November 17, 2014

The arctic freeze 8k, otherwise know as the Richmond 8k

On Saturday, with a starting temperature of around 29 degrees, I braved the weather and ran the Richmond HCA VA 8k at 7:00am.  Normally an early start time is my preference, but with the slight wind and unseasonably cold day, it was so not perfect!

Dressed in my running clothes, a heavy parka and sweat pants, I looked quite the picture as Tom and I walked the 10 blocks from our hotel to the starting line area.  This race was really well organized with a wave start and from what I could see, runners honored it.  I was in Wave 1 with an estimated finish time of under 49 minutes.

I'm not going to bore you with a mile by mile recap because frankly, there is nothing interesting to report. But here are a few thoughts from the arctic freeze race Saturday. With just minutes to go until the start, I handed off my clothing to Tom and stood there like an icicle waiting for the gun to go off.  My first instinct was to run like he** and that is sort of what I did.  The overall course for this race is situated in downtown Richmond and you pass by some cool residential areas and a few not so exciting places that included brick pavement.  This was my least favorite part of the course. However,  the last 1/8 of a mile more than made up for the brick.  It was all downhill to the finish and that was a blast. I sprinted down the hill, praying I would not face plant in front of the finish line photographers and cheering crowd.  I didn't.  And because I hauled myself down that massive hill, I ended up running a time of 42.29 with a 38 second PR!

Now for some race specifics:

The good:  Swag for the Richmond races is fantastic.  The 8k which cost me $40 (I registered late) included a gender specific shirt, a finish medal that is over 2 inches in diameter and great food and beverages post race.  It really is a steal compared to some other races we have done. If you register by a certain date, you also get your name on your race bib. Clearly I missed the cutoff!



Fun tech shirts!
The not so good:  I never saw anyone on our race course to help if there was a medical issue. Tom cheered for me at around mile 4 and just after I passed, he saw a runner pass out and fall to the ground. In fairness, it may be an oversight that I never saw any people who could give help. There were several policemen and women along the course and maybe they were qualified to give medical assistance. The only other issue I had was the water stops. They were small so it made them a bit difficult to access.  Since I was only running 5 miles, I skipped the second one knowing the finish line was just a mile away.

Overall this was a really fun race and I would highly recommend it. If you are entertaining the idea of running any of the three Richmond races associated with the Anthem Richmond Marathon, register early and save some money.  Race rates for the city hotels get booked quickly so make that reservation too when you sign up for the race.

I'm thinking about returning next year for the half marathon, They get fantastic post race swag and the course looks quite good. Do you ever return to the same race over and over? Have you run any of the Richmond races?

31 comments:

  1. I am in Florida so there are a couple races I do like to do every year, Gasparilla is one of my favorites I Tampa. Cute shirt! and that is one cold run!

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    1. Oh I am going to look at those races Mary Beth. Thanks for adding those to our list.

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    2. A bunch of us are doing Gasparilla! You should come!!!!!

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    3. Maybe Angela. We need to put together our race calendar for 2015. We already have Princess weekend, Boston and TInk weekend scheduled so it needs to be races for the last half of the year.

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  2. That is coool! I don't like racing in the freezing cold. I have family that lives near Richmond so have been thinking about running this race one day...I only hear good things!
    Karen @karenlovestorun

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    1. Karen, with family in the area I would definitely go for one of the trio of races. Our cab driver one night told us that the race has sometimes been in 85 degree weather, so not always frigid like Saturday!

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  3. Congrats on the PR #24767 ;) Glad that the runners were honoring the Wave system. I hear so many great things about Richmond and it is definitely on my bucket list of races.

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    1. Thanks Jenny! I can't wait to get my age group prize in the mail!

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  4. As I said to Christine before she ran the marathon this weekend, the weather is so frustrating because it's really one of the only race day factors that we can't control and yet plays such a HUGE part in your performance/ experience. I ran a bitterly cold race last year and I'd say it was the hardest race I've ever run! Congrats on the PR!

    And I am definitely guilty of repeating races...I'm really trying to branch out with the races I choose for 2015, but I can't help it, there are just some I love so much I don't want to miss them!

