Barn to Bridge Fall Fest 5K Race Recap


SEPT. 24, 2022

A brand NEW race.  A downhill course.  A familiar route!! Only several miles from my home.

How could I not sign up??

The only negative was that I should have been running a long taper run (since my half marathon was in ONE week.)

It would only be a fun run since I haven’t trained for speed.

At least, I did run two 5ks in May and June, one 5k in July, one in August and one 2 weeks ago.

But anything could happen… I mean it’s my FIRST downhill 5k!!

No pressure…

Here’s some stats on my 2022 5ks (pretty consistent but far from a PR.):

PR = 27:04 – Back in 2018.

Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:

Not much preparation for a 5k… my usual 3 mile weekly runs plus a longer run on the weekend in preparation for my next half marathon.

Here is the description of the race from the website:

The race extends from the Hilton Barn area of New Scotland to the finish line across the bridge in Slingerlands. The race kicks off the Fall Fest at the Slingerlands trailhead that will feature live musical performances, food trucks and vendors, as well as fun games and activities as participants come down the home stretch. Shuttle service will be available. T-shirts and one free meal ticket for all participants. Awards for top 3 overall Male/Female. Medals for Kid’s Run participants

the “Barn”

the rail trail

the “bridge” (not really but I love this one) .25 mi. past the finish line

Slingerlands parking lot and the race finish!

The weather forecast seemed to be perfect – a little chilly, a little windy wind but sunny.

the usual… it may be fall but I’m not giving up on the tank yet! (I’ll add my DIY arm sleeves if I have to)

I ate pizza for dinner as I do for any race (even though it was only 3 miles. lol)

Race Day:

I also had my standard breakfast of oatmeal and coffee. I guess I’m a creature of habit.

But the race didn’t start until 11 am.  Quite an adjustment for my usual 6 am meal.

I was hungry again by the time I left for the race.

It was a point-to-point race. So I could have taken the easy way out and park at the start and then take a shuttle back to my car after the race.

But I decided to park in a lot 1.5 miles from the start and then after the race run 4 miles back to the start.  That way I could get my 8 miles in as my last long run before the half marathon.

wore a throw away shirt on my run to the start

Bib/shirt pick up was at the Barn (near the start.)  Since my car was more than a mile away, I had no place to store my shirt or throwaways and no place to wait and stay warm.

I got there pretty early.  But I immediately bumped into an old friend.

We used to play tennis together before I became a runner

Being an inaugural race, bib pick up was pretty unorganized.  I got my shirt and bib but those who didn’t get there as early had to wait in a very very long line.  They also allowed day of race registration even though it as supposed be capped and sold out.

Luckily my neighbor showed up and she put my shirt and throw away in her car.

Even though it was breezy and in the 50s, the sun made it feel warmer.  I was perfectly dressed with a tank and skirt.

Soon it was time to head to the start.

Since this race has never been held before, I had no idea what the course was except by the map (below).

Race Course (according the web site):

There was no elevation chart but now I have one from my Garmin:

actually a very gradual downhill  -100 ft total descent from beginning to end.

There’s not much to tell with only 3.1 miles but here’s what I remember:

Mile 1: 

This race was chip timed so it didn’t matter where I started.  And there were not going to be any age group awards.

So I stood just behind my faster friend Carolyn (though I knew she would quickly leave me in the dust.)

I’m back there somewhere

Although it was advertised as starting at the barn and going downhill from there on the rail trail, you actually had to run around the nearby neighborhood (in order to get to 3.1 miles by the parking lot).

That was not downhill and that was not fun.

It was quite breezy too. As soon as I started running, one side of my bib ripped off (see the pics below.) I was afraid that the other side would rip too and I would lose the bib.  So I spent most of the race running and holding the bib with one hand. lol.

The only positive part about circling the neighborhood was that I could run the tangents and I did!!

Oh and that this mile would not be my fastest.

Eventually you did get onto the rail trail and yes, it was oh so slightly downhill but at least there were no uphills.

And the trees on the trail blocked the wind.  You really didn’t feel it at all.

Mile 2: 

As always I was tempted to walk as soon as I saw the mile 2 sign… but I held off.  There were no water stops so I had to decide when to walk.

