Two words for this race: hot + hilly.
Yesterday, I ran the Chandler Hill Memorial Day 5K (benefitting Fisher House) at Chandler Hill Winery. My brother asked me to run this race as it would be his first (competitive) race ever. Not being one to turn down a challenge (and being a very competitive little sister), I decided to join him.
In the days leading up to the race, I kept talking about how I wanted to beat Brian. Like I said, I’m super competitive and didn’t want my brother (who is uber talented at pretty much everything else) showing me up on something I am good at. But, the day of the race, with the weather being upwards of 90 degrees and dealing with some side stitches the past few days, I decided instead of trying to beat him, I was just going to try to stay with him.
This was a very low key race: no chip timing, no fancy starting line (it was 2 cones and a line of chalk), the roads weren’t even closed to cars (we were told to run defensively). (This will also explain the lack of race pictures – not much to take pictures of.) There were only about 100 people (if that) toeing the start line for both the 5K and 10K. I knew there was a chance I could do well in this race, but I just wasn’t feeling it that morning. So, I wasn’t going to worry about my time and just run the best I could, hopefully keeping up with my brother.
However, Brian proved pretty quickly that he was going to make that hard on me. I kept up with him for about the first 1/4 mile but he was keeping a pace I knew I wasn’t going to be able to keep up for another 3 miles. Plus, like I said, this was an extremely hilly race. If you are familiar with “wine country” in Augusta, you know that it’s not exactly known for being flat (unless you’re running on the Katy Trail, which we were not). The only flat part of the entire race was right at the beginning of the race, meaning we wouldn’t see that flat part again until the very end of the out-and-back course. So, I let him go, but kept him (and the girl who beat me – by 4 seconds – in my last race) within my sight, hopeful that eventually I might be able to catch up to him.
Thankfully, the course was pretty shady, which made it easier to deal with the heat. I was slowly starting to pick people off one by one, until Brian + the other girl were the only 2 people in front of me (oh, there was a guy in front of them, but not within our sight). That’s right. My brother was dominating his first race!
With about a mile left, I finally caught them and easily passed them. I began using the downhills to my advantage and flew down them. To the point where I felt I no longer had control of my legs. I also thought that one of the turns was the last turn, so I was going almost all out, not realizing I still had a good 1/2 mile left until the finish line. But, my legs kept going so I went with it. I finally hit that flat part of the course and kicked it in to the finish line.
I was the 2nd person to cross the finish line and the 1st female overall with a time of 22:25. My brother crossed the finish line in 3rd place (overall) with a time of 22:31. I guess running runs (pun intended) in the family! I couldn’t be prouder of him! While I still hope I will always be faster than him, I’m so happy he has been bitten by the running bug and I will eventually get him to start running more races with me! I can’t tell you how nice it was to have other people there cheering us on (my sister in law and some of their friends were there also, cheering + running).
Best part of running a race at a winery? The breakfast spread and champagne at the post-race party!
And then getting to spend the afternoon outside drinking wine with family + friends! It was definitely a great way to kick off summer!
How did you kick off the first official weekend of summer?