For the first time ever, I ran a race on the first day of the year with the Third Annual Race Into the New Year 5k. What an awesome way to start out 2014! My husband, Tony and racing buddy, Wanda ran it with me. We traveled to St. Albans, West Virginia (near our state capitol, Charleston) to run this afternoon 5K race. Scheduling it at 2:00pm was a little different from what I’m used to, but they did that so people could stay up late on New Years Eve to celebrate, but not have to get up too early to race. Being in mid-winter, I especially liked the afternoon time as it give the sun time to come out and warm things up a little. Fortunately, the weather fully cooperated with a sunshiny day with temps in the 50’s to 60’s and little to no wind. The cost for this race was $20 if you pre-registered and $25 on race day which included a nice T-shirt and post-race snacks. This is the third and final race of the St. Albans Race Series which includes a quarter marathon in August, and 2- 5k’s (one in November and this one on New Years Day). If you complete all three races, you earned a really cool looking medal (which is why I want to run the series in 2014).
There were a total of 189 runners participating in the race this year ranging in ages from 7 to 66. It was a very nice turnout. Over forty of the participants were involved with the 2013 racing series. The race is a typical city race with a the course that started and ended at the St. Albans High School and winding around the streets of a small neighborhood. There wasn’t much scenic beauty, but the neighborhood was well-kept and several people came out of their house to cheer the runners on. The course was flat and fast with the exception of one small hill that even a beginner could easily handle. The course record was broken this year by David McCollam, 34 with a time of 15:28.
The race was well run with a very unique starting event…. after making the general race announcements and before shooting the starting pistol, the race director got down on one knee and proposed to his girlfriend. She said yes and all the racers and volunteers cheered for the young couple. It was quite exciting. The race was chip timed, so that sped up the awards program after the race. For the post-race activities, there were the usual snacks and water available for the runners, and the race awards and series awards were handed out. Instead of medals, the age group winners for the race received cool trophies with penguins on the top and a Christmas tree ornament.
The series awards and medals were definitely an encouragement for everyone to run all three races for the 2014 series. I finished the race in 30:46, but didn’t place nor did I set a PR, which was a disappointment since the course was so flat and fast. But, just like the half marathon I would run a few days later, I had let the holidays get the best of my diet and training. It was just a fun race anyway and I thoroughly enjoyed spending the day with Tony and Wanda.
I plan on doing this race again next year…. it was a great way to start out the new year and charge right into my running resolutions. The only problem with the flat, fast course is that it’s easy to set a PR on it making the other 364 days extremely challenging to PR. But since I didn’t do so well, I guess I don’t have that problem personally.
If you ran in this race, feel free to share your opinion. What did you think of the proposal at the beginning of the race?