Friday, July 24, 2015

Race Review: Torchlight 5k

On Wednesday I did my first race in quite a while. I started running in 2011 after thinking that I was NOT a runner for most of my life (I now think this is true of no one). I ran a 5k, a 10k, a 10 mile, a half marathon, then another, repeated all of those in between, then a marathon in October 2014. But then, after that I barely ran at all. Wanting to get back into a workout routine and get that runner's high back, I started running again this spring. It finally felt like it was time to do a race again so I got my sister to sign up with me.

The Lifetime Fitness Torchlight 5k an evening race at 7:30pm in Downtown Minneapolis.


Packet Pickup: 

There were a TON of options for packet pickup at locations all over the Twin Cities at a variety of times. Despite this convenience, my sister and I waited until that evening. It was still pretty quick to get our bibs and shirts (which we had to carry while running, whoops).


I was really surprised how well things flowed. We picked up our packets, got 21+ wristbands, and used the bathrooms in about 40 mins and then were ready to start right away. They staggered the start by times and it made it much less crowded. Cody dropped us off but I imagine that parking would have been quite difficult. There was a shuttle to take you back to the start from the finish so that's nice but would also have been a little annoying. So nice to have a kind husband to chauffeur us around.


Always nice when a map includes 'Beer'

The race started right at the Basilica of Saint Mary in Downtown Minneapolis and wound through the Downtown area. They were able to close the streets because immediately after the race there was going to be the Aquatennial parade. Otherwise I don't think they could have done that on a week night. The course was really nice and there wasn't one tiny hill. We got to see all of the buildings downtown, including where my sister works, the Guthrie theater, and ran across the iconic Stone Arch Bridge.


There were a lot of runners but due to their waves of different paces it didn't seem to crowded. It was also unusual that there were a lot of spectators. They were set up staking out spots for the parade, but it was still nice to pretend they were there for us and they cheered a little bit, too. It was also really cool to run by a fire station and all the fire fighters were cheering for us.

Perks/After Party:

There were two water stations which I didn't use since it was only a 5k but it was pretty hot so it's nice to know there was ample opportunity. They gave really nice T-shirts that I don't think I'll donate immediately because it's so soft and I'd like to sleep in it. The party at the end of the course had live music and you got two beers included in your race fee. Only problem was that it was Michelob Ultra - blech. I mean, I still drank one but I gave the other one to Cody. They also gave us a TON of free stuff. Target handed out actual bags stuffed full of crap. Some of it was useless but there was lip balm, lotion, fruit leather, and like 5 Kind bars. Not too bad!

Personal Review:

I'm really happy with how the race went! I had low hopes since I'd just felt like running has been a struggle lately. But this felt better than most of my runs lately. I finished in 31:56, which is nowhere near a good time for me. But, I was honestly hoping to finish in under 35 minutes, so it was a pleasant surprise. I even had a bunch of energy left in me to push myself faster in the last quarter mile or so. It felt good to get back out there. Hopefully this will help me feel better about amping up mileage and speed in the near future. It was also really fun to run this with my sister. We've only run two other races together. One was a triathlon in which we were separated by age group and the other was her first 5k. She just recently ran her first half marathon and is doing the Ragnar relay this summer. It's cool how much progress we've made from both being afraid of running.

We don't look alike.

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