On Saturday, I journeyed up to Moncks Corner for the Run for Change 5K.
Moncks Corner is a small town, and although it is only around 45 minutes away from Charleston, it has a different feel than the suburbs. I grew up visiting Charleston and have driven through Moncks Corner, but it’s been a long time and the area has a lot more subdivisions now. I guess the 50 people who move to this area per day have to live somewhere.
I left West Ashley early Saturday morning to drive to Moncks Corner, but it was a smooth, easy, drive with no traffic at that time. With a new car, little road trips to races are fun. I didn’t know what the race would be like or who I’d see, but I was up for the surprise.
I got to the race, picked up my number and shirt, and warmed up on the streets of Downtown Moncks Corner. Like most small towns, some of the buildings were closed-up shops but others were renovated, including a few cafes and diners. The area reminded me of where I grew up.
After my warmup, I went back to the finish to catch a shuttle to the start. The Run for Change 5K is a point-to-point course, so everyone parked at the finish and took a shuttle to the start. The race started at the ministry’s headquarters, which is pretty secluded but only about 1.5 miles from the start.
I didn’t know very many people at the race, but I caught up with Chris from Without Limits, who was there to run with one of the kids he coaches, Cortez. It was great seeing a few familiar faces, chatting with them at the start, and encouraging each other.
After a prayer and the National Anthem, the race began. Early on, I found myself running with another female side by side. We were basically fueling off of each other’s energy and she was running pretty strong. I wanted to stay as close to her as possible. I ended up running the first mile in 6:33– way too fast for my current abilities, but I didn’t want her to get much of a lead. I passed her just after the mile marker and didn’t look back.
The race took us around Santee Cooper and a few ponds, so it was a pretty course even if there wasn’t a ton to see. My Mile 2 split was 6:46, and while I was slowing down, I didn’t see the second place female anywhere close. I ran near Chris and Cortez for much of the second half of the race.
Mile 3 was weird. I was running near the stretch to the finish when my “finish line song” came on my iPod (it was Peanut Butter Jelly, the lunge track from BodyPump 94). I was pumped and hoped to finish my race before that song finished, when suddenly, my iPod died completely.
When I was a beginner runner, I started racing with music after hearing other runners’ conversations when I was running my hardest, and I felt really discouraged. With the music, I could block out conversations and things like keys jingling or runners who played music through their phones and without headphones (yes, this happens). The music also helps me concentrate when I’m in no-mans-land in a race- which is often the case in smaller races or longer distances.
My iPod dying through me off mentally, and being confused, I took a wrong turn. I have no clue how I missed that I shouldn’t turn where I did, but I quickly realized it and got back on track (literally) toward the finish. It added some distance to my race (I got 3.16, so not too much), and my Mile 3 split was 7:09.
I powered through the finish in 21:32 and heard the timing company say I was the first overall female. I got water, congratulated Chris and Cortez, the congratulated the second place female when she finished. She is only 14 years old and has a bright future in running.
For winning first overall female, I received a very nice trophy and a jar of change ($20 in quarters), since it was the “Run for Change”. It was a fun and unique prize, and while I’ll probably take the winnings to CoinStar (Hello, Amazon Gift Card!), I’ll keep the jar to collect my spare change.
Run for Change 5K wasn’t my best race as far as strategy and pacing go, but it was a well organized event and I had lots of fun. Race proceeds benefit the Changed Lives Ministry, which helps people experiencing mental health issues and is a great cause.
I grew up in a small town with few opportunities for recreation, so I like supporting small town races and events. If the smaller races don’t get support, the organizers will stop hosting them. A lot of local kids ran, and I hope this race stays around for them. I would definitely support it and run again.
Race Name: Run for Change 5K
Location: Moncks Corner, SC
Date and Time: May 14, 2016, 8 AM.
Course: Flat road, although not quite as flat as West Ashley. Closed point-to-point course. Two lanes of the road were blocked for us, and each time runners crossed Hwy 52 (twice), the traffic was very well-directed. USATF Certified.
Post-race Food: Bananas, pretzels, water. Very simple.
Weather: 62 degrees, 82% humidity. Warm, but not yet unbearable!