The Race the Landing 5K Series is one of the highlights of my summer each year.
Four years ago, I ran Race the Landing #5, and I haven’t missed a race since- whether I ran or volunteered. Due to the heat, the Charleston area doesn’t have many summer races, so Race the Landing 5Ks provide a great way to stay in shape and measure progress in May, June, and July.
With summer temperatures routinely topping 100, most of us run for a fun time rather than a fast time.
The race director, Lisa, and the RTL board keep the series fair and fun, providing finisher’s medals, five year age groups that go five places deep, and a catered dinner at every race. The crew also likes to surprise runners, so this race had free face painting for kids and an ice cream truck provided by Noah Moore Runs Real Estate.
My goal for Race the Landing was to finish before the truck ran out of Cookies and Cream.
I go to the race around six to pick up my number and swag/gift. The race had a lot of gifts to choose from, from Race the Landing printed socks and visors to cowbells, and I chose a blue Tervis Tumbler style cup with the logo on it. I ran a short warmup on the course, talked to some friends, and lined up just before the 7 PM start.
In six years of the series, this was the largest Race the Landing yet with over 300 runners.
I’ve run this course so many times that I feel like I know it down to the potholes. The first mile is fast and a slight downhill, with only two turns. It’s easy to run the first mile too fast, and in typical 5K fashion, I usually do (7:12).
After the first mile, I found myself close to a few other ladies and some guys, and I was gaining ground. Just after the water stop, I passed a pack of runners and set a mental goal not to get passed. The second mile (7:20) has a few more turns and gets curvy- with some hairpin turns and a wooden plank bridge. I was running this race as a mid-week workout with a lot of miles on my legs, and my legs weren’t happy.
In the last mile (7:35), I found myself gaining on another pack of runners but couldn’t quite catch up. I kept telling myself I was only minutes, then seconds, away from the ice cream truck. On a quest for Cookies and Cream, I crossed the finish in 22:22.
I found Shawanna, who won for the ladies and broke her own course record. We ran a two mile cool down on the course to cheer for other runners, then we ran straight to the ice cream truck.
After eating ice cream, we cheered other runners in and everyone headed in for dinner and awards. There was plenty of food and beer to go around, and everyone sat around to eat, drink, and fellowship. Race the Landing is more about camaraderie rather than competition.
I placed first in my age group, and while it wasn’t a “fast” race for me, I finished smiling and surrounded by friends who are like family. Running any race takes a lot of courage and guts- and many runners won’t attempt a race if they’re not in peak shape, let alone in mid-July. Everyone who ran earned their glass medal and those who placed earned those coasters.
At the end of the night, the organizers announced the 2018 race dates: January 1, May 3, May 10, June 7, June 14, and July 12. Every race has a theme, along with finisher’s medals, a free meal, and historically hip awards. If you’ve been reading for awhile, you know Race the Landing has a special place in my heart, and I’d love to see you there in 2018!
Race Name: Race the Landing 5K #5- All American Night
Location: Charleston, SC (Charles Towne Landing State Park, West Ashley).
Date and Time: July 13, 2017, 7 PM.
Course: Flat road, one wooden bridge, curvy course, shade. USATF Certified.
Swag: Finisher’s medal and gifts for all registrants. Coasters for OA/AG.
Post-race Food: Pulled pork barbeque, chicken nuggets, hot dogs, macaroni and cheese, potato salad, corn on the cob. Beer (one ticket per person). Ice cream truck.
Weather: 86 degrees, 75% humidity, feels like 97 according to Garmin (Garmins lie…)