Maybe someday I can run 3 miles without walking but today was not that day.

I walked around mile 1.5 and I think it helped me pick up the pace during this mile.

Mile 3 – 3.1: 

Since I ran the last 1.5 miles of this course before, I do have the photos below.

By mile 3 I was losing steam big time.

I wanted to finish strong and so again I had to decide when to walk.

And so I did walk at mile 2.5 or so and longer than my previous walk.

Eventually you could hear the crowd cheering (there was also crowd support at all the crossroads pictured above).  I could see the finish line ahead and so I sprinted across it.

not me!! (the winner) 15:xx

I forgot to look at my time but I did stop my Garmin.  In fact, I didn’t check my time until I got home that evening.

At the finish line, there were bottles of water, bars, oranges, apples, bananas, etc.

Post Race Activities:

Some my friends finished before me and some after.  But everyone was happy with how they did.

I ran into a former student…

Susan and Carolyn (my competition)

There were no age group awards and it was so nice not to talk about finish times! Everyone just ran for FUN!

the top 3 male and female finishers were recognized.

This race was part of a Fall Festival put on by the county.

In a nearby park, there were information tables (they even gave out free COVID tests and many other freebies.)

There was music, games, and food trucks.

When you crossed the finish line, you got a ticket for food from one of the food trucks. There were also FREE drinks (including chocolate milk!!)

I decided on pizza… it was quite a wait (since they made it there)

and I didn’t realize that you got a whole 6 slice pie.

Well, remember I planned to run 4 miles back to my car so today would count as a long run?

Plan B:

I decided to take the shuttle back to the start and walk (carrying the pizza) to my car.

Then I had to rush home to go to my MIL’s 97th birthday dinner party!

my SIL and the men in her life…

Luckily the weather held out and I was able to get some miles done the next day.

Additional Race Reflections:

I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this race. If I am around, I will probably run it again next year.

The past few years, I’ve mostly focused on half marathons.

Truthfully, I was a little nervous about how I would do in a 5k. Especially without doing any speedwork.

I definitely credit the weather and the course for my speedy time (faster than my previous 5ks this year.)

I have a ways to go if I want to PR. I need to either train to get faster or pace myself better so I don’t die during the last mile.

However, I am happy to be healthy, to be running regularly and interacting with others.

If my race times slow down, so be it.

Positives:

  • Well organized for an inaugural race
  • Participant guide provided beforehand
  • Inexpensive ($10)
  • Well marked course with many course marshals
  • Shuttle to the start from the finish and vice versa.
  • Cute gender specific race shirts
  • Lots of familiar faces.
  • Downhill course
  • Perfect weather
  • Immediate results
  • One free meal ticket for all participants.
  • Free drinks (including chocolate milk)
  • Entertainment after.

Negatives:

  • I could run here for FREE!
  • No parking at the finish (but some nearby)
  • Late start (11 am)
  • No age group awards
  • No bib pick-up before race day (leaving a bottle neck on race day)
  • Long wait for food (needed more food trucks)
  • No photos

Would I recommend this race?

Yes!!  A good race to try for a 5K PR.

Final Stats:

I was pleasantly surprised

Splits:

Next Up:

I’m running a Half Marathon one week after this race!

Maine Marathon | Maine Half Marathon | Maine Marathon Relay

OCT. 2, 2022

Happy Running! Run a new race lately?  Do you enjoy 5ks? Please share.

 

 

 

 

 


There is a link-up organized by Zenaida and Kim (Kooky Runner).

Since today is Tuesday, I’m also linking up with these ladies and you should too.


with co-hosts Coach Debbie RunsConfessions of a Mother RunnerMile by MileRuns with Pugs, and Laura Norris Running.

 

 

 

 

 

 

16 thoughts on “Barn to Bridge Fall Fest 5K Race Recap

  1. Sounds like a good turn out for the first year! I’ve never run a downhill race so I’d be curious to see how that felt. I think it’s also good to take a break from talking about race times every once in a while and just run for fun! Great job!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations- this sounds like a really fun race, and you did great! I’m laughing at the plan to run four miles back to the car, and then being presented with a pizza. Sounds like plan B was a great idea!

    Liked by 1 person

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