Race the Landing New Year’s 5K (22:05)

On Sunday, I kicked off 2017 on the right foot… or maybe my left foot… with the Race the Landing New Year’s 5K at Charles Towne Landing.

This was my fourth time running the New Year’s Day race, but I’ve run the Race the Landing 5K series for the past 3 summers. These runs are held in West Ashley, so the convenience factor is huge for me. The post-race food is good too, especially for runners like me who prefer to race a 5K then eat like we ran a marathon. Each year, the Friends of Charles Towne Landing prepare and serve homemade soups and stews for the race.

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I signed up for the 5K on Thursday before online registration closed, but when I woke up to a rainy, wet, cloudy morning on Sunday, racing a 5K was the last thing on my mind. My nutrition hasn’t been the greatest this holiday season, and no one sleeps good on NYE. Still, this race is a tradition and I wanted to see my friends, so I showed up to give it my best shot. I ran a long run less than 48 hours before the race and was capping off my first 40+ mile week post-injury, so I kept my expectations low.

I got to the race early to warm up and and look through the shirts and awards. The race is recycling themed, so all of the shirts and awards were from previous races and donations were encouraged. If you’ve wondered what happened to leftover t-shirts from other local races, this is where they go to be “recycled”.

Many of the awards this year came from a local runner and triathlete, Anne Boone, who moved away to California and donated all of her awards. I spotted race awards from recent event as well as races in the 1980s.

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At 8:30 AM, we were off. The rain held off by the start time, but the course was slick with puddles of standing water. Both the 5K and 10K events started at the same time, so the first mile of the course was a little crowded as the faster 5Kers passed the 10Kers. A few of the 10Kers cheered and I liked the encouragement and having more people on the course.

As soon as I saw my Mile 1 split (7:13), I knew my time wouldn’t be super impressive. I obviously didn’t go out too fast but this is a slow course and I wasn’t making up any time. The first mile was fairly comfortable and I passed by Larry, Steve, and some other friends volunteering and appreciated their cheers. We rounded a bunch of curves and over roots, then over the slick wooden bridge to Mile 2 (7:14). I passed one runner on the bridge and was in no man’s land except for my friend Matt who was ahead of me but I couldn’t catch.

The third mile (7:14) slows everyone down, as it includes more curves and turns, and you can see the finish line but still have to run 3/10 of a mile to complete the race. I used the turns to peak behind me for other runners, especially ladies, but saw no one. I knew Melissa, Becky, and Sarah were duking it out for the top three spots but they were almost 90 seconds ahead of me.

I tried to pick the pace up for the finish and crossed in 22:05.

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After a cool down with Melissa to run back and find her daughter Alex (who set a big PR), we headed inside for the delicious soup and cornbread, along with the awards ceremony. The broccoli and cheese soup was my favorite.

I was 4th female overall (1st AG) and picked out an award from the 2006 Cooper River Bridge Run. I chose this award because it features all three bridges. The Grace and Pearman bridges were the predecessors to the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge. My knee issues occurred after running the bridge, so I haven’t been in a rush to go back there for a run, so I hope the award gives me the courage to run it again soon.

After everyone got awards, we took pictures with the photo frame and hung out. Most of my running and racing is social, so as usual, I was one of the last people to leave.

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This race wasn’t one of my best finish times, but I still accomplished a lot. I ran even splits, and I stayed mentally “on” for the whole race. The race itself never felt hard- I never felt like I was pushing the pace or entered the “pain cave” of the 5K.

Although I had zero expectations, my heart sank a little when I saw the race clock flip to 22:XX running toward the finish. I wish I could’ve found 6 seconds somewhere, but it was my fastest New Year’s Day 5K so far, and my first and fastest 5K of 2017.

Here’s to another year of running fast, taking chances, and dreaming big!

