I asked my coach a few weeks back about doing a check in race before the Little Rock 1/2 Marathon. He suggested finding a 15K, a 5K and even a 10K aren’t really a good test since the speed and turnover is so much faster. Turns out 15ks are hard to come by and the only one I really knew about it was a double loop and a miserable course until I found the Cupcake Road Race.
They offered a 15K and a 5K and I had originally thought it would be fun if Rich and I did each of them for Valentine’s Day…until I saw the price. We decided I would run it and he would support. It was $65 (later signup) for the 15K which I thought was really high, but it did include a medal and it was up in Cumming, GA which is about 40 minutes north of my house so a nice change of scenery. Coach Chris set a goal to run the race at half marathon goal pace- 7:30.
We got up around 5:40 on Saturday to head to Cumming for packet pickup and to give me enough time for the bathroom and a warmup mile. By the time I finished everything, I heard the announcers say we had 3 minutes until the start. Oops. Cut that a bit too close.The 15K started at 7:30 and the 5K at 7:45, which I really liked for racing purposes. The 15K was small and I lined up right where I needed to be, 70 minutes and under, and then we were off.
The course itself was an out and back on hwy 141, mainly flat with just enough of a hill to change muscle use. I quickly realized why the race was so expensive. 141 is a VERY busy road with lots of intersections thus the need for lots and lots of policemen. I swear, there was a set of cops every quarter or half mile.It was a pretty lonely race for me, I ran next to 2 different guys each for about 1 minute. Other than that, I was all solo. I focused on holding back and staying within the 7:30 goal pace and felt really, really good. My only concern was my lack of water pre-race (rushed out of the house without it) but I seemed to do okay with what was offered on the course. Had I been really racing it, it may have been an issue, but I didn’t need to worry about that.
The last mile or so I caught up with the 5K walkers. I swear, there is nothing more annoying than walkers who take up an entire course and I have to yell, “On your left,” without a response or even a slight movement from the walkers. I ended up weaving around a fair amount of them as headed to the finish line. Garmin Results
Hmm. a 15K is supposed to be 9.32 miles. Unfortunately, my garmin had me at 8.98.
The race course was certified, but I wasn’t the only one with a short course on their watch. Such a bummer because I don’t feel “right” claiming a 1:06:50 as my 15K time, but I guess that’s what I am supposed to do? The race results showed a 7:11 pace and I sure didn’t want my coach thinking I was running that fast and not following the plan. Post Race
Post race was quick. I checked out the cupcakes (but couldn’t eat it), grabbed a water, found Rich, grabbed Starbucks and then we left. I had a feeling I placed based on the number of women I saw ahead of me at the turn around, but we had to get back to Atlanta to get ready for my niece’s 2nd birthday party. I checked the results later that day and realized I did get 1st in my AG! I was able to pick up my award Monday since I was working in that area. Another medal for the collection!Overall/Thoughts
Like I said, the race was a little expensive, but had I signed up earlier, it would’ve been worth the money spent.
The race had a ton of positives: A great post race party, a mini run for the little kids, a well protected and marked course, a medal, FREE pictures and a pretty cool race shirt. The shirt is actually more of a fitted tee, not a tech tee or regular cotton unisex shirt. I also LOVE that the pictures are free, even though I think I look AWFUL in them (is it that hat? or the pink? BLEH). The only negatives are the course certification time vs. garmin time. I know not to live by the watch, but when a race is measured and multiple runners said the course was short for them too, then I think it’s a problem.
I would do this race again if I needed a 15K in my schedule. It’s kinda far from my house, but if you live outside the perimeter of Atlanta, I would definitely recommend it.
Would you count the official time as your PR? Would you spend $65 on a 15K if the race swag was good? Did you do a Valentine’s Day race?