Today I have a race recap written by John! It’s not too often that he’s the racer and I’m the cheerleader, so this is a fun thing for us to have a little role-reversal! I also won’t mention the total jealousy of my not being able to participate! Anyway, here he is!
This past weekend I had the opportunity to run in the Campus Youth 5K at Butler’s Orchard. All proceeds helped support the youth program at Cedarbrook Church (a local church that our friends attend). Early in the week I was a bit nervous about the Saturday run as the weather had called for frigid temperatures and rain. Fortunately, when we woke up on Saturday we were greeted with bright, sunny skies. However the wind was still biting cold, so we all needed to bundle up. It was also nice that the race didn’t start until 10:30 so it was very convenient for all three of us to wake up naturally, eat breakfast, and get out the door.
Once we arrived at Butler’s Orchard, we found the race prep area/start line fairly easily. It would have been nice to see more signs pointing the way on the roads leading to the Orchard, but we knew where we were going from previous visits. There was a nice turnout for a charity race but it wasn’t so packed as to make navigating around the area difficult. We caught up with some friends and then Xander found the play areas. Katie and I helped him play while we waiting for the race to start. At one point we went back to the car to warm up since the wind was so cold.
When the countdown reached 5 minutes, I stood around in the corral. This was probably the coldest part of the hold day since I wasn’t wearing my warmer coat but not yet running to keep warm. Soon the race got underway. The volunteers did a great job marking off the race course as we wound our way along the orchards. It was a very hilly course but the most dangerous section was within the first 0.5 mile. We had to run a gravel road downhill. With all the small rocks under your feet and the initial adrenaline, it was difficult to not slide down the hill. Not too mention everyone was still quite bunched up so I think everyone was worried about a ball of runners falling down the hill. After we got through the first downhill, the rest of the race was enjoyable. I could tell that the hills were tough for a lot of runners as I passed most people on the uphills. I was certainly thankful for my strength training with helped keep my thighs and hamstrings strong enough to power up the hills without losing speed or pace.
The course was very beautiful on this sunny Saturday. I was disappointed that we didn’t get to run through their pine tree section; it would have added a nice festive touch to the race. But we were able to go through their typical orchards and wind through the woods towards the finish. The wooded area was the mentally toughest areas because you could see the finish line and you knew you were near the end, but you had to conquer an uphill section that was covered in 3-4 inches of leaves. My feet slipped a few times as I tried to keep my pace. After that it was just a route through a field and across the finish.
Overall the race was well-organzed and fun. The only thing I would change is the really cold wind. I also enjoyed having Katie and Xander as cheerleaders, for once, instead of being the cheerleader myself. Maybe when Baby H2.0 is born I’ll get the opportunity more often….