The day after a long run, I usually take it easy to let my muscles and mind recover a little bit. So since I didn’t run today and I received my race medal in the mail on Friday (along with some Emergen-C), I thought that I would write about my first race of the year. The race was a virtual 5K called the Resolution 5K administered by For the Love of the Kids, with proceeds going to The Hole in the Wall Gang. Runners had the options of running one mile, a 5K with a medal, a 5K without a medal, a half marathon, or the double dip, which is the 5K and half marathon. I opted for the 5K with a medal, because, when given a choice, you have to pick the option with bling. Memphis was actually having a New Year’s Day race called the Commitment 5K, but it was more expensive and less convenient than this race, plus, it lacked a medal.
2012 was the first year for the organization’s races, and they hosted a Valentine’s race, a summer race, and the Holiday Hustle Series, which consisted of a Halloween, Thanksgiving, and New Year’s race. Participants that ran in all three of the Holiday Hustle races received a special medal for completing the series. This year, they are having the same catalog of races, and I am planning on registering for the summer race, Beat the Heat, at least.
The race registration fees were about standard for a 5K and cheap by half marathon standards. Once registered, you are sent a tech shirt and bib for your race. They also had some donations from Amazon and Starbucks, so when my shirt and bib came, I also had a $15 Starbucks gift card! I don’t go to Starbucks often, but my wife was quite happy with the gift card. You are encouraged to wear your shirt and bib on race day, take lots of pictures, and to upload them to the For the Love of the Kids Facebook wall. Race dates were anytime between December 30, 2012 and January 1, 2013. You could run any route that you wanted, even if you just ran your distance on a treadmill. Once you ran your race, you simply entered your name, time, bib number, and state on their website, and waited for the results. This part bothered Susan tremendously because she felt there was no checks and balances for people lying. It didn’t bother me too much because I would not be a top finisher, there was no cash prize, and I am running for me, not others.
I decided to do this race for its convenience and therefore, I chose to run my typical neighborhood route on the afternoon of January 1. I was going to run it that morning before the football games started, but it was stormy, and since I had to run 3.1 miles before midnight, I decided to wait until the sun came back out. The temperature was in the upper 40’s when I ran that afternoon and even though there was significant cloud cover, it did not rain one drop on me. I felt great for the entire race and actually finished with my second best 5K road time ever by completing the “course” in 28:12. When I was done, I was at my front door. I stretched, went in the house grabbed some water, showered, and watched some more football. I must say that this aspect of a virtual race is quite appealing.
I thought they an outstanding job with the finisher’s medal for the 5K and would be a great reminder of the year ahead since I am aspiring to run a race each month of 2013. I would not go exclusively to virtual races, but nor having the parking issues and large crowds is kind of nice every now and then. I have registered for another virtual 5K for the first week of February called the Chilly Cheeks 5K. It is hosted by a fellow wordpress blogger as a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society DetermiNation, in conjunction with the 2013 Blue Cross Broad Street Run on May 5, 2013. And like I said earlier, I’m planning to run the Beat the Heat race as well since there is only one posted race in the Memphis area for July so far, and I have a conflict on that date. But, another positive with these virtual races is that you can juggle them around traditional races very easily.
Final grades for the race are as follows:
Course: Incomplete (I chose it, so that shouldn’t count)
Swag: A : good looking medal (not norm for 5K), tech shirt, $15 Starbucks card
Experience: Incomplete (again, I chose the course & was the sole runner of it)