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    1. Yes, the weather is a huge factor, but everyone is dealing with it too. It is hard when it is so cold, but it sure makes you run fast!

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  5. Way to go, Pam! You seem to be racking up the age group awards lately! Keep it up!

    I'm definitely guilty of wanting to repeat races. Its difficult to not want to return to a race that you either thoroughly enjoyed or did extremely well at. So races are definitely easier to repeat than others, but there's so many races on my bucket list that I'm also trying to force myself to not just run repeat races.

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    1. Not going to lie Kathryn, I love winning prizes....just ask my family. We also repeat some races, and I love the Virginia Beach RnR and plan to do that one again next year!

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  6. Great job Pam! Congrats on that PR in the freezing weather! And yes...if I like a race I will definitely do it again the next year! Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans is one I do every year!

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    1. I've never been to NO, so I may need to add that one to my list Mindy!

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  7. Congratulations on the PR!!! And on a tough course too- I know Richmond is not flat and running on brick is super hard (we have brick here too).

    If I like a race, I tend to do it over and over. The one I ran on Saturday was a repeat. With that said, if I don't like a race... I usually won't ever do it again just because we have so many here to choose from, I would rather try another one. To me this seems like a great deal- $40 for an 8K (I love "different" distances) that included a nice shirt and a medal is awesome. Sorry the temperatures were cold but maybe that actually helped you... you know, finish sooner and warm up... :)

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    1. Thanks Amy. I think cold is better although I just read an article about how difficult cold weather is for runners and we really don't pay attention enough on things like fuel and hydration. You actually need more fuel with colder weather and of course dry air dehydrates you far quicker. Can't wait to read your race recap!

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  8. Great job Pam! Good for you for braving the frigid temps. We actually had a freeze warning here in Vegas so our race was not as warm as we hoped! We certainly have races that we tend to run over and over ( the VA beach ones and Disney ones for sure). I like your 8K race shirt!

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    1. Thanks and hope you had a blast running the strip. We hope to do that one next year. We also do some repeats, but also enjoy trying new races. I also love the shirt!

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  9. I'm all about any race that has gender specific tech shirts. Extra bonus if it's a V neck! Congrats on your PR!

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    1. Thanks Jamie. I really love the v neck shirts the best too!

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  10. Great job on your PR! The cost is pretty reasonable, especially with that awesome of a shirt. Sounds like a fun race. I'll put it on my bucketlist!

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    1. Thanks Sarah. I thought it was a good value too, and even better if you sign up early!

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  11. You've got to love a downhill finish! That's a nice shirt, too. I like the bright color. $40 is unheard of around here for a race except maybe a tiny 5K that benefits a school or other similar sized fundraiser. Congrats!

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    1. Thanks Jennifer. We are lucky to find quite a few reasonably priced races in our area. My next two 5k races, a turkey trot and Jingle Bell run and both $25 and you get a cotton long sleeve top at both.

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  12. I do some of the same races over and over. Especially our two local half/full marathons - Kiawah and Charleston. I do the half every year just because I enjoy it and they are close by. I say if you liked the race and it was reasonable why not do it every year?

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    1. One of my friends is running her first full marathon at Kiawah next month. She is nervous and excited all at once. I'm going to forward your blog to her, so if she has any questions she could ask you, the area expert!

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  13. Congrats on your PR, Pam! How amazing to run that fast in those conditions! I hope you get your AG award. :)

    Also, I meant to say this on Christine's recap, too, but I cannot believe there wasn't any visible medical help on the course. That's incredibly scary. I hope Richmond reads your recaps and fixes that issue for next year!

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    1. Jen I hope you are correct. Lack of medical help on the course made for a scary situation for both of us. I did enjoy Richmond though and would definitely go back again.

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  14. I hear such good things about the Richmond races, I may have to try one next year!

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  15. It would be very convenient for you Sue and the races are all quite flat except the hard downhill at the end.

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  16. I've done the 8k twice and the half once. It's a great time of year to run here with the leaves just changing. And the down hill can be a lot of fun. Glad you enjoyed it!
    @heatherlas

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