Adam was gracious enough to join me on race morning and we had no problems getting up to Newport News and finding parking at Christopher Newport University. The walk to the starting line was about 10 minutes from the designated parking garage at the University and the signage to the starting line was great! Once we got to the starting line area, we had a little less than an hour of time until the start. We dropped off our canned goods and received our raffle tickets to hopefully win a year of free food at Chick-fil-A. Spoiler alert - we didn't win!
The finish line area was filled with vendors and tons of activities for kids. There were Chick-fil-A cows everywhere and I took an opportunity to snag a photo with the "royal" cows. Hilarious, right?
|Yes, real princesses eat chicken!|
A few minutes after the kiddos finished up, the 10k runners lined up at the finish line. There were pace markings on the side and I lined up in corral 2 which was 7:00-9:00 pace. I felt like I was too close to the start but that was my intended pace so I went with it. First the hand cyclist was sent off and a few minutes, we were on our way. Like always, I found my starting line song to get me going.
Mile 1, 8:48 - The entire time I was telling myself to slow down. I didn't want to kill the first mile and ride the pain train to the finish. We started at the Mariner's Museum and made our way toward the water.
Mile 2, 9:10 - My pace was much better here. This mile of the course was GORGEOUS! We ran right along the water and made a turn back into the neighborhood and ran past some beautiful homes. There were a few rolling hills in this mile and I tried to take the uphills conservatively.
|Obviously not a photo from the race morning but this is the water we ran along |
during mile 2!
|Not a photo from race morning but this is the section of bridge that took us out |
from mile 2 and to the finish from mile 5 on
|The lion sculptures are really beautiful on this bridge section|
Mile 4, 8:51 - During this mile, we headed through two out-and-back sections of the course. I tried to use these sections for motivation, to see the runners ahead of me. While I really picked up the pace this mile, I still felt pretty good.
Mile 5, 8:16 - When we hit mile 5, we merged back onto the bridge to go back toward the starting line and it was here that the course became somewhat crowded because the 5k racers were out on the course. Most of the 5k racers I encountered were walking or running pretty slowly so I did a ton of weaving here. I also found myself yelling "on your left" or "on your right" frequently. This was a bit frustrating as my legs were tired and I was really going all out.
|Not from race morning - The museum area has some really |
neat sculptures that dot the paths
Mile 6, 7:56 - The final mile was a battle. I simply told my legs to keep going no matter how tired I was. When I looked down to glance at my watch and check out my pace, I was shocked to see that I was consistently running a 7-something. I went with it though and was so excited when we rounded the bend towards the finish line. I figured Adam would be in here somewhere and I found him sprawled out under a tree in the shade. I saw him before he saw me and yelled his name and did a half wave. No time to waste with the finish line so close!
|Thrilled with my finish!|
Post-race festivities: I would strongly recommend this race to anyone interested in a family-focused race. There were bouncy things for the kids, a petting zoo, and tons of booths with kids activities. Of course, there was also plenty of Chick-fil-A! I was so hot that I didn't really eat much of my sandwich and Adam happily finished it for me. I figured that was a small reward for him coming out to support me.
|A little excited about this sandwich post-race!|
|Baby piggie at the after party!|
Swag: With our entry fee, we received a t-shirt, bib, a coupon for a free Chick-fil-A biscuit or sandwich, and a medal upon finishing the race. This was pretty adequate for the race and I was actually happy I didn't get a tech shirt. I know that sounds crazy but I can use a t-shirt more than a tech shirt at this point.
In summary, this race was fantastic! It was well-organized, the course is gorgeous, and the post-race festivities are fabulous. If you are looking for a fun 10k in the Hampton Roads area, I would definitely check this one out.
Happy global running day! Wishing you lots of fun if you're participating in any of the festivities today!
What's the best post-race food you've ever had?