Celebrating Earth Day by running outside seemed very fitting. Even though Syracuse is about an hour and a half from my house, this race looked appealing. For starters, the race has a unique start, beginning on a farm at a greenhouse. Not only that, even the 5k finishers get a medal (unusual for a 5k) and a Norway Spruce seedling to plant (awwww!) as well as a wicking shirt. In addition, the post race party included food and music.
The race was described in an email as “an event to celebrate giving, celebrate running, celebrate you and celebrate the wonders of nature and this nearly perfect planet we call Earth.”
Although this event included a half marathon as well, my review only includes details on the 5k, since I ran that and am able to describe that in detail first hand. You can find more information about the half marathon on the race web page (link at bottom of this post). The only detail I will mention half marathon related is about Swedish Fish. I read that Swedish fish were made available to half marathon runners at a water stop. I think that is awesome! I love Swedish Fish! I remember having to eat mid race during my half marathons and I hated all that guu stuff you can buy. I would always opt for gummi bears. Of course, in a 5k you don’t need any of that. All I run with is my trusty water bottle or rely on the water stops.
Ok, back to the race. 250 people signed up for the 5k (sold out!) and over 400 for the half marathon. Weather was sunny with temperatures in the 40s at starting time.
Packet pick up was the day before and morning of the race. There was no way I could get to the Saturday pickup, so I opted for day of. I felt a little sad about that because they mentioned that there would be a food truck and farmer’s market that day. Oh well. Anyway, I left my house at 6 am on Sunday and arrived at Emmi’s Farm Greenhouse at around 7:40. They had ample room for parking on the farm fields and there were porta potties to use on the property.
The half marathon started at 8:30 and the 5k at 8:40. “Born to Run” (Bruuuuce…!) was played to signal to get to the starting line. After the National Anthem, we were off. I was a little concerned as to how I would do in this race. I have been participating in a Fitbit contest since April 1st. Never again! I have been running and walking and basically overexercising for 3 weeks. Due to this nonsense, I have been struggling with a few injuries as well, ranging from blisters to a right foot issue that sometimes has me limping. So, I was certainly not rested for this race. Not only that, my weight is up – and that never helps when you’re trying to step it up in a race. The only thing I can’t use as an excuse is the weather. If I could, I would have.
The course was an up and back, running by a lake at one point as well as farmland. The course was flat with one very small incline part. At the halfway point, there was a giant earth ball that you ran around. The course was marked with signs designating each “k” point (1k, 2k, 3k, etc.). In the first k, that was where the 5k folks went left and the half marathon folks (who started earlier than us) went right. There was not a water stop for the 5k. I wish there was one, as I opted to run without my water bottle, but it really wasn’t that big of a deal. In addition (thankfully), even though I ran 6 miles and did over 40k steps yesterday (insane!), ate badly and slept very poorly, I felt surprisingly good running this race. I didn’t run with music either – which is a habit I am trying to keep. I ended up finishing in 30:03 minutes, a 9.41 min/mile pace- faster than I have run in years! It was good enough to get me second place in my age group! This was the first race I have run since turning 50, so that was pretty exciting! It makes turning 50 seem not so bad (at least for today).
At the finish line, there were water bottles, cartons of chocolate milk and flat fruit bar things. You also got your medal at that point. After that, you could go listen to music, explore a variety of different vendors or use the ticket on your bib to get food. They had chicken and pulled pork, as well as your choice of cornbread or coleslaw. Yum! I ate, walked around a bit, and then watched a few of the half marathon folks come in. I also stayed to get my gift for my age group. It was a wonderful glass cup from a brewing company with a cute bag of earth shaped candy and blue taffy. Love it! Other prizes were really nice wine bottles (including from the nearby Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge) and beer.
The race benefited the Syracuse Rescue Mission and participants were asked to bring unwanted clothing, sneakers and purses to donate. I am still cleaning out the clutter at my house, so this was perfect timing for a little Spring cleaning.
Overall, I thought this was a very nice race. It was a great way to celebrate Earth Day. I enjoyed the course, tshirt, medal, food, prize and people. I would recommend this race as a low key way to start off the Spring running season. It was in stark contrast to the frigid 13 degree day and 5 mile race I ran in March. My next race most likely will be the 3.5 mile Corporate Challenge in July. They are moving the location to downtown this year and they moved the date. Normally, it’s in May. I do not like running summer races, as it can be hot and humid, so we will see how it goes.
As always, thank you for reading! See you on the roads!
P.S. I saw official photographers at this race, so I will update this post with photos as they become available.
Time: 8:40 am
Weather: Sunny, 40s, not windy
Location: Emmi’s Farm, Baldwinsville, NY (near Syracuse)
Course: Up & back
Results: Not up yet – will post when they are
Amenities: Parking (ample, on site), Multiple porta potties
Photo credits: Earth Day 5k FB page (photo of route) and my own photos
More Info: Race Web Page