Saturday, May 2, 2009

Small race? A welcome change of pace

After having run with 30,000 people at the Cooper River Bridge Run, 12,000 in the Georgia Marathon/Half Marathon and 2,000 at RaceFest ... it was actually kinda nice to do a local 5K with just a few hundred others.

The Great Harvest Bread Co. 5K -- held just south of uptown, on the fringes of Dilworth and Elizabeth -- hosted less than 400 runners Saturday morning. There were no bottlenecks at the start, at the water station, or at the finish. No lines at the Port-a-Potties, at the chip pickup table, or for the post-race snacks. Out on the course, at times, I was practically running alone.

The laid-back atmosphere no doubt contributed to my PR of 22:27, despite the humidity and the climb on Hawthorne Lane in Mile 2. (I also got some help from the downhill finish. Whoever designed the course, thanks for doing that!)

I actually went in with the goal of medalling in my division (men 35 to 39). Disappointingly, I came up 11 seconds short ... and, even more disappointingly, I didn't even place fourth, or fifth, in my group. Two other guys beat me by just a few seconds!! Sigh.

Anyway, had some yummy treats afterward, including the cinnamon chip loaf from Great Harvest, Melting Pot's chocolate-covered strawberries, and fresh fruit from Edible Arrangements. Only disappointment was that the Chick-fil-A sandwiches were gone by the time I realized they had been available.

Runners check their times after the Great Harvest Bread Co. 5K.

Also chatted with two readers: Kathy Seavers, who won her division (women 60-64) with an impressive 24:25; and York, S.C. resident Denny Wells (I hope I'm getting that right), who finished in 25 and change. I ran into Denny both before and after -- something that NEVER would have happened at an event with 10,000 runners.

Small races. They're fun to run every once in awhile, no?


Anonymous said...

I enjoyed this race, too. When my running partner and I arrived, we were a bit intimidated by the small size (we're slow, and we didn't want to be dead last!!), but it ended up being very nice. I came very close to my PR, so I felt very good, and no, it didn't take 45 minutes to use the Port-a-Potty like it did at the Cooper River Run last month. Well done, race organizers!

Anonymous said...

Small races are scary for the slower runner. I worried too that I might be dead last! The ease of getting "into" your run is easier in a small group though.
Cooper River was almost a full 2 miles of weaving in and out of the sea of people. The excitement at a race like that is something you can't get a community race of a couple hundred people though.