I wasn’t able to run the inaugural race last year because I was being treated for an ectopic pregnancy the day before and forbidden to run the race by my Dr. Thankfully given the circumstances, and although the race was normally non refundable, the organizers offered me a 50% credit for this year.
While I had originally signed up for the race in 2011 to see how fast I could run a 5k. I knew it wouldn’t be the case this year! The course is a perfectly flat loop starting from the hangars, going down the taxiway, up the runway and back down the taxiway to the hangars. I don’t think it’s possible to find a flatter course in Asheville.
My goal was to run it for fun. Well ok, as I told a colleague that I met at the start I would be thrilled to finish under 30minutes being that I was 20 weeks pregnant. But if I didn’t, I knew I would be perfectly ok with it.
The race was well organized with plenty of special event parking (free) and shuttles to take you to the start. Although most runners chose to walk to warm up in the “balmy” 50 degree! I had switched to long sleeves at the last minute because it was just too cold for me. Thankfully the start area was well protected from the wind and I was able to warm up a little.
I had gotten there with plenty of wiggle room because I still needed to pick up my race packet. As it turned out, that only took a minute or so. So I just walked around to keep warm, went to the port-potties a few times, signed up for a chance to win free airfare and checked-out the aviation day tables that would open up later.
The sun rose and things warmed up a good bit. It wasn’t supposed to be very warm that day, but it turned out that the sun broke through the clouds right around race time and that I could have down a T-shirt after all. We lined up for the race and waited… the start was delayed about 15mns due to a plane landing. And then we were off. At first everyone seemed together but quickly the line started to stretch. I was still far from the first turn when I saw the first runners on the other side. The benefit and drawback of a flat open course is that you know exactly how far you are for the top runners. It was really cool however to see all the runners and walkers stretched out around the runway. I found my pace and stuck to it. I was passed in the beginning but started passing people half-way through. Baby was doing good, not jumping on my bladder or sitting in a weird uncomfortable position.
I took the second turn and headed back towards the hangars. I surprised myself by finishing just under 27 minutes. Yeah for flat courses, I had not been this fast in a month. The finish table had whole oranges, apples, bananas and water which I helped myself to. Overall it’s a well organized race when you see how many people participated. And let’s be honest, how often do you get to run on a runway right? I hope to do it again when I’m not pregnant and see if I can get a PR.
I finished 21st/105 of my age group (25-34) and 215/708 runners.