This race used to be one of my favorites. Not because the director, Paul Loomis, reads my blog or that my stepson works at Global Foundaries, one of the sponsors of the race. But because of the easy parking, indoor restrooms, post race chocolate milk, generous age group awards, lots of familiar faces to run with and its flawless organization. For these reasons and more, I kept coming back.
This was my 6th time running this 5k. So you can say that I was familiar with this course. However, I haven’t run the race since 2016. And now they also added a 10k.
The course itself is not very exciting…you are running around chip plants but the loops let you see the fast runners and all those runners that are behind you twice during the race. And though there are a few uphills and downhills, it’s basically flat so no complaints.
For my first two years of running this race, I was recovering from injuries (a broken ankle and then a broken foot.) I finished in 29:53 and 29:49 and was thrilled with a sub-30 minute time. In 2014 and 2015, I was healthy and so I improved my time to 28:47 and 28:56. Finally I got a course PR in 2016 and finished in 27:30.
However, my hope for the race this year was to finish uninjured and have enough in the tank to run more miles after the race. (My next half marathon is 3 weeks away!!!)
After 5 years off, I had no PR dreams as old age has set in. lol. But if the other old ladies didn’t show up, I could maybe win an AG award.
Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:
Due to work and other stuff, I did not have time to run at all on Thursday or Friday. But at least I did a run on Monday and Wednesday.
My legs felt pretty good in spite of being only a week after running 13.1 miles. (Maybe those FOUR rest days helped.)
Packet pick-up was on Thursday and Friday at the local Fleet feet store but it wasn’t worth the long drive so I decided to arrive early and pick it up on race day.
The forecast was for cooler weather and sunshine. Perfect running weather for the second weekend in a row. Hope this is a trend.
I got there early to get parking and did get a spot in the parking lot right near the exit.
As I mentioned, it is very well-organized – signs for the race, indoor and outdoor bathrooms (Masks were required if you entered the indoor facility.)
Race day packet pick-up was between 7-8 am. You received a State Farm bag with shirt (if you paid an extra $10), running cap, & Hannaford water bottle. I opted not to buy a shirt.
PPU was normally set up inside but today it was outside due to COVID restrictions.
The 5k race started at 8:30 am (15 minutes after the 10k.)
I walked around to shake out the legs. There was food, drinks and freebies set up.
This was a welcome sight:
There were many more runners than I had expected. I bumped into many that I knew.
Finally we headed to the start line.
I left my friends and moved up. Not to the front with the speedsters but not far back either.
There were no corrals but social distancing (and masks) were encouraged.
As usual, I tried to start out slow out probably didn’t.
The course goes straight for about 1.5 miles and then loops back.
After we passed the mile 1 marker, I looked down at my Garmin and realized that it never started, I debated whether or not to run without it but in the end I started it (about 1.1 miles)
Halfway through this mile we turned right and ran uphill. Not a steep hill but they always feel hard to me.
This part of the course is nice because you get to see the faster runners and then you loop back and see the slower runners.
It was downhill for a bit until we turned.
As usual, I was petering out. Since I had no idea what my time was, I wasn’t motivated to run hard. So I walked. Then I got back my energy for a while until I neared the finish line. Ugh! I walked again.
That gave me the ability to at least to sprint through the finish line.
I was surprised to see 28:XX.
The 10k runners got a medal. The 5k runners only got one if they were under 12.
The refreshments were outside this year. I grabbed some milk and fruit and chatted while waiting for the results.
The last time I ran this race (in 2016), everyone got a small bottle of champagne and a gift card to a restaurant. For 2nd place, it was to the Recovery Room and for $50.
This year there was no awards ceremony and if you won an award, you had to pick it up at the local Fleet Feet store.
I came in 3rd in 10 year age groups.
It was getting warm but I decided to change shoes and shirt and check out the 10K course. Boy am I glad I didn’t run it. The last few miles of the 10k were uphill the whole way.
After about 4 miles, I had had enough.
I drove one exit south to the Zim Smith Bike Path and parked at Leah’s Cakery.
But instead of running on the bike path, I ran in the town. So cute. The best idea!!
Though there was a a lot of walking during those last 6 miles, I still rewarded myself with quiche and a brownie.
Additional Race Reflections:
I was pleasantly surprised with the turn out and also with my time.
I’m pretty sure I would have done better if I had started my watch. I most likely would not have walked twice during the last mile if I knew how well was doing. I’m also pretty sure that my faster finish time was weather-related.
Oh well, there will be more races. Just happy to be to out there.
- Ample parking.
- Well marked course.
- Varied park scenery.
- Virtual option available.
- Both 5k and 10 options.
- A no shirt option (at a lower cost) but you still got a cap.
- Discount provided if you ran the virtual 2020 race.
- Participant manual provided several days before the race.
- Indoor restrooms
- A real race.
- Flatish course.
- Immediate results.
- Medals (and cold brew coffee) to 10K finishers.
- Medals to 5k finishers 12 and under.
- Chocolate milk.
- Many familiar faces.
- No water stops (COVID restrictions)
- No awards ceremony (COVID restrictions)
- 10 year age groups
- No medals to 5k finishers over 12.
- Lack of speed work (my fault).
- No pace recorded for miles 1.1 (my fault)
Would I recommend this race?
Yes. Great organization. You may be able to PR for the 5k but the 10k would be a challenge.
Another 5k on Sept 25
and then a half marathon.
Happy Running! Did you run or race this past weekend? Any in-person races on your schedule yet? Please share.