Well, here I go again. After being on running hiatus due to an injury, I’m trying to get back in the swing of things. I’m at my heaviest running weight ever, so it has not been easy. I’m always looking for new races, so when I saw the Red Cross was holding an evening race that started at the Inn on The Lake in Canandaigua, I decided to give it a try.
I’ve done a few night races. They can be during the hottest point of the day, but thankfully our heat wave let up a bit. It actually drizzled the whole race. I was fine with that, although it was a bit slick/slippery and you had to be careful. I went to this race after work with my much faster, taller and thinner friend Kristine. Your entry fee included a t shirt, a free drink ticket (beer or wine), food, and a raffle ticket. Besides raising money for the Red Cross, I think they wanted to create more of a party event/atmosphere, so there was a bar and a band, as well as food and drink you could buy. Canandaigua Lake is so scenic to begin with, so I thought it was a great idea. I did one other race in Canandaigua last Summer (Mercy Flight 5k) . Running by water always beats running inland. I have also run the Crosswinds 5k in Canandaigua in years past – not by the lake and a huge hill in that one. No thank you (at least not now).
So, why am I torturing – er – challenging myself – at these races at this heavier weight? Well, besides getting my cardio for the day, I’m trying to run enough races to earn points for a Bronze Phidippides Award. This is an award for members of the USA Track & Field Association (USATF) who are over 40 years old. I’ve already earned the Gold & Silver in previous years, and I need 12 points to get this one – which means I need to do 12 5ks this year. I am on race 6 (really race 7, but a 2 mile pace race I did in Feb. in Buffalo was too short to count). As for the remainder of the Summer, I don’t plan to run any races in August. I do plan to continue my training, and maybe by Fall will do a few more races when it is cooler. My neck still bothers me, so I do not want to push it. Also, I need to do better with my food, since you can’t outrun a bad diet! I realize I say this in every post (yes, I need help).
Anyway, back to the race. We got there around 5:30. The Tim Hortons truck was there, just like at the 5k I did last Saturday. This time they had free smoothies. I knew I could not drink that before the race though. Fortunately, we got there just in time to find a parking spot. It was packed. They had over 500 people turn out on a gloomy and much cooler evening.
That is a great turnout for a first year race. We did a very short warmup run and then just hung around til it started. You could go under the tent- a very nice tent with chandeliers and tables covered in white tablecloths – much fancier than what you normally see at races. You could also use the very nice bathrooms in the hotel. They had lots of organic samples to take from various vendors – all free- chips, granola bars, fruit, juice, etc. After checking all that out, we headed back outside.
The race started at 7 pm in the parking lot of the Inn. You ran up the street and by Canandaigua Lake. You went up and over a small bridge and then onto a gravel path area. You ran there awhile, and then it was back onto the road and you headed towards the marina (this part of the course seemed to take forever!). From there, it was back to the Inn. There were 2 water stops. I started out around a 10. 5 min pace, but then just kept slowing down. I was mad at myself for that, since conditions were much cooler than the race I did last Saturday. It’s hard to get motivated to run after work and being so heavy. I just never learn! But, I never stopped. As I headed to the finish, Kristine was able to take a pic of me crossing the finish line since she finished over 10 minutes ahead of me. Sigh… This was one of the slowest race times I have ever done in 6 years of running. Shameful. Granted, this is also the heaviest I have ever been running.
After that, we headed back inside, got some food and waited around for the raffles. They were giving away lots of great stuff, including an adorable Pandora bracelet with a shoe running charm. Alas, we did not win. We also were forced to stay longer since a car had blocked us in! I went back to get my free smoothie, but they were all gone. I will be getting a free smoothie at some point! They did give me a pity coupon…
All and all, it was a nice race. The course was scenic, the party after with band, food, drink, lots of freebie samples and the beautiful, serene backdrop of the lake behind the tent was really nice. The organizers should be pleased. They did mess up my age and said I was 48, so I will have to get that fixed (I’m 45).
I have a few interesting, out of town races coming up this month, so stay tuned. Thank you, as always, for reading and see you on the roads!
Pros: Night race is a nice change of pace. Scenic route, beautiful location for after party. Very well organized. Worthwhile cause. Great food, quality samples, good band, nice raffle items. Liked that part of the race fee was tax deductible – you rarely see that.
Cons: they got my age wrong. Running on the street by traffic was a bit scary. Beginning of race was kind of tight – maybe better direction next time to participants.
My Stats: 427/509, 38:14, 12:20 min mile, 32/45 in the 45-49 age group
Results can be found here.