After running the 2013 Runway 5k I spontaneously proposed running a 5k a month to my dear friend who agreed to join me.
Our first race was the The Hot Chocolate 10k, and I loved running the flat course until the last mile or so where it becomes a steep, convoluted uphill. Being slow and near the back I got to spend part of the climb huffing exhaust which really sucks. The post race hot chocolate was delicious, and the pre-race flush toilets were handy. I don’t like running in the cold and dark of winter as required by my work schedule, lack of gym equipment, and the Earth’s rotation, but I did plan to register for the 2015 race (although I found out at packet pick up that I had failed to do so).
February brought us the Frostbite 10k, and the shirt was premium quality. We opted for same day packet pick-up, and the line went quickly even though there were tons of people. The start seemed much delayed which is frustrating. The course was super hilly with the beginning of both the 10k and 5k races going up Howard Gap, and the 10k continued on Howard Gap to Jackson Rd. With the course being on such well traversed roads I understand that traffic control is difficult especially given the mid afternoon start, but it really stinks to run behind a vehicle (pun intended). This race is not one I would do again.
At the beginning of the 2014 Hot Chocolate Asheville High’s marching band played on an overpass, so when I saw the card for the Band Aid 8k I was down. Unfortunately both my running buddy and my childcare were busy so I changed my registration to the 5k as I had to push a jogging stroller and my daughter. The course is a good combination of hills, flats, and downhill around Asheville High, AB Tech, and Victoria Rd; I don’t know if it was the chilly March Saturday morning start, but I didn’t encounter more than one vehicle. Having the sections of the band entertains runners along the course was really awesome, and I look forward to running this again. The shirt was a good quality light cotton, and this is a small race so race day packet pick up was a breeze.
I couldn’t pass up a race to support a green way that also earned me a Pisgah pint glass so in April I did the Black Mountain Greenway Challenge. There was a long downhill that had me worried about the uphill return, but it was really quite manageable. In fact this was the first 10k that I ran/jogged the entire course. Most of the course is on the road, but there was almost no traffic to speak of. The pint glass is offered in lieu of a shirt, but one can purchase the shirt separately. After so many easy same day packet pick ups I quit bothering with the extra trip, and this race didn’t prove me wrong. I will do this race again.
The Cradle to Grave 5k filled our May race, and the major climb happened at the beginning. While it is nice to get the hill over early, it was a doozy. The course was almost completely paved for the 5k, and I enjoyed not having to run with any cars. Oskar Blues supplied post race beer, but it was a bit too early for me. The large t-shirt was much too small for me, my buddy, and my mom. Amazingly the 30k front runners were finishing as we were leaving. I’ve registered again for this year.
In June I registered for the Shindig on the Green at Carrier Park then I saw the Park to Park 8k for later the same month. Both races were were flat and began before the heat as well as being along waterways and busy roads for at least a portion of the course. Of the two I preferred the Park to Park even with its mostly in and back course; much of the course was shaded and had great volunteers directing runners. My mom joined me for both races pushing my girl in a jogging stroller, and she finished the Shindig race early when she missed a turn. Neither race offered a shirt I wanted to wear again.
July offered plenty of options for 4th races, but the Brevard Firecracker 10k seemed the best option. The 10k course is almost an out and back, and I had my butt kicked by multiple people pushing one or more kids in jogging strollers; the shirt went straight to the donation pile. Sadly this was my last race with my running buddy before she moved. I wanted to do the Highland Night Flight, but Beck came to town and put on an awesome show.
The race pickings were slim for August so we drove to Highlands to find a charity race as I committed to only running for a cause. The Twilight 5k was tough. I don’t know if it was the elevation or me missing my running buddy or my kid throwing a fit, but this race was tough and not much fun for me. The course runs only on streets, but the traffic control was good. It is a mixed grade course over pavement, and even with the elevation change it was hot, hot, hot. I would not run this race again as the course isn’t unique or interesting enough to justify the drive. I stumbled across the Foot Rx Cross Counrty Series after I’d registered for the Highlands race so I ended up running the Montreat 5k which was my favorite course of the series. The surfaces varied from gravel to grass to rooty trail to pavement, and if you register for the series you get a really nice pullover.
I chose to use the Foot Rx Cross Country Series as my September race so I ran at Asheville School which had the same terrain as Montreat albeit a much longer wooded section. In October I began the Foot Rx Cross Country Series Jackson Park race only to skin my knees pretty good on a tumble; I felt like such a whiny pants, but my knees were scabby for weeks.
I tried to come full circle with The Turkey Trot, but I had to have my wisdom teeth out so my honey, girl, and I did the Gobble Wobble. My girl loves her racing water bottles, and my husband enjoyed doing the wobble. This will be a Thanksgiving tradition.
My daughter and I did the Jingle Bell 5k for my last race of 2014, and I somehow forgot to pack the jogging stroller so I carried her most of the 5k. She loved the jingle bells we received at packet pick up, and I enjoyed the course through Montford where I encountered almost no vehicles. I would run this race again.