Run Run Rudolph 5k – Huntersville, NC (2016)

So this was an impromptu registration… last Thursday one of my friends posted that he had registered for the 5k after not running since Marine Corps Marathon and we went back and forth a few times and I looked up the 2015 finishers results. First place in my age group finished in 30:11 which convinced me to register for the race. I had heard the course had some hills (understatement), but with my last 3 5ks under 27:00, I felt pretty confident in being able to place in this race.

There wasn’t an elevation map of the race online, but I saw the course map and tried to use Map My Run to get an idea of what to expect. I knew there would be a long climb through the first mile and a quarter, then a good downhill portion and some rolling hills near the end. The long climb was tough, but knowing the downhill was coming kept me going. The water stop was in the middle of the hill and I did take a few seconds to drink a few sips before taking off again. I couldn’t really feel my legs through most of the race which made it hard to tell how fast I was going. On the downhill section, I couldn’t feel my legs going any faster, but as I got to the bottom of the hill and started to go uphill again, I looked at my watch and saw 7:XX and knew I would be slowing down pretty quickly. I struggled a lot on the last few hills which were much steeper than the first long hill, but the out and back section which I thought was going to be a lot longer was pretty short and then we saw the 6 mile marker (the 10k did the 5k twice) which meant we were getting pretty close to the finish line which was flat and then downhill. Two women passed me on the last big hill and I kept them in my sights as we flattened out and once we hit the 3 mile mark, I turned it on and passed them both. I ended up finishing the last .1 at a 6:19 pace!

  • Mile 1 – 9:02
  • Mile 2 – 8:51
  • Mile 3 – 9:48
Official time: 28:10, 2nd place in my age group
No one else stuck around for our medal picture, but I got mine!
There was another good group from Run for Your Life at this race, including a festive grinch who cheered on all the racers and posed for lots of pictures with everyone – yet another reason I’m appreciative they have adopted me into their running group and I’ll be joining them in January!

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