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Race Name: Race the Landing New Year’s 5K/10K

Location: Charleston, SC (Charles Towne Landing State Park, West Ashley)

Date and Time: January 1, 2017, 8:30 AM

Entry fee: $30-50

Course: Flat road, one wooden bridge, curvy course, shade. USATF certified.

Because of the trees, paved trails, sharp turns, and cloud cover, you can’t trust your GPS here. The map on Garmin Connect frequently shows me running off course, and my splits and GPS never add up to a 5K.

Swag: Finisher’s medal and your choice of a donated vintage t-shirt (runners donated shirts) or a shirt from a previous local race (many local races were represented).

Post-race Food: Array of homemade soups and chilis, including vegetarian and vegan options. Cornbread, water, lemonade, hot chocolate, Cinnabons.

Weather: 50 degrees, 100% humidity. Cloudy and dreary.

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22 Responses to Race the Landing New Year’s 5K (22:05)

  1. That recycling theme sounds fun! I ran a similar time on Saturday at a Chi-Town Rise and Shine run. I felt good and happy so that was a win 😉

  2. What a great idea to make use of leftover shirts/bibs/etc. Sorry you missed out on a 21:XX finish by just a few seconds, but still, best race of the year!

  3. Pam says:

    Nice job on your race Amy. I love that they used recycled awards. We donated all our tennis trophies many years ago to the local Y and they were thrilled to have them for future tournaments.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      I’m glad you donated them and gave back. Plus that helps the Y and organizations that are for charities save some money, too. Lower overhead is better for everyone- they can either pass on the savings or raise more money with those tournaments.

  4. How fun that they use recycled awards! When I see all the bling that everyone is collecting, I wonder what people will eventually do with it.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      My medals go on my Christmas tree. The other awards just kind of sit on my dresser, but some go underneath the tree at Christmas. They are nice but when you race a lot, you tend to collect a ton of them and they take up a lot of space. I love the coffee mugs because I use those and of course, winning gift certificates is nice too.

  5. I can never get over how amazing all your post-race foods are! I’m not sure why but we just don’t have that kind of stuff up here. Canadian sports are anorexic compared to American. It’s frustrating. Great job on that race though!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Well, not *every* race here has food this good, but it seems like races have to have a ton of “swag” or post race parties now to get people to show up. It’s good that it makes people happy and hang out and socialize, but at the same time, I know people who won’t run a race if it doesn’t have a medal or who won’t run one without “free beer” at the end (never mind that any race with “free beer” is usually more expensive… I would prefer to not have it and just go out to a bar after, personally). But then smaller races that just can’t provide without shortchanging charities end up suffering, too.

  6. Congrats on your slowest/fastest race of the year!I think what impresses me the most is that you nailed your splits (on very tired legs, no less)!!!! Even during that last mile with all those turns and bends in the path. (I bombed my pacing miserably on that course)
    It was great running with you and being able to socialize afterwards with some of the CRC crew as well. 2017 started off on the right foot-
    and now it is onward and upward!

  7. wanderwolf says:

    A good benchmark for the new year. 🙂 sorry about the weather, but the race seems great… especially post race

  8. laurenweiner says:

    Sorry the weather was less than stellar, but it seemed like a super fun race regardless! Great job on your first race of the year!

  9. Jessie @ The Acquired Sass says:

    This is such a fun concept! I ran a NYE race this year, but I would love to find a New Years Day race too. Maybe I could even run both!? Crazy, I know. The recycling of old awards is fun too!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      I think it would be neat to run both! There was an NYE race in Columbia which is 2 hours away… so I guess someone could do both if they were willing to travel (and not party too hard on NYE).

  10. Nice work, Amy! Especially coming off of a higher milage week post-injury and just doing a long run less than 48 hours before! You should feel proud of yourself 🙂

    Love the concept of the awards and t-shirts!

  11. Elizabeth C. says:

    Congrats on placing so well and running even splits. You mentioned that the third mile is where most people slow down- but not you! Looks like your year is off to a great start: strong performance with lots of friends, food, and fun.

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