Yes, the name may be a mouthful, but this race is definitely a Fall favorite of mine. Plus, it goes to a great cause (which is one way I have become more selective and picky in the races I choose to support). The proceeds of this race each year supports leukemia research and benefits area families battling leukemia.
There really is no better sights, sounds, and smells than running in the Fall. AmIRight?! I love a course that highlights the beautiful fall foliage and gives out cider and donuts afterwards. Back on November 1, I headed down to Dalton, OH. Nestled right on the outskirts of Amish Country, this tiny town provides a nice backdrop for a 5k. In that, I mean it’s hilly as crap.
The course, while redesigned this year to allow for a more spacious space for registration, awards, food munching, still included its fair share of the original course. Especially “The Hill”. Or as I know it, the hill where Eli’s legs come to die.
The weather was a bit frigid and windy. Something I am definitely not quite used to, but it’s just another sign that YES winter is coming and YES I’m going to complain. But instead, I broke down and put on my running tights for the first time this fall and broke out the gloves. The race started on the dot at 9:00 AM and we took off into a slight uphill.
I may have started myself too far back, as I found myself doing Ye Olde Bob n’ Weave and wasting far too much energy trying to get some space. So, inevitably I clocked too fast of a first mile for my liking considering it included several hills.
Mile 1: 7:07
The second mile was entirely downhill. Like seriously. I have never experienced this, but now I know why people trash their quads during downhill half and full marathons. I just put things on cruise control and ran super hard. Obviously this is poor choice because what goes down down down, must come back up at some point in a race.
Mile 2: 6:37 (my fastest mile in a 5K since popping out a bub)
So yes, that 3rd mile kicked my behind. Because it was uphill. Into the wind. And if this were a “I’m going to tell you kids how hard I had it” story, it would include: while running backwards, barefoot, over snow drifts, and with a Yeti chasing me. But frankly, I have no excuses for why I slowed considerably. I just did. I was trying to hang on for dear life and hoping to come in at least close to my last 5K. Which I achieved.
Final Finish: 22:35
One of the fun things about this race is that they award “special awards” to the oldest and youngest finishers, fastest jogging stroller, largest team, and pregnant/up to 1 year post-partum runner. So I got to double dip and Baby J (because let’s be honest he wins this award for putting me in that category) won his first race award 🙂