It’s been a while since I have written a race report. Almost a year! (After typing this and logging on to my blog…I did not even publish the last one I wrote!) Wow, how time goes by. This is mostly due to having to write so much for school, but I really should get back to writing these more regularly. We had our Columbia Running Club awards last week and Tracy asked for someone to write up the race, so I offered. Going to write this blog then modify a bit for the newsletter…. So here goes…
It has been so warm lately here in the south that it hasn’t felt like winter. Until the morning of the race. Fortunately, I did check the weather, so I knew not to head out there in a tank top and shorts. This race also has a fun element to it with being called Cupid’s chase. When you sign up, you have the opportunity to select an available (single) or unavailable (taken) shirt. The available shirts are white, and the others are red. I have done this race twice now and had a white shirt both times…well, this year I got a red shirt!
When I got out of my car, the cold wind hit me. Oh boy, this is going to be a cold one! I went and got my packet, shirt, and bib and took it back to my car. They do a great job in getting sponsors and giving out some cool stuff. The swag bag was pretty heavy! This is one race that it is acceptable to wear your race shirt, in fact, it’s part of the race. This race is run in many places around the united states on the same day. In larger areas, I could see how it could be a good place to meet another single person. I did see more white shirts this year than I usually did though. Maybe someone was able to meet someone new.
After braving the wind to get out the car, I met up with Colleen V. in the bathroom line. She has recently come back after several injuries. It was great to see her back. After getting through the very slow bathroom line, I did a half mile warmup run. It was supposed to be a mile but knew it would be race time by then. While running, I saw Alex M., Alex P., Rocky, Henry, Geary and some other familiar faces. I’m complaining about the cold, but it was actually about 45 degrees. It was the wind that was making it feel really cold.
As they call everyone to line up, my GPS decides to do an update…seriously??!?!?!?!. I pulled out my phone and got Strava set up just in case but that would mean I would not have my intervals. Thankfully it decided to finish loading and set up to run just before they started the race. Whew! I had decided to stick with my 1-minute run and 30 second walk that I used last week at the Not So Long Run 5K. At that race, I skipped 2 of the runs and had a time just short of 39 minutes. I decided to push it some and wanted under 37 minutes. I had surgery right after Thanksgiving and was not cleared to run until Cold Winters Day which I ran in about 42 minutes with Samantha (grandbaby) in the stroller.
I started about halfway back. Before the race, they asked the walkers to start toward the back. I really appreciate that they did this. There were a lot of walkers who had most likely never done any races and they may not have known or even thought about that. I did have to skip my first walk due to so many people around me. I had planned that it was probably going to happen that way.
This race is an out and back with a loop. It starts with a slight uphill mile. Which is good because that means the ending is a slight downhill! The first mile wasn’t too bad though. I stuck with my run/walk intervals. I had told myself I would not skip any runs this week. As I mentioned, I did skip the first walk, but I knew to be careful with that since I have not really run a lot lately. I am working on getting back to where I was.
It is a nice course through the Five points area. Lots of interesting and pretty houses along the route. There was a good representation of police officers to keep us safe directing traffic through the big intersections. They are greatly appreciated! I try to thank them along the way when they are looking toward my direction. I heard several people doing this. The officers seemed to enjoy it.
I finished the first mile in 12:23. Not exactly on track for under 37 minutes but I’m not giving up now. I was feeling pretty good. The second mile has some rolling hills, but none are that bad. I do not mind rolling hills. You know the ones you go up and go back down, not the ones that keep going up and up and up! I finished mile 2 at a 12:05 pace. Wow, negative splits. That is really rare for me.
As I’m doing my intervals, several around me are doing the same thing so we are constantly leap frogging each other. It does make it fun even if we are not talking. By now, it is getting warmer and I need to pull up the long sleeves of the race shirt. I’m glad they had long sleeves to cover up until I got warmed up.
As mentioned, the 3rdmile is mostly a downhill slope. Not a strong downhill but you know you are going down. I love downhill running. I know some people do not like it so much. I guess because I’m short, I don’t feel like I am going to tip over! As I’m nearing the finish line, mile 3 completes and that mile was at 11:07. What? I know it is a little downhill but wow, negative split again. I’m usually dying out by now. I get around the last corner and see the clock. It’s at 36:43. Noooooo it can’t flip over to 37, I am too close! I try to sprint but there is not that much left in me. I try speeding up some and when I finished, my GPS said 36:59. I found out later my official time was 37:00. Darn! But still I can’t complain, it is much better than the week before on a slightly tougher course.
This race gives out top 3 women, top 3 men, then 1 winner in each 5-year age division. Several CRC members placed!
After the awards, they have a raffle using everyone’s bib numbers. Again, I did not win. I am almost never that lucky. Maybe next time…but it is fun seeing people enjoy winning gifts. I really enjoy this race and while I am not a fan of 10:00am starts, it is worth doing and plan to do it again next year if timing works out.