Friday, July 15, 2011
So my last blog discussed how I ended up running the Firecracker 5000 5K on HHI. This blog is my official ďrace reportĒ.
The day before the race, there was registration at a local mall. Since I was on the island for a friends party anyway, I figured I would sign up there instead of worrying about trying to do it in the madness of race day. I was shocked when I showed up 30 minutes before registration ended and there was still a long line. Most of the people looked like tourists on the Island for the holiday since everyone was in flip flops or wearing race shirts from out of town races.
I was bummed about the complete lack of swag in the race packet. I mean, I donít require swag but itís always nice to get a free sample. They first 1200 registrants got tech tís but I was to late. Instead, I got the cotton version, which was pretty ugly. I wonít wear it but it will look nice in my Race-T quilt I plan to have made to commemorate my first year of running!
Brett decided he and Max would come with me to cheer me on, which was super sweet of him. Plus, it meant I wasnít going to be by myself pre and post race. I havenít had anyone cheer for me during the race so them being there was added inspiration.
This was the first race where I made the decision to go for a PR. I knew it was a flat course and I didnít have a stroller or running buddy to hold me back. Making that decision had me a little nervous as we drove to Hilton Head.
The race took place around a mall/shopping center which sounds odd but was actually pretty scenic. I was worried I would be running on hot, un-shaded asphalt but at least 75% of the course was covered by large trees. Plus, the course was right on the marsh so there was a nice breeze. The heat was barely a factor- a happy surprise.
We got there was just enough time for me to hit the port-a-potty and line up. There was little expo area near the finish line we could have browsed but it was crowded and I would not have had much time anyway. There was a band too, but the start was about 300 yards away so there was no loudspeaker to pump us up. Since I was doing intervals I started near the back and didnít realize the race was about to begin until I heard the crack of fire crackers! Everyone around me giggled because we had no idea things were starting. Of course there was a typical surge where we all ran for 10 steps then had to walk again. I didnít actually break into a jog until about 50 yards after crossing the start!
Turns out there were 1400 runners. It seems small but for me, it was by far the biggest race I have ever run. It was super fun because of all the spectators cheering on the runners. Brett and Max were at the starting line and Brett snapped a few shots as I ran past. Max actually saw me in the crowd and smiled and sat up in his stroller giggling as I went by! I ended up running straight through the first mile. The runners were pretty bunched together and I was afraid if I quickly stopped someone would either run into me or I would block them.
I was feeling great and running a good clip. I was passing people left and right and trying not to get annoyed at the walkers standing three or 4 abreast. As a run/walker I always try to be courteous and stand on the sides and check behind me before I start walk. Even though I ran the first mile straight I was feeling great!I walked through the first water stop and made sure to get to drink the whole cup so I would regret it later in the race.
The second mile was through a more scenic and shaded area and the crowds thinned so I went back to intervals. It by far seemed like the longest mile but with my music and the crowds I was still running strong and walking quickly. At the second water stop I was starting to feel tired but checked my time and saw I was on par to PR so I kept pushing. It was just past mile 2 that I saw Brett and Max cheering me on! Brett had the camera out and even though I was in a walk, I picked up my step to a run so he could get some action shots! They are too big to post here, but I will put up in my pics!
The last half mile I was feeling pretty beat, but every time I wanted to give up or walk, I thought about how bummed I would be if I didnít PR. That kept me going even when I thought I couldnít. The last mile went pretty quick and suddenly I rounded the bend and the finish line was in sight. At the turn, there were a ton of people gathered, lining both sides of the course, cheering on the runners. Brett cut through and ran with Max so he could get a few shots of me near the finish. After seeing him I kicked it into high gear and passed a few people in the last 50 yards. I saw the time said 35:something and I let out a big cheer and fist pump as I crossed finish. I felt AWESOME. I was so excited!
I wasnít really in the mood to stick around for post-race activities. I grabbed some fruit, found my boys, stretched a little since I had an hour ride home, and then headed back to Savannah .
When I got home I compulsively checked the race site for my chip time.
35:11. 53 seconds faster than race one moth earlier.