I’m going to preface this race report by saying this race is the longest run I have done since the Shamrock 8K in March. After a few DNS’s (did not starts) this spring, I actually felt ready and excited to run.
I arrived to the start area at the Colonial Williamsburg Visitor’s Center with about 30 minutes to spare. It was a hot, humid morning, already about 76 degrees by my car’s thermostat, so I sipped water and stayed in the AC in my car until about 5 minutes before the start time, 7:00am. I lined up near the back of the pack. I didn’t care about lining up in the middle of the pack like I usually do, because I knew my pace was going to be slower than my usual race pace and I honestly didn’t feel like fighting through the crowd to get to the middle of it all.
The race started right at 7am with a mass start, there were no corrals, however the race announcer did encourage faster runners in the front, slower toward the back. It was crowded for the first half mile or so, but since it’s a smaller race the crowd thins out pretty quickly. I settled into a comfortable pace and ran through Colonial Williamsburg before heading to the William and Mary campus. With each mile my pace got a little slower, but I just kept running my race, tuning out those around me, it was pretty uneventful. Then, mile four came. I struggled with the hills within the W&M campus, and by 4.33 miles, I found myself walking up a hill and then running down. I walked one more time toward the end of the race (I think I had about 1/4 of a mile to go) then ran it in to the stadium. The stadium finish was my favorite part, especially since you run around a rubberized track. After almost 5 miles on a mix of aggregate and asphalt roads, the track felt like clouds. I rounded the corner and sprinted to the finish. I love the last 0.10 mile of a race. I love a good finishing kick, and for some reason even though I tell myself I don’t have it in me, it just happens.
Official Time: 4.97 miles| 54:30| 10:58/mile pace
My Garmin time: 5.09 miles| 54:31| 10:43/mile pace
My one and only issue with this particular race: the water stops! Yes, I knew there were only two, which is okay. However, the first one was right before mile one, and the second was within mile two, leaving runners/walkers with no access to water (unless of course they brought their own) until the finish line. By the time I made it thorough the finisher chute I downed one Gatorade and a bottle of water, and that’s even with feeling like I was well-hydrated before the race. In my opinion, a water stop at the end of mile one and then again at the end of mile three would have been a better way to space the stops out, especially with the hot/humid race conditions. Otherwise, it was a nice race on a beautiful course and I would do it again in a heartbeat.
The Patriot Running Festival Weekend
Distances: 5K, 8K, Half Marathon and a kid’s fun run
Usually held on the first weekend of June, however this year it fell on the final May weekend (5/29-5/31)