Sunday, December 19, 2010

Race Recap: Mount Mourne VFD Elf Run 5k

DARTers Marc Hirschfield and his wife Jo recap their experience at this past Saturday's Mount Mourne Volunteer Fire Department Elf Run 5k. Here's his report (which he also posted on his blog):

The sun rises over the frozen North Pole as the Elves awaken

Oh, wait, we're in North Carolina, it just FEELS like the North Pole.  After doing my 19 on Friday, I wasn't sure about what I was going to do Saturday.  I knew I'd want to take it easy and go short.  After seeing that a bunch of DART-ers were going to be at the Mt Mourne VFD Elf 5K, I figured I'd head over there at least to cheer, plus Jo decided that she'd run.
This must be the place-photo courtesy of Chad Randolph
I wasn't sure if I was planning on running, but I put my gear on.  Jo and I had done the race 2 years ago and it was fun, but last year she had pneumonia and I had the flu, so that was a no go.  Once I got there, I decided that I had to do the distance anyways, so signing up would be the best motivation.  On line, I ran into Tony Read, and we talked for a while, he told us about his triathlons training, and it's hard not to want to go out and run.  Went out to the car and ran into Rodney Alan Graham, who was there to run with his son.

After picking up my shirt (love the elf shirts) I headed out back to the port-a-johns (I promise not to rant about the 2 outdoors toilets, really)  and ran into Chad Randolph, Jim Crotts, Jeremy Alsop and Tommy Wagoner talking to Kara Pettie from Run For Your Life - University, who I see at least once a week.  Most of the Charlotte running people I know in one place - cool!  Chad was on his crutches and was there to cheer everyone on, Kara was working the RFYL table and the rest of us were running.

After some chit-chat, we all gathered in front of the firehouse for the start.  This race definitely has a small town feeling as the start is basically just the parking lot in front of the firehouse and everyone just stands together until the start.  Chad was on his crutches and was there to cheer everyone on, which was pretty cool.

The course heads out from the firehouse, up Langtree Road, past the (ever-growing) Lowes world headquarters, does a turn around out on Transco road and comes back, finishing up behind the firehouse.
The start - photo courtesy of Chad Randolph

At the go sign, we all took off up the road.  My objective was just to take it easy.  After the 19 the day before, I just didn't want to pull anything, but I found that for first mile I was just gliding along.  I realized how much more fun the 5K distance is than the marathon.  Just cruising along.  My objective was to pass more people than passed me.  And that proved to be no problem at all.  In fact, no one passed me at all, I just passed them.  I've never had that feeling before.  As I neared the halfway point, I started looking for people I knew, which is a cool feature of this race.

Up ahead, I got to see Jim, Jeremy, Tommy, Tony, and saw Jo heading my way.  Everyone gave each other the little head nod, and kept going.

The second half was a little bit tougher than the first, with more uphill, but I kept chugging along.  Got across the street from the fire station and saw Jo and Chad standing there to bring folks into the finish.

Me and my heel strike coming in to the finish line - Photo courtesy Chad Randolph

Jo and Chad bringing the runners home.

I put on a little burst of speed and made it to the finish line at 28:30.  Not my best time by far, but all things considered, I'll take it.    Met up with everyone in side and got to see the awards ceremony.

Jo got 2nd in her age group
Jeremy Alsop 2nd Male 25-29
Jim Crotts - 1st Male 30-34
Bobby Aswell Jr - 1st Male 45-49
Tony Read - 3rd Male 50-54

Congrats to Marshall Graham for finishing a 5K at the age of 9.

Overall, a good time and a great race.

Partial DART team photo
Jo and I post race

A girl and her trophy

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