Saturday march 14th I ran the Shamrock ‘n’ Roll 10k in Whispering Pines, NC. This is my more personal recap of the race; to see a slightly more technical review check out my write up on BibRave here.
The morning of the race was super soggy and felt pretty chilly. The actual temperature was around 50, but the rain and occasional breeze made it pretty gross. However, it was my running buddy’s first 10k and the farthest she had ever run, so I was still excited to be there!
We started out the morning with a whole lot of coffee. Probably not my best plan but it worked out alright and I am just not good at mornings without it. We also stopped along the way for bagels from Dunkin' Donuts. As good as cream cheese sounded I wasn’t willing to tempt fate that much so I kept it plain.
I was the weirdo with my phone in a Ziplock bag to keep it dry, so I have no pictures from the day. I simply went through way too many phones last year and wasn’t willing to take that chance for a few selfies.
I think the turnout for the race was probably low compared to the registration thanks to the nasty weather. There were just over 100 10k finishers. We were not going for speed so we stuck with walking back and forth to the starting line to get warmed up. The perks of the small crowd being that we didn’t have to jostle into a corral.
The 5k started out a few minutes ahead of us and the courses split, so we only passed a few from the back of the pack after we started. The roads were blocked off so it was never a problem to find open running space. The turns were all well marked and there were volunteers to provide direction; they were also great and enthusiastic cheerers. One man was dressed up and had music playing from his car. He took the time to give us both high fives as we went by. I have probably said it before, but I am going to say it again: volunteers can make or break the entire race experience. A little enthusiasm is life changing.
After the race, my friend and I decided we probably could have run faster but we opted to take it easy and do some house shopping along the way. We were running through very cute neighborhoods near a lake (or maybe 2 lakes? My sense of direction is less than stellar) and the houses were beautiful. We were very aware that our training for this race was very much sub-par so we were in no hurry and were happy to finish in an hour and fourteen minutes. I knew we had the right strategy when my running buddy told me she was actually having fun and didn't hate me for talking her into doing the 10k instead of the 5k! We looked like drowned rats and I couldn't feel my fingers...but I also couldn't stop smiling.
Finishing the race feeling good and not completely burnt out was exactly what I needed. Oddly enough it always seems to be the runs in the rain that make me want to run more. As much as I was struggling with motivation to run before this weekend, I am feeling so much better. It was a small local race without many bells and whistles, but it made me remember what it feels like to love running...and I couldn't ask for anything more!