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Monday, October 24, 2016

Race Recap: Bridge2Bridge 5k

One of the bridges in the race name.
The Ashtabula Bridge2Bridge race took place Saturday, October 22 at 8:30am in Ashtabula, Ohio. There were two distances: 13.1 and 5k. Alex and I did the 5k. 

Last week was very warm, but temperatures plummeted when the rain arrived. Saturday's outlook was 40-something, windy, and potentially rainy. I could not figure out what to wear and at the last minute decided on a t-shirt, capris, a hat, and a jacket. Alex almost always wears a t-shirt and shorts, but he added his rain jacket when his dad dropped us off at the start.

We were able to go inside to keep warm and dry and as we stood around scoping everyone out, you could it this was a field of legit runners. (Luckily, most of them ran the half. ha) About 5 minutes before the race everyone lined up. Of course, it started to rain. It wasn't a downpour, but it was pretty chilly and I was thankful for my jacket.

Spoiler alert: we were happy to be finished

Here's a mini recap:
Mile 1: SO WINDY. I started off at a good pace, but gradually slowed down as we got closer to the lake. The wind was brutal and my hat almost blew off several times. I could also tell my legs were still shot. Maybe it was mental, who knows. I felt like I was crawling, so I was pleased with my first mile. (7:53)

Mile 2: There was a short out and back, so I could see Alex with a few folks hot on his tail, including one woman. I was in the top 25 for sure and saw a handful of ladies in front of me. I was slowing down - mainly due to the weather - and changed my strategy from PR to "stick with the person in front of you." (8:15)

Miles 3: I stayed with a cluster of folks and passed them, then they passed me. It went on and on until the end. Just before the final downhill we had to cross a semi-busy street. The cop directing traffic was getting something from his car so we were on our own (what?!). That was my second cop in a week giving us traffic trouble. Odd. The last stretch was downhill and my legs hurt (I'm guessing from last week's steep downhill.) I was fast, but two teens passed me. Unfortunately the final straightaway into the finish chute was very narrow and only allowed for one person, so I could not pass a guy in front of me. Bummer, because it slowed me down a ton. (8:02)

Alex and his parents were there to cheer me on at the finish. My watch time was 24:42, which is pretty close to a PR, but not quite. When we signed up for the race I was hoping this would be an all-7:xx mile race, but it wasn't in the cards. They had a results station, so after collecting our apple cider donuts (mmmm), Alex and I found out we were both 1st in our age groups! We went to the local coffee shop to warm up and grab drinks, then returned for the awards ceremony. 1st place age groupers received a mug, while 2nd and 3rd place got ribbons.

Grabbing my Age Group award

Directly after the race we went to the newest covered bridge in Ashtabula. The weather cleared up a bit, so we took a short walk. The bridge happened to be at the half turnaround so we were able to cheer on a few people. It was gorgeous, but this was also the hilliest part of the half course, which made me happy I ran the 5k!

Final Stats and Thoughts 
It was a well-run race with a nice course. I'd do it again if we're ever up in Ashtabula. The overall elevation gain of the half is 868ft, so I'll probably skip that race. ;)

Final Time: 24:44
Overall: 15/60 (25%)
Gender: 5/32 (15%)
Age Group: 1 (!)

Up Next: Well, I was going to run another half to get a second sub-2 for 2016, but around mile 2 of this 5k I thought, "I don't want to race 13.1 for a while," so maybe that won't happen. Our next officially scheduled race is the Flying Feather 4 Miler on Thanksgiving morning.

The long bridge (top) is the other bridge in the race name. The small one is the new bridge.

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