Another in-person race. Very exciting.
Of course, FOMO has started and several of my running friends were going. Plus there was BRUNCH mentioned for after.
So I signed up!
Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:
I had done this race several years ago but in recent years, the dates conflicted with other things.
Due to COVID, they kept the 4 mile distance but changed the course. It was also re-scheduled from April to June.
This is not a popular distance but I have done quite a few races at this distance (Of course, not recently due to COVID).
My PR was 37:21 at the Polar Cap Run in 2017. Most of the 4 mile times were between 37 and 41 minutes.
I had no PR aspirations. Racing for me is just about running with my friends and doing my best while staying uninjured.
The in-person version of the race was only open to a limited number of participants due to COVID restrictions. The in-person race had a staggered, socially-distanced start to the race.
This year since the race was later in the year, the weather was more summer-like but nothing like last weekend’s record high temps. The wrench was that rain was in the forecast. I was hoping it would not be a washout.
I decided to wear my usual summer outfit:
Of course, I had pizza for my race carb loading (yes I carb load for all races not matter the distance. lol)
The new course was supposedly similar to a previous 5k. My friend remarked that it was “mostly flat with a few not too bad hills.”
The race started at 9 am which was great since it would be a 30 minute drive from my house.
And finally the heat wave ended so I was not disappointed in the later start. Unfortunately I woke up to pouring rain!!! According to my weather app, it was supposed to end by rain start. Finger crossed that I did not have to run another race in the rain.
I changed from my tank to a tee and grabbed a rain jacket.
After my race breakfast of oatmeal and coffee, I left to carpool with Barbara whom I met around 7:45 am.
The race started and ended at Bozenkill Park on Gun Club Road in Altamont. We arrived around 8:05 to pick up our bibs. We parked in a big grassy (wet) parking lot and as soon as we arrived, the rain let up. Sherry arrived soon after.
We walked over to the pavilion to get our race packet
which was a cotton tee shirt, a bottle of water and a banana. This was the first race that there was no sign of anyone wearing a mask!? It didn’t bother me since I was vaccinated and we were outside. Still, it felt weird.
We returned to our car to stash our stuff and bumped in Judy. Now our group was complete . The others (Debbie,
Jan, Deirdre, Heidi & Chris) had decided to skip the race and cheer us on and then meet after for brunch.
It was perfect running temps (60s) but with the humidity and the sun peaking out, I had wished I had worn my tank.
Soon it was time to head to the start. As you can see, there was no official start line.
It was so nice to be running a shorter race because I bumped into many runners that I knew whom I had not seen in ages. I used run 5ks every weekend and you would see the same people.
It was supposed to be a staggered start. But it was more like people separated and then they just started running. I wasn’t in the front but had moved ahead of my friends because I was chatting with some other runners.
I should mention that my legs should have been very rested. There was a lot of walking this past week but barely any running since last Saturday. As you can see above, the first mile had an uphill. It wasn’t that steep and I was able to run the whole thing. I’m sure I started out too fast but that’s what I always do.
After the first mile, it was rather flat and just a little rolling. I was getting tired but tried to keep going until the water stop.
I actually wore my Garmin which I only wear for important races. But somehow, the settings changed because it showed me the time elapsed instead of my pace. Very confusing when I saw “13:xx”. I felt like I was definitely running fast and then I realized that it was NOT my pace showing.
During this mile, we entered a neighborhood. There was point where we ran in a cul-de-sac which gave me the opportunity to see and cheer my friends who were a little behind me.
Eventually I passed my running friends who were there to cheer us on. Definitely a morale booster.
Finally there was a water stop. I was so glad to have a drink and to walk for awhile.
Of course I felt guilty for walking so long that I tried to speed up and make up some ground.
After the water stop, we left the neighborhood and headed back on the road toward the start.
I was surprised and elated that I passed my cheering running friends for the second time. They reminded me that bagels were awaiting me.
Just trying to keep up the pace and finish strong. It was all a blur at this point. Short races are hard!!
I saw a runner who worked at our local Fleet Feet. She was ahead of me the whole race. But somehow I was able to pass her.
As we crossed the finish line, they pulled off the bottom of our bib so they could record the your finish time. I never looked at the clock but according to my Garmin, it was 36:38. It was very happy!
Not far behind me was Barbara.
Next came Sherry.
Then Judy raced this older guy and almost beat him.
We hung around for a while. They were giving 5-year age group awards. But since it was not chip timed, they had to figure things out manually, It was taking forever and our friends were waiting for us at the restaurant. So we left.
The best part of the day was actually after the race. We met the others for brunch. I had chocolate milk and bagel, cream cheese n lox. We chatted and laughed for hours.
I found later that we all won age group awards.
Additional Race Reflections:
- Safety restrictions in place (outdoors, no food, no award ceremony).
- Ample parking.
- Well marked course.
- Lots of familiar faces
- Interesting course
- Friendly volunteers
- 2 mile walk option.
- Medals (3 deep) for 5 year age group awards
- A real race.
- Not chip timed
- Cotton shirt
- No post-race food (due to COVID?)
Would I recommend this race?
It was well-organized. It will be even more fun when there are no COVID restrictions and it is scheduled in April when the weather is cooler.
Probably the most consistent splits I’ve ever had.
Although it doesn’t look that way above.
I felt pretty strong the whole race. I didn’t push myself as hard as I could. I also did not do any speedwork to prepare for the race. So I was pretty satisfied with how things went.
Believe it or not. It was a PR!
No races on my schedule until September.
I’m also linking up here:
Happy Running! Did you run or race this past weekend? How’s your weather? Any in-person races on your schedule yet? Please share.