The Spirit Run 5k was my slowest 5k in years. Maybe ever, who knows. But the course was also the most challenging race I’ve done. With 340 feet of elevation gain and 100 feet in the last mile, the course was challenging. Plus, on the golf course, it was slippery, and I didn’t want to fall. Finally, I was running on empty from traveling and just being tired. All of that to say, it wasn’t my day. But the race was free (yes, really).
Before the Spirit Run 5k:
We got to Charlottesville the night before. My husband’s family lives in Charlottesville, and the point of our trip out east was to see my husband’s grandma. I knew they had a free 5k for everyone in the community she lived, so I thought it would be fun.
The morning of, I woke up and didn’t feel good. I was trying to catch up on sleep and get in the right time zone but just felt flat. I wasn’t that concerned because I thought it would be fun. My husband and I warmed up on the course and noticed it’s hilly. Since moving away from Northern California, I haven’t run hills that much, and I’ve felt that lately. Charlottesville and Lake Monticello are hilly, so I knew the race would not be “fast.”
Spirit Run 5k Race:
At the start, I was busy chatting, and all of a sudden, they were like go. The race wasn’t chip-timed, and I just kind of went. The Spirit Run 5k went downhill and then headed to the golf course. The rest of the race went up and down, up and down, and had a lot of weaving around the golf course. It felt like mile 1 was neverending. I was behind many people and ran the first mile of the Spirit Run 5k in 7:18. I just laughed, considering I ran a half marathon last month faster. I knew it wasn’t my day before the race even began, and I was happy to be there.
The next mile went downhill, and a volunteer said: “it’s all downhill from here.” I laughed because we were already going downhill and lower than the start/finish, so I knew we would eventually have to go back uphill too. I passed a few people during the second mile. The hills were short and steep, reminding me of a cross-country race hill. Every short, steep hill, I just wanted to stop and walk. I kept telling myself to keep going. “No one cares about your time.” I passed the second mile of the Spirit Run 5k in 7:18.
I knew the last mile of the Spirit Run 5k would be challenging because we were significantly lower than the start and finish. We had to get back uphill somehow. A couple of women passed me, and we kept climbing. It felt like the end was never going to come. I crossed the third mile of the Spirit Run 5k in 7:48. Maybe my slowest 5k mile ever.
I crossed the Spirit Run 5k around 22:51. It was my slowest 5k in a long time, maybe ever. But it was also the most challenging 5k race I’ve ever done.
Spirit Run 5k Thoughts:
While I can’t say I’m happy with the time, I had a lot going on, and the course was extremely challenging. I’m happy with my effort and not giving up, and that’s all I can ask from myself.
You can see Strava here and more race recaps here.
Questions for you:
Have you done the Spirit Run 5k?
Did you run a Fourth of July race?