Race Day Rain
Wanting to kick 2022 off with a grand start, I texted my friends to see if they wanted to join in running the New Day New Year 5K we’d last run in 2019. Everyone was game and we registered in mid-December. Unfortunately, the rain forecasted all week showed up as expected on race morning, but my friends and I are a hearty group and met at House 6 Brewing Company despite exchanging texts hinting otherwise.
Packet pickup began at 8:30 AM in the back of House 6 Brewing Company. I arrived at 9 and easily found parking across the street from the brewery, put on my rain slicker, and walked across the street. Once in the brewery, packet pickup was a snap with no one in line. I took my bib back to my car, pinned it on, grabbed my GoPro (affiliate link), shed my rain slicker, and walked back to the brewery to find my friends.
Obligatory Pre-Race Photo
As soon as I walked into the brewery, one of my MRTT friends waved me to the back for a pre-race photo. Once we’d taken the picture, I hit up the restroom as those running the 10K headed outside for their 9:30 start.
Ready to Run
We stepped out of the back of the brewery to where the race would be starting and finishing. I dropped off my throwaway jacket and water bottle beside the building with the hopes that they would still be there after the race (they were).
We lined up toward the back of the chute for another quick pre-race picture and then I moved closer to the front since I planned to push myself.
With two minutes to spare, I decided that I’d be way too hot in the 54° rain wearing my Brooks nylon shell so I quickly tied it next to the race banner, praying that no one would take it (yay, it was still there when I finished). Back in the starting chute, I had just enough time to turn on my Garmin (affiliate link) and start my music, this time with new AirPods Pros (affiliate link) that didn’t die 30 seconds after starting my music like happened in my last race.
And We’re Off!
After the countdown we were off and I immediately I had to maneuver around walkers who were way too close to the front of the pack. After passing them I seemed to be in a pretty good place as I gradually picked off a few runners, but only remember getting passed by two other runners – one guy early on who was going so fast that I could only guess that he’d arrived at the race late, and the other, a little 10-year old boy who sped past me at the finish line.
The race course ran through parts of One Loudoun in Ashburn, down a parkway, past some lovely homes, through a park, back up the parkway, and finally around an office park where the brewery is located.
The first mile was slightly downhill before mostly flattening out for the second mile with the final mile making the slight climb back to where we’d started.
Chasing Rabbits in the First Mile
I’m always aware of other women who might be in my age group and when a lady stepped out of the restroom earlier as I stepped in, I wondered if she might be close to my age. I didn’t see her again until shortly after turning onto the parkway early in the race. She became my rabbit as I very gradually gained on her until I passed about three quarters into the first mile.
I continued to chase the two little boys, also pictured – one in bright green and the other in dark green, and laughed as they zigzagged between cones placed closely together near a turn. They were discussing their afternoon plans of meeting for a play date as I passed them near the end of the first mile. They were clearly having fun!
About the same time I caught up with my first rabbit, 10K runners who had started 10 minutes prior to the 5K began coming toward us as they started their third mile.
Feeling a little on the warm side, I was happy I’d made the wise decision to leave my jacket behind. Even so, I was starting to get a little warm wearing my neck gaiter/face mask, so I took the gaiter off and wrapped it around my wrist.
- Mile 1 – 8:04
Chatting for Distraction During Mile 2
The second mile took us through a community of houses with two right turns which gave us an opportunity to thank the policemen who were out along the course…
Once past the houses, we turned onto a paved trail as we made our way through a park.
We ran across a wooden bridge which luckily wasn’t slippery even though it was wet.
As we made our way from the park and back onto the parkway, I saw a running acquaintance volunteering. He got quite the kick out of me taking pictures with my GoPro while running and I could still hear his chuckling as I continued past him.
- Mile 2 – 8:34
Seeing an Old Friend During Mile 3
Back on the parkway, we saw many more of the 10K runners early in their second lap. While recording with my GoPro I saw one of my co-workers from 20 years ago and just happened to catch myself waving hello.
- Mile 3 – 8:36
The Final Stretch and Crossing the Finish Line
I was caught off guard because my Garmin hadn’t yet hit 3 miles as we approached the final turn that would take us behind the brewery and to the finish line. It wasn’t until a volunteer confirmed that I should turn right and I saw the finish line straight ahead that I kicked it into overdrive.
Just as I started to round the corner, one of the little boys I’d passed earlier came flying up from behind and easily passed me on the home stretch.
- Final .1 Mile – 6:10 pace
My official time was 25:25 (8:12 pace) which put me in 1st place out of 14 women in my age group of 60-69 year olds. According to my Garmin, the course was short at 3.03 miles resulting in an 8:23 pace.
Post Race Treats
Post race refreshments were limited to fruit bars and water bottles; however, breakfast foods could be purchased from a food truck in the parking lot, and of course, beer was being sold in the brewery. I grabbed a water bottle and waited until I got home to eat something more.
Before going inside to get my finishers blanket, I said said a quick hello to Lesley whose company was putting on the race.
Once my friends finished, we all grabbed our blankets (the perfect swag for after a rainy race) and headed back out into the rain for a group picture.
Race bib and fun swag…
We hung out for a while waiting for the awards ceremony, but it didn’t begin until the 10K runners were finished. Eventually, my friends went home and I was left without a cheering section. LOL
My award for finishing first in the 60-69 year old age group was a House 6 Brewing Company growler which is kind of funny since I don’t like beer. Only the first place overall male and female finishers were gifted free beer in their growlers, though. Once home, I proudly placed my empty growler on the back of our bar.
Wrapping it Up
I’ve run several races directed by Lesley, and her races are always fun, well-organized, and well-attended by my running friends. The unique swag for the New Day New Year 5K is a welcome treat for this runner with a closet full of race shirts.
- • 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 2022?
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