Don’t cry because Coastal Race Productions’ Freedom 5K was a humid, sweaty mess; smile because it happened.
For real: the weather report the day before was thunderstorms ALL DAY. The CRP website states that they handle inclement weather by delaying until it’s safe, but if it’s never safe, then what? Luckily, I have no idea, although I can add this harrowing element to the mix:
I made the mistake of telling my dad, who had offered to drive me, that cancellation was a possibility. Then I went to bed. At 4:52am, he busted down the door and shouted “WELL? IS YOUR RACE STILL ON???” It was, but that’s 11 minutes of sleep I’m NEVER GETTING BACK, DAD. It’s your fault I missed a PR by less than 30 seconds! (I kid, I kid. Thanks for the ride, sir.) For the record, it never rained a drop before or during the race.
Anyway, I threw on my clothes and we made the 30-ish minute trek to Shallotte, NC, arriving about an hour before the start. Bib pickup was race morning-only, but the line was manageable and moved quickly. I had more than enough time to prep pre-race.
There wasn’t a ton fanfare before the gun – just a prerecorded rendition of the anthem and we were off! Unfortunately, this was a self-seeded race with no corrals, so the usual shuffle that comes with that ensued. I had to do some mincing and dodging for a minute or two, after which I finally broke free. Next time I’ll definitely try to position myself a little further up!
Beyond that, there’s not a ton to tell – with few exceptions, there’s not much to the 5K except trying to book it, right? Well, book it but not too much. We must just ran on area roads and through local neighborhoods. There was a not too steep but pretty long incline toward the beginning, but happily the last mile was mostly flat-to-downhill.
I wasn’t feeling crazy energized, and the humidity certainly wasn’t helping, but I was able to keep up a good clip. The bigger problem was that for some reason I can’t seem to get sufficient cell service in NC, and my music kept dying on me. Not ideal when you’re trying to trick yourself into an uncharacteristically speedy clip.
(Illuminating photography, no? There were 2 official race photos of me in focus but my torso twisting at the finish looked so horrifying I’m just keeping them to myself. 😆)
All of this amounts to excuses: I missed a 5K PR by like 30 seconds and it’s nobody’s fault but my own. Don’t get my wrong, 26:28 is respectable and I’m not upset, but I didn’t think it was that good, you know? So when I still couldn’t get my phone to pick up enough of a signal to check my results, I just left. Well, first I ate some watermelon (WATERMELON!!!!), and then I left.
Of course, once I got home and looked there, it turned out I’d come in 3rd in my division. I would’ve gotten my first (and last?) award if I’d just stuck around. Uh, oops. 😅
Ah, well, what can ya do. I’m just glad the race wasn’t cancelled! Or flooded, for that matter. And I’m SO freakin’ glad I’m getting more races in this year. I’ve really missed it! 5Ks aren’t normally my thing, but now I kinda want to take another stab at beating my PR. Look at for me at your next 5K! No, seriously, look out – RUN!
Don’t forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall and on Instagram @fairestrunofall. If you have any questions or thoughts, leave a comment or email firstname.lastname@example.org. See ya real soon!