21:27)

  1. AWESOME job!!!! And omg – the awards are so awesome. I’m dying at the beard and moustache competition. That is hilarious. I hope you go! And a catered dinner?? Are you kidding me? What a great event. You get to race (plus you won cool stuff) and have a night out with friends. Love it! You are awesome!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      These events are the best! It’s really a steal because you can sign up for the whole series and save money. You get catered dinner at each one and the awards are fun.

  2. RM says:

    Squirrel! 😀

  3. Angela says:

    WELL DONE on another awesome race!!!

  4. Congratulation on your course PR and second place OA. That squirrel award is the best thing I have ever seen.

  5. ahhhhhhhhhhhh! I SO wish I could have been there! I should be able to make the rest of the RTL series though!!!
    GREAT job on the course PR, and to think you were able to bounce back and run another race less than 48 hours later. you are a machine!!!!!!!
    : )

    • Amy Lauren says:

      We missed you but glad you can make the rest of them! The crowd was a bit smaller on Thursday, but I have your Tervis cups in my car and can give to you tonight or tomorrow.

      I took it really easy on Friday, but I think the cooler temperatures helped a lot (it was cool for both of my back-to-back races). Seems like it’s easier to recover when it’s not a sauna out there. I have this same situation coming up later this summer a few times, but I’m basically just running races without any real goals besides getting in a hard workout, so it’s all good.

  6. mhetr1 says:

    You had a great kick at the end! one that I couldn’t muster up. Thanks for pushing me the whole race. It was much more fun to race along side of you than being out in open field alone. I too thought that girl had just started out too fast but clearly that wasn’t the case. I’m bummed that now we have 90 degrees to look forward to tomorrow and probably the rest of the series. We got really lucky with the weather on Thursday.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      You kept me going too, so congrats on a strong finish! I agree that it is easier to race when you have people around you to push you… all of my best times come from races like that, rather than races where I am in “No Man’s Land”.

      It will be hot for the rest of the series, and probably every other run from now until September, but at least we had one cool one! I told someone it was the best weather ever for these races, as it rained at the January race. The race this Thursday is almost sold out and will have a bigger crowd.

      • Michelle says:

        I was surprised by how small the crowd seemed last week. A lot of familiar faces I expected to see were not there. I’m glad we got one cool race out of Race The Landing. I’m not looking forward to racing in the heat but hoping it all pays off for the fall.

      • Amy Lauren says:

        It always pays off for me in the Fall. I’ve heard humidity is like altitude and has similar affects. Of course, I’ve never run at altitude to know, but I always seem to set new PRs in the Fall after a summer of running and a lot of others do too… so maybe there’s something to it.

      • Michelle says:

        I’ll be interested to see how much it pays off. Part of me just wants to go run on the dreadmill instead of dealing with this heat and humidity.

      • Amy Lauren says:

        I do that too. Nothing wrong with treadmillage!

  7. hilaryruns says:

    Nice job on a course PR– I always love those because it’s a sign of tangible progress over the years! I need to come down and race with you sometime; maybe I can find a reason for a road trip this summer!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      I agree and it’s one reason I like to do the same races sometimes (or at least a race on the same course). It’s neat to see the progress over the years. Charleston has some neat races… I need to go to the Upstate one day and run one there as well- if you have any ideas of good ones, do let me know. I’m not picky on distance as long as it’s a good race (I’d drive up for a 5K if it’s a good one but wouldn’t drive somewhere for a subpar half)

  8. So impressed on your 2d place finish! Sub-7 is a pace I can only dream of! congrats!

  9. This sounds like such a fun race series, and I can’t wait to read more! I love that they serve a meal after the race. That’s amazing and not common (at all, haha) in Pittsburgh. We also don’t have evening races! I bet that’s fun. Way to go on 2nd place with a speedy time! Also, I LOL’d about you saying you didn’t know that the humidity could go so low in Charleston!

  10. supereli23 says:

    Great job and congrats on 2nd OA! Can I just say I wish more races would serve that kind of food afterwards? Looks awesome!

  11. ariavie says:

    I used to read the blog of another Charleston runner and she did this race series. Isn’t this the one where each week is the same course? If so, that’s a really cool idea, one less variable to compare your race performances. Congrats on the run!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Several Charleston-area running bloggers run this series (this is my 3rd year running it). The course is the same for each race, but the races are not every week. Two races in May and June, then one race in July for 5 total races. It’s a tough course, but at least it’s shaded!

  12. liz says:

    Congratulations! Evening races are really hard. You ran a great time, especially for a warm night race. Your shorts are super cute, too! 🙂

  13. Pam says:

    You work so hard and it is wonderful to see you improve and getting a course PR is always fun. Those awards are so adorable, I am not going to lie, I definitely am envious. I wish I could move to Charleston when this series is held because there are probably not many 60 plus year old runners competing! 🙂

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Actually you would be surprised. Almost every old-timer runner in Charleston runs this series because they give awards all the way up to 80+ and 5 deep. We have a man in his 80s who runs them all. But if you’re ever here on a summer vacation or something, you should try to do one, you would still score an age group award because you’re pretty fast!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Also runners over 70 get to run these races for free so that attracts an older crowd

  14. Congrats! Those soccer players are really, really good at running. Particularly the shorter distances. Sounds like you executed this one really well, and you’re just going to keep getting better the more you do it. That beer sounds amazing! It’s really cool that they cater dinner.

  15. Liz says:

    70 degrees sounds perfect! Same with 33% humidity! We’ve had some really nice days lately in Atlanta with low humidity. I feel like it’s normally much hotter in May than it is this year! Good job on getting 2nd! That’s awesome that they have dinner after the race! The food looks good too!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      The weather was so beautiful that night! It’s been great in the evenings here, it cools down and is perfect for sitting outside. I know the heat and humidity are coming in a few weeks and will be here to stay, so I’m trying to enjoy it while it lasts. You are right that it seems a bit cooler so far this year.

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