I don't have many 'traditions' here in Nashville, but running the Rudolph's Red nose run with Becca is one of the few we participate in on an annual basis, despite the race being hard and the fact that I actually don't like 5ks all that much.
This year 2013- 23:03
Couldn't get a non blurry photo
Lots of changes this year as compared to the past 3
- They finally had a packet pick up a few days before the race- they very well could have had one every year, but never was one within 2 miles of my house- super convenient and alleviated us having to get downtown early and stand around
the BIGGEST bib I've ever worn
- New course. The race actually was postponed 1 week due to heavy rains + freezing over day of race... something crazy about 'unsafe conditions'. Although they did re-schedule the race, they all out cancelled the Christmas Parade that starts after 5k. Since no parade, they could get away with changing course. *Unfortunately this was one of my favorite parts about the race because entire streets are lined with spectators trying to get prime front row standing for parade, thus by default, will also cheer for runners while waiting.
- Awards. The last 2 of the 3 years I ran this race I placed 4th in my age group according to the results they post on the board. Come to find out BOTH years that one of the top female finishers was in my age group, thus bumping me up to 3rd. You have to be present to receive award, so 2 years in a row I missed out on some deserved bling. More on what happened with age group later...
I don't do speedwork nor do I feel I'm in 5k shape, however each year I get a little bit stronger and a little bit faster. I have 3 loose goals for this race:
- Don't walk
Beat last year's time Finally place and stick around
2 of the 3 I accomplished.
The first mile was actually pancake flat which I appreciated knowing what I gathered was in store for us based on elevation map. I didn't run with music and I hate hearing how heavy I breath, so it had me a little concerned. I know this course was a quick change due to no parade, but if they ever have to use this path again, it needs to be lit- parts were pitch black and hard to see. Clocked in first mile at 6:45
2nd mile we had turned around and headed slightly back toward start so we got to pass the runners (which I like). B knew how bad I wanted to place and when I passed her she yelled what # of female I was... don't even remember at this point. We get to pedestrian bridge and of course have to run up it. I stopped to walk and to take off my long sleeve as I was sweating. Walk #1. When we got off the bridge we winded through broadway and up 2nd avenue. 2nd avenue is a L-o-n-g steady incline and it was always my least favorite part in the old course, so I was disheartened to see we had to run all the way up it, turnaround, then run down--- at least it was lit up with pretty Christmas lights. Walk #2 a little bit up the hill. Watch is dead so I can't verify exact time, but 2nd mile much slower at 7 something
recycling my 2011 photo
The last mile started out great because I was able to get a steady downhill in, passed B but she didn't see me, and got a nice little boost when passing my gf Kristi and she shouted my name. We had to go up the bridge again and I implemented walk #3 for a bit --- why do I feel the need to walk during a 5k is beyond me. During my little break I got passed by this girl I had scoped out as my "competition". Once we got to top of bridge and made the descent, I could tell by how easy she was taking the downhill that she had bad knees. I open my stride to pass her and then low and behold see the 3 mile sign and kick it in for the finish. Little disappointed that time was barely over 23 since its nice to see a lower number, but blew last year's time out of water on an equally as hard course.
Afterward my "competition" came up to me congratulating me for beating her. Turns out she was a really young looking 44, so not even competition at all.
For the first time in my adult life, I got 1st in my age group 25-29 and she ended with 4th or 5th in the 40-44 with a time of 22:57ish... clearly that is where the competition is and not in the younger crowd.
B and I are waiting around for awards to be announced and through asking around I find out although I did get first in my age group, that is not how the awards are being given out this year. Low and behold they change awards this year to the categories of top 3 male and female overall, 0-12, 13-18, 19-65, 66-99 You have to place top 3 in that range in order to receive award. I placed 6th in the 19-65 category, wah wah. What kind of race has categories that large? I can understand maybe 10 year ranges, but seriously 19-65??
As soon as we found that out, we changed and joined up with a bunch of folks for dinner.
Overall the vibe felt different this year- maybe because they had a new event management team running it? I feel each year they scrimp on swag, after race refreshments etc. I'll still probably do it again just because it's nice to keep the tradition alive, but maybe next year I'll just dress up ridiculous and not attempt any goals?
Until next year