The Old Village Harbor 5K is one of my favorite 5Ks in the Charleston area and the only 5K in Mt. Pleasant’s Historical Old Village. This was my third year running this race (you can read about 2013 and 2014).
The course is flat, fast, USATF certified, and perfect for a PR. The shirts are printed with custom art from Tate Nation, a local Charleston artist whose work was chosen for next year’s Cooper River Bridge Run t-shirt. The race has Tate Nation prints for overall winners, tons of door prizes and giveaways, and sweet grass Christmas ornaments for age group awards. I always recommend this race to anyone looking for a Fall 5K.
I hadn’t planned to run the Old Village Harbor 5K. I was signed up for the Run Hard Lexington Half Marathon until knee pain struck last Saturday. As I mentioned in the Weekly Rundown, I did a test run Wednesday and realized I’d have to defer the half. I wasn’t traveling to race a hilly half marathon that might irritate my knee pain- especially since the pain started after a 12 mile run that included the bridge.
Lorcan of Lucey Mortgage Corporation offered me a complimentary entry into the Old Village 5K, and I told him it would be a game-time decision. After cross training on Thursday and taking Friday completely off, I showed up on Saturday with plans to warm up and see how the knee felt. If I decided not to race, I could volunteer or cheer because I had a lot of friends running.
I picked up my bib, warmed up, and decided to run. To avoid an embarrassing race in any of my singlets and disguise the effects of eating like you’re running 50 miles a week when you didn’t, I wore all black.
I also let an onsite chiropractor put Rock Tape on my IT band- I had nothing to lose by trying it. I’m not sure helped my knee, but it told the world I wasn’t 100% so I had a good excuse for running even slower than usual. I was pain-free during the race, so maybe it was the tape- who knows?
I headed to the packed start (this was the largest OVH5K ever and drew a fast crowd), knowing today wouldn’t be a PR or a fast race. I just hoped to run pain-free and set my Garmin not to display because that would make me more nervous. I talked to Michelle, who has KT tape on her right knee while mine’s on the left. We joked about how we wish we could swap our bad knees out every other week to race healthy.
The gun went off and I held back a bit- I think everyone went out too fast! I knew the crowd would thin out after a few turns. This is a dog-friendly race, and I was running near Tyler and his dog. I’ve been bitten by a dog and already a nervous wreck, so I was glad to eventually see them get way ahead of me at Mile 1 (6:49).
Heading into Mile 2 (7:01), I wanted to keep my effort level the same. I passed a guy named Jesse who I recognized from some Fleet Feet group runs. He told me I was a doing a great job (and he set a new PR), and I was thankful for the encouragement.
I told myself I only had about 7 more minutes to run, and I saw a LOT of friends on the out and back course, including the race sponsor and entry donor, Lorcan. I heard runners cheering and yelling Tiny Terror. It was a great boost!
I turned at the Alhambra sign and saw Chris from Without Limits Charleston at Mile 3 (7:00). Chris is super positive and cheers for everyone, and I heard him cheering for a lot of runners. I mentally set the goal to not let anyone outkick me and tried not to look at the clock.
I crossed the finish in 21:41, surviving the Old Village Harbor 5K.
Once I finished, I went out on a cooldown run with a lady who finished just after me. You meet some nice running partners if you talk to those who finish close to you. Then, I came back to the finish area to check on Brent. Brent comes to our Wednesday night track workouts and had a big PR at this race, finishing in 25:04 and dropping something like 7 minutes off his 5K since July. He’s going to ROCK the Kiawah Half in a few weeks, too.
I hung out at Alhambra Hall, and we enjoyed the prize drawings and coffee and hot chocolate. The winds were picking up, making the air chilly and perfect for a warm drink- every race should have coffee and hot chocolate at the finish.
It finally feels like Fall in Charleston!
For placing in my age group, I got one of the coveted sweet grass Christmas ornaments. Don’t let anyone tell you it’s a coaster- I had three of these hanging on my Christmas tree last year and will add this one when I put the tree up on Black Friday. Most of all, I was glad to run pain-free and spend a gorgeous Fall morning with a great group of people.
Race Name: Old Village Harbor 5K (17th Annual!)
Location: Mt. Pleasant, SC
Date and Time: November 12, 2016, 8:30 AM
Terrain: Road. Course is USATF certified, flat, fast, and perfect for a PR.
Entry fee: $25-35
Swag: Soft t-shirt featuring Tate Nation’s art. Men’s cut.
Post-race Food: Bananas, apples, bagels, granola bars, coffee, hot chocolate.
Weather: 55 degrees, 62% humidity, 7 mph N wind, sunny.