Thursday, August 21, 2014

ridge run 5k

Memorial Day weekend was a race filled one! After having the Soldier Field 10 Mile on Saturday morning, I also had the Annual Ridge Run 5k on Monday morning. I've done this races for the past few years. They have both a 10k and a 5k, and I considered doing them both (as a challenge, you would receive a medal), but then remembered what the weather is usually like (hot, sunny, and humid most years) and decided to stick with the 5k only. I believe this was our fourth year running it. Maybe next year I'll take the challenge... I do like medals, after all :)

The Challenge Medal.

The 10k began at 8am and the 5k at 9:30am. I really appreciate the late start, which means a later sleep in time ;) I swear that one year, it was actually warmer and more humid during the 10k than it was for the 5k, not to say that it still wasn't pretty miserable for our 5k haha.

I'm glad we only did the 5k, since it was in the upper 70s, sunny, and my legs were a bit tired from the 10 miles on Saturday. I know 70s isn't that warm, but we hadn't had much warm weather here yet, so my body wasn't acclimated to running in it. 

Southpaw was there to run the Youth Mile.

Southpaw running the Youth Mile.

My mom was able to do our packet pickup on Friday, but the dry-tech shirt was too big and I wanted to get there a little earlier to try and exchange it. There was ample parking on local streets that weren't on the course, though a few blocks of walking was required (no problem with us). I'd say we got there around 8:45. 

These grey shirts were from this year.

There was day of packet pickup, so I went into the field house and up the stairs where that was being held. The shirt tables were right when I walked in, so I just asked a teenage boy working if it were possible to exchange my shirt for a smaller size, and he said it wasn't a problem. A little background: the shirts for this race are usually a bit larger, but they were going with a new company this year, so I thought I'd go with my usual Medium. Unfortunately, size wise, it was the same as whoever they used before, and even the small size is a bit large. Oh well, I'd prefer a little large over a little small (I hate when shirts cling to my body, especially in the summer when I'm so darn sweaty. I prefer them to be a bit loose.)

Anyway, I exchanged my shirt, then we hit up the bathrooms (no line - hurray!), and then sat on a bench until about 10 minutes till the start. I did a few dynamic stretches and we lined up towards the back. The 5k offered both a timed and non-timed option, so a lot of the non-timed people were in the back. There were also a lot of strollers. We were being timed (it was the B-tag chip, so it was on the bib), so we stationed ourselves as best we could in front of the strollers and un-timed people. 

Start line.

We crossed the start at about 9:34am. If I recall correctly, there were two water stops on the course, and lots of local people out cheering. Plenty of houses also offered a spray with a hose, or had sprinklers set up so the runners could go through the spray. I gladly went through every one I saw – it felt so refreshing! The sun was quite warm. 

I decided to stick with my mom (races are usually more fun/quick this way, and if I'm not gunning for a PR, I don't see why we should be on our own). We did 30 seconds of running and 1 minute of walking. This interval suited us well for the 5k. 

I really love this race because almost every homeowner on the course is out there cheering on the runners – it's just so wonderful to get so much community love and support. After the finish, they handed out bottles of water and sponges soaked in cold water. Ahhhh, it felt amazing.

Loved getting a nice, cold sponge at the finish line.

There didn't appear to be any professional photographers this year, like there have been in the past, but I wonder if not enough people bought pictures, so it wasn't worth them getting one. I'm usually not keen on buying photos from a race unless it's a a half marathon. I'm really digging the races that offer them for free! I hope that becomes more of a trend, though I imagine registration fees are a bit higher, to sort of balance that out. I digress...

Before leaving, I grabbed this shot.
My face finally cooled off enough to not look like a tomato.

After we got our water and sponges, we headed on down to the tent area. We had tickets on our bibs to allow us entry into the runner food/drink area where we could get an apple or banana (I can't recall which fruit), sports drink, and some kind of protein bar (again, I really need to start paying better attention and writing my recaps sooner after the race!). Once you had gotten your stash, you leave that area, and then there were tents with vendors (like hot dogs, ice cream, a sports store, etc). I was really hungry, so ended up getting a hot dog. YUM. 

Great post-run fuel, right?

Overall, another well organized year for the Ridge Run folks, and I'll continue the tradition of running it each year.

PS You can check out my BibRave review here.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a great event! I've never run a race where a free picture is included but I have been reading about them. I agree that more races should offer that perk!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.