Traci and I before the race
First off, I didn't sleep much last night. With my first 5k, I had no trouble sleeping, but with this one, my 2nd, it was more difficult. There were just so many unknowns! I had never run the route before, and it was my first trail run!
Regardless, I got up at 6am totally awake and excited. Traci, my sis, came over around 8am, and we were off to Tuscarora State Park (after a quick DD stop for my hubby). We parked & registered and then had a little over an hour to wait for the start. It went by fast because there were so many people there and things to see! The park is really beautiful!
The weather was absolutely beautiful, and just in the 60s by start time! About 400 of us lined up for the 5k start (the 10k and fun walk started 10 minutes later). I'm always surprised at how fast everyone starts out running! Traci and I stayed at the back, still at a 10min/mile pace! We were passed by a little group of children who were adorable!
Okay, so after getting out of the parking area, we hit the trail, and the hill. Oh. My. God. I thought I had done plenty of hill training, but this one was a really big hill! I ran half of it and had to stop and walk after just a half mile from the start line! I didn't see anyone else running up it, either!
At the one mile mark, which was the top of the hill, there was a man with a timer who told me I was at about 12 minutes. Not where I wanted to be, but I was happy the hill was over with! He also said, "It's all downhill from here!" I was like, "Seriously?!" so I kicked it up a notch only to find another hill up ahead! It wasn't nearly as bad as the first, but I felt the guy shouldn't have said that to me... I'll have to be careful about what the volunteers say in future races.
At one point during the 2nd mile, I was running at an 8min/mile pace. I love having the Garmin during races! I passed the 2nd mile marker at 21:25. Shortly afterward was a water stop, and I took a short walking break to take two sips of water. Again, the volunteers spoke encouragingly to the runners, saying, "Just up that hill and you're on the homestretch."
Um, not really! It felt a lot longer than just up a short hill. There was another pretty steep hill back into the parking lot, and I took my 3rd walking break, but no more until the end. I pushed harder as we entered the parking area, because I knew I was almost done. I saw the chute, and I started sprinting! I couldn't wait to finish and get some water!
sprinting toward the finish line!
As I crossed the finishing line, I heard the guy with the timer say, "32 minutes" and I was ecstatic because that was one full minute better than my first 5k and this course was definitely harder! Later, it turned out, I was 32:47, so I didn't do quite as well as I originally thought, but I'm still really happy with the time! (And it is 11 seconds better than my first 5k!)
It also turned out, I finished 4th in my age group! Woo-hoo!! I also finished 292 overall out of 398 runners. They had tons of food for the runners afterward! On our way over to the food, an older man said he was trying to pass me the whole time during the race! He joked, "You're supposed to slow down toward the end!" LOL
Traci and I after the race
This was an awesome race! It was run really well, had over 400 participants, and was a blast to run in! I'll definitely be back next year!