On Thursday night, I excitedly toed the start line for Race the Landing #2, Barbados Night.
Sometimes it’s nice to have a few races that you can count on to be fun- and this is one of those races. There’s food, beer, swag, medals, and great awards at every race. It was a bit warmer and more humid than Race the Landing #1. The course is shaded and we had a breeze, so the conditions weren’t terrible. A few runners even said their times were better than the first race.
A mile-by-mile recap of this race would be depressing- I know because I wrote one out, then deleted the whole thing. All runners have bad runs, and I don’t want to dwell on a bad run. My mile splits for this race were 6:40, 7:12, and 7:26. My last mile was only 3 seconds faster than Mile 13 of the Hilton Head Island Half Marathon.
I finished in 21:39 for 1st place 30-34 female and 5th female overall.
I have no excuse and try to think positively.
- Four years ago, I was super anxious about moving to Charleston. Clay was interviewing for jobs and negotiating salaries while I was coaching track, packing the house, and finding us a place to live. Now, Charleston is home and I can’t imagine living elsewhere. The only 5K I ran in May 2012 was the Armed Forces 5K, where I ran a 25:22.
- Three years ago, I ran my first Race the Landing in 23:53. I placed in my age group, but more importantly, I was excited to run a race close to my home in West Ashley.
- Two years ago, I had a sprained ankle turned stress reaction. I couldn’t run for 7 weeks and missed three races. I volunteered at two Race the Landing runs and got my first-ever blisters from opening water bottles at the finish. Runners told me I should be thankful I wasn’t on that hot course, while I half-heartedly chuckled and wished I could be sweating and slogging in the heat with them instead of on the spin bike.
- Last year at this time, I hadn’t run under 22 minutes in a certified 5K. I finished a bad race with my second-fastest time on this course.
- It’s just a race, and it’s not even an important race to me. I have a husband, family, and friends who love me, a big-girl job, and other hobbies and interests.
Since my best running times- both on and off the finish line clock- are ahead of me, I’ll put this one behind me.
The highlight of this race for me was my cooldown run. Melissa waited on me to finish, then we took off down the course to pace her daughter, Alex, and Alex’s friend, McKenna.
Both girls were excited about the run and wanted to finish under 36 minutes and PR. We ran back, found the girls when they were struggling in the last mile, and encouraged them nonstop. We tried to get their minds off the hurt of racing and to think positively when they passed other (mostly adult) runners. Alex and McKenna kicked it into gear at the end and both met their goals!
I experienced such different emotions at the finish line, from feeling defeated after my own race to celebrating Alex and McKenna’s personal records. Just running that last mile with them made me relive and miss my Florence Track Club volunteer coach days. This area lacks USATF youth programs, but I hope I can coach again someday.
Once we finished and cleaned up, we went inside to another delicious Race the Landing meal! The meals at Race the Landing are catered and do not disappoint. I sat outside to eat with Melissa and some others and we listened to the Second Honeymoon band.
Despite a rough run, I still enjoyed Race the Landing. It was a good reminder that even if I don’t have a great run, I can still celebrate with others in their victories.
Race Name: Race the Landing 5K #2- Barbados Night.
Location: Charleston, SC (Charles Towne Landing State Park, West Ashley).
Date and Time: May 12, 2016, 7 PM.
Course: Flat road, one wooden bridge, curvy course, shade. USATF Certified.
Swag: Finisher’s medal and socks, 5 year, 5 deep age group awards
Post-race Food: Pork, collard greens, beans and rice, corn and okra, sweet potatoes, rolls, beer (one per person, additional could be purchased). All side items are vegetarian.
Weather: 81 degrees, 74% humidity, 9 mph SSW wind