I usually prefer not to run winter races… It’s not that I don’t have a lot of fun once I get going, but rather, I don’t like freezing while standing around waiting for the race to begin that’s the deterrent. When running a 5K, though, I always go on a one-mile warmup run timing it so that I finish just before the race is about to start which leaves me somewhat more comfortable and a whole lot happier in the starting corral; and that’s exactly how I timed it at the New Day New Year 5K on New Year’s Day.
Sadly, I wasn’t able to wear my new capris with snowflakes on them and light blue shirt I’d hoped to wear for bringing in the New Year at the New Day New Year 5K. Instead I wore my thinest capris under my long winter running pants; and underneath my jacket I had on long sleeves. In addition to my headband/ear warmer I wore a Buff around my neck that I could pull up over my face if necessary. My feet never get cold when running so I wore my regular running socks; however, my hands are always the part of my body to get coldest so I wore gloves covered by mittens with hand warmers in between.
I’m happy to say that I was dressed about as perfectly as I could have been under such conditions and only got a little bit too warm when I had my back to the wind.
About an hour before race time Bill and I picked up Erin at her house and then drove to meet Kim so we could hang out together prior to the race. We walked over to packet pickup which was held outside behind Clyde’s. As I got my bib I thanked the volunteers profusely and told them that they should get bonus points for volunteering in the extreme cold – at the time it was 12° and breezy.
Bill wanted coffee so we happily rode with him to Dunkin Donuts where we could pin on our bibs and use the restrooms in a warmer setting. Once back at the race, Bill snapped a quick picture of us before we headed out for our one-mile warmup run.
And little did we realize, he snapped another picture as we headed off on our warmup. That first quarter mile was pretty miserable as we ran into the wind.
We got back to the starting line with five minutes to spare – just enough time for me to run to the porta potty one last time. On my way over, I bumped into long-time friends Jim and Terri, gave them quick hugs, and wished them well. Terri is running the Disney Marathon next weekend so this was just a short little run in the park for her.
Once back at the race start, I took my hands out of my mitten-covered-gloves just long enough to snap a picture of the race crowd. If I counted correctly 177 runners were registered for this inaugural race, but race result show only 131 finishers. I suspect the extreme cold kept many runners away from the race and race morning registration.
I moved toward the front of the pack until I found Erin and Kim, set up my music, and immediately saw my friend Cheryl from my days of working at Worldgate Sport & Health. We had just enough time for a quick hug before Lesley started the countdown and we were off!
As promised, Bill was on the corner as we ran out of the Clyde’s parking lot and I waved as I ran past. He gets major husband points for braving the cold weather and playing paparazzi for my friends and me!
The race course was the same as the Jingle Bell Jog 5K I ran a year ago, only in reverse. When I first heard that we would run the course in reverse I was very happy thinking that it would be easier, but after driving the course on Sunday, I realized that it wouldn’t be…
We ran slightly uphill as we left the parking lot and then leveled out on Broadlands Boulevard before starting another more significant uphill for about a third of a mile (where we do hill repeats). After turning left on Glebe View Drive we ran a short distance on rolling hills, until we turned onto Vestals Gap, our most significant downhill which ended just before the one mile mark where we saw Bill again.
- Mile 1 – 8:07
Once we leveled off and turned right onto Chickacoan Trail Drive, we had a gradual, but noticeable, uphill grade for the next half mile. A left onto Truro Perish Drive reduced the grade to slight rolling hills for another half mile.
- Mile 2 – 7:54
As we turned onto Claiborne Parkway I was dismayed that it wasn’t all glorious downhill as I remembered. My lungs were on fire from the cold and I’d hoped to go into glide mode for this portion of the race. The runners in front of me had pulled ahead, and I had pulled slightly away of the runners behind me. I was all alone for the last mile with the exception of one guy who very gradually pulled up close to me.
As we made another left turn, this time back onto Broadlands Boulevard and back into the headwind, I could feel the man closing in on me. My Garmin beeped my third mile a bit before I came to the sign and I knew that I hadn’t run my tangents as smart as I could have.
- Mile 3 – 8:14
I turned on the jets as I approached the parking lot where I made a right turn and had a short, but sweet, downhill to the finish line, finishing in front of my runner friend.
- Final .21 – 7:32 pace
Bill rushed from his spot on the parkway, but didn’t get to the finish line in time to capture me crossing. I finished the race with a time of 25:48 (8:19 pace; however, according to my Garmin, 3.21 miles and an 8:03 pace) and first in my age group!
Immediately upon crossing the finish line we were given race bags which included partially frozen bottles of water and bananas (I’m not complaining and thought it was kind of funny). More importantly, the race bags included our finishers’ blankets!
The awards ceremony had been canceled so everyone was pretty much leaving as soon as they crossed the finish line. We luckily saw our MRTT friend Ellen even though we missed some of our other friends.
We waved goodbye to Lesley and thanked her for a great race as she announced other runners across the finish line.
We pulled out our blankets and had Bill snap these pictures as we walked back toward our cars…
Once home, I pulled out my blanket for a full view picture…
And then took another with my race bib.
A couple of days after the race I received my age group award in the mail which is a $15 gift certificate to Clyde’s, the restaurant where the race started and ended.
Despite the cold weather, my friends and I had a fun time at the New Day New Year 5K. Receiving a blanket as race swag rather than a t-shirt was a very motivating factor in me signing up for the race. Lesley did a great job in adjusting plans to keep runners comfortable, and I’d definitely consider running this race again.
- Did you run a New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day race?
- What’s the best race swag you’ve received?
- What big plans do you have for 2018?