Get ready for loads of photos! At this point, this should not be surprising to you at all.
This was an inaugural 5K race, in Saint James, MO. Meramec Vineyards partnered up with the Engineers Without Borders Chapter of Missouri University of Science and Technology for and their project to bring water to communities in Guatemala, Honduras and Bolivia.
My friend Lora, who I ran the Glow Run with, drove the 3 hours to run with me in my home town this time. Her husband Darrin came to run as well, his first race ever! We had plenty of time for photos.
Dallas ran too!
We had tons of time before the race started, I got there early since I didn't know how many people were registered, and we sat for quite a while. Luckily we sat inside the winery where it was cool.
The race was to start at 6:30PM at the Winery in town and ran out a hilly country road to the Vineyard. It was hot and humid, but luckily the clouds rolling in right around race time. There ended up being 50 people registered and 49 finishers. My friend Lori was also there! This was also her first race back, she used to run in college.
I was the ONLY person in a tutu, in fact, I was the only person dressed up at all, except a guy in a sombrero with his dog.
I was fully expecting the costume award, you'll have to keep reading to see if I won it!
We lined up and headed out right at 6:30pm. Dallas and I took off pretty fast. It really does not matter how much self-talking we do about it, we always bolt out of the start. He told me later that we were running around an 8 minute pace at first (we normally run at 10-10:30) I had a little mishap not too far out of the start. I got the Nike app going but it said there was a weak signal, so it started late. Then I went to put my phone in my spibelt and missed the pocket, dropping it on the ground! I nearly collided with someone trying to pick it up. I caught up with Dallas and had a few issues adjusting my tutu, but then I settled into it. We slowed down a bit but I knew I was running faster than normal, I tried to push but not so much that I couldn't keep going. I KNEW what was to come...
This was a hilly race! I knew it was hilly, I ran part of it on a training run to see how it was, so I was pretty prepared. It was gorgeous though, even with the hills. Here's a shot I took on my training run.
I ran that whole bad boy! At some point I pulled ahead of Dallas, I think on one of the hills. I felt strong and I slowed up a bit going up the hills, but down I would try to speed up to make up for it. It was a gorgeous route, this was also taken on my training run (I did not take a single picture during the race, no time when I was chasing a PR!)
There was a water station at 2 miles and they gave us full ice cold bottles of water! Fantastic. I ran through the water station because it was on a downhill, opened my bottle, slowed down to a walk to take a drink and douse myself and then ran on. I felt bad throwing a whole bottle of water on the ground, but I wasn't going to hold it for another mile.
We turned off the main road onto the side road to the vineyard and it was nearly all uphill. I kept running, I knew I was close now and I did start to get a little nauseous, but pushed it back and told myself I was nearly there. We turned onto a gravel road and headed uphill. This hill was the worst for me, I walked for about 30 seconds and then pushed through it. We then turned left onto a "road" in the vineyard. Basically it was gravel in a field and with a bit of grass occasionally. It was hairy! When you see the finish below, you can see what we had to run on. BUT, as I turned onto it, I saw a beautiful sight! The finish! I gave everything I had left and started to sprint to the finish, which was farther than it looked. I had to keep watching my feet b/c I was terrified I would roll an ankle on the gravel/rocks. Crossed the finish and had no clue what my time was. LOL. I was using the Nike app, which had started late, I fumbled around trying to get my phone out of my pocket and stop it but it was off b/c it had not been able to get a signal. Then all I could think of was water.
Rey, Dylan, Savannah, and Aurora (my friend Lora's daughter) were at the finish and Rey said "didn't you get a water down there?" pointing back to where I had turned onto the hairy finish. They were handing out water back there, but WHO takes a water in the last .10/.20 of a race?? They told me I could walk up to where the tents/music was but when I looked around the corner, it was a long walk, you couldn't even see where it was. It ended up being probably almost another .25 mile to get to that area! So, I was annoyed, but I wasn't willing to leave the finish when I knew Dallas would be coming as well as Lora and her husband. Sure enough, Dallas finally headed into the finish. Look all the way back, that's where the water was. You can't really tell, but there was a lady in a pink shirt walking back to get water. A few people did that...I just stood there griping. LOL.
Dallas finished strong but was not happy. He had nearly thrown up a couple times and the hills were hard on him. He didn't PR and I think that frustrated him more than anything.
A few minutes later Lora and Darrin finished! I loved that they got to hold hands and cross the finish. <3
We finally got to head for water (although by the time I got there I was ready for beer! Maybe they did that on purpose!) ;) I went over to ask the timing people what my official time was first, I just had to know and didn't want to wait until I got home. When they told me, I thought it had to be a mistake! I actually checked the Garmin Dallas used to make sure they had measured the race properly. I knew I would PR from my last official 5K but with the hills, I didn't think I would PR my best 5K time even in training! I smashed my PB with a 31:01 time! I was over the moon.
It was a lovely walk through the vineyard, even if I was dripping with sweat and dying of thirst.
They had a 2-man-band set up in a field next to the vineyard and a couple tents with food, beer, and wine.
I opted for a beer and it hit the spot! I was dripping with sweat but I PR'd! Totally worth it!
We spent some time there listening to music and having a couple beers, waiting for the awards ceremony. The last couple races, I left early and Dallas had placed, so he wanted to stay this time. He placed again this time as well! First in his age division.
Darrin, Lora's husband, placed 3rd in his division! I actually thought I might have placed, but I didn't. I came in 6th in my age division and 16th overall out of 49 finishers and I'm really proud of that, better than I expected.
I was waiting for my costume award, and naturally they left it for last. Turns out they couldn't decide between me and sombrero-man, so they gave us both an award! A bottle of wine! Now, I'm not being a brat, I swear, but I thought I would get a medal. This race didn't have medals for finishing, just placing, so I was slightly disappointed with the wine. I tried to hint to the lady that I would rather have a medal, but she didn't get it and I didn't want to be rude. I was wearing a shirt that said I RUN for WINE after all. LOL. Here we are with our medals/wine awards!
Lora got a cute picture of me & Rey. He even smiled!
After the awards, we were ready to head out. We all went back to the house for lasagna. Overall, it was a fabulous race. I think there were a couple things they could have done differently, but it was an inaugural race and I was pleased with almost everything. I have a shiny new PR and feel fantastic that I was able to do that in 85 degree weather on brutal hills!
Thanks for reading, I know it was long!
I had to come back and add a picture of Sombrero-man that Lora sent me this morning! I went up to him before the race and said that he looked like my only competition...his response was..."Are you in my age group?!?!?" LOL.