Thursday, January 2, 2014

Ring in the New Year Race Report

This is the second year in a row, I've run a New Year's Day Race.  This year I opted for the shorter distance as I hadn't logged many miles in December.  As last year, this was also a trail race, but at a different venue.  The Rock Hill Striders put on the "Ring in the New Year" 5K and 14K trail runs at Anne Springs Close Greenway.  I used to run the trails out in the Greenway a lot, but not as much anymore.  Morning runs in the dark are a wee bit difficult on the trails for me these days.

PreRace: Me, Kary, Jon, Beth, Ann, Thomas, and Ransom (Reece with the Photobomb)
We had a good group with us as a couple of friends that ran the Kiawah Half Marathon this past December with my wife were on hand.  So three kids of one of the ladies and my eldest son also ran the 5K.  It's a pretty low key race.

Rush Pavilion for Check in and Post Race
The cost was only $14.  No T-Shirt, but it was very well organized. 14K started at 10am and we started 15 minutes later.  The course was excellently marked with volunteers at every turn that might possibly give you trouble.  We got a few instructions and then the gun went off.

Satellite Map
There were 3 water crossings that you could use a bridge on but took more time. I opted for the bridge on all 3 crossings.  I loss a good bit of time in the first mile with 2 crossings, but quickly made it up.  The water looked pretty cold and I didn't want this to happen:
Are we having fun yet?
I just hung with the leader for the first couple of miles.  I kept hearing this jingling behind us, like Santa was making a New Year's day delivery.  After a while I remembered that they had a table with free bells so you could run "Ringing in the New Year" the whole way.

Bells to wrap around your waist or whatever
So then another guy caught up with us around 2 miles and pushed the pace a little bit.  I just hung on his shoulder.  He thought I wanted to pass him, but I told him "You're good!" as I was content to sit in his hip pocket until we made it to the other side of the lake.

Not exactly his hip pocket, but close enough
Once we made it to the far side of the lake there was a little clearing and a mini causeway to get across.  I told greeny that we only had a 1/2 mile to go and it was time to take off.  He mumbled something, but didn't really go with me.

I took off hard that next 1/4 mile and dropped him pretty quickly.  Then it was time to hang on.  I definitely wasn't in the running shape I was a year ago.  Plus I had gotten up early that morning and did an easy 20 miler outside on my bike.  It was kinda like a warm up.  Yeah.  I rode my bike before a race.  But I really like riding and I knew I wouldn't be able to ride the rest of the day.  I wanted start the new year off right, ya know?

I didn't exactly feel awesome the last 5 minutes of the race, but I wasn't looking for anything here but the Win.  And I did get that.  Full results here.

So the results here are pretty old school.  No timing chip on your ankle or integrated into the bib.  Just plain old hit the button when someone crosses the finish line and tear the bottom off their race number.

Old School Timing
Like I said, what do you want for $14?  Well, I'll tell ya', I was pleased with the post-race food, though.  Cheese and Crackers, bagels with cream cheese, potato chips, pretzels.
Post Race Spread
They even had marshmallows and a warm fire going.

They did have awards.  Also if you got an award you got to pick a bag or an old race t-shirt from one of the other races that the Rock Hill Striders put on (Pumpkin Run or Greenway Trail Half Marathon).

In keeping with the "Ring in the New Year" theme, the awards were bells.  I liked it because it was different and I already have almost any kind of award you can think of (wait, did that sound egotistical, or just conceited?).  Our Group came away with quite the haul.  The boys swept the 14 and under age group and Ann won the girls 14 and under age group.

Ring your Bell!
We had a lot of fun at this race.  Next year I may try and get in shape to do the 15K.  I like these trails at the Greenway better than Baxter as the Greenway's are more established and little bit easier for this old man to run.  So just like in 2013, One race = one win.  Good way to start the year!