Cupcake Road Race 15K Race Recap

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.IMG_0363The 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.TSP_10299692It 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.TSP_10302291 TSP_10302296 TSP_10302293Garmin Results

Hmm. a 15K is supposed to be 9.32 miles. Unfortunately, my garmin had me at 8.98.Screen shot 2015-02-16 at 6.36.32 PM

Official Results 

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. IMG_0376Post 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. IMG_0383IMG_0370I 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!IMG_0400Overall/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). IMG_0399 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? 

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  • Congrats Liz! That’s a blazing fast time. Love the race shirt too. I ran a 10k with a short course and I kind of discounted my time. I’ve never done a 15k. I think the Hot Chocolate one is the only one around here. It’s SO friggin cold/snowy here I didn’t dare sign up for the V-day race (yeah there’s only one). Haha!

  • Nice job, my friend! I am proud of you for hitting goal pace almost spot on! I am with you on the certified courses being short…especially when you are trying to PR or, in your case, setting yourself an automatic PR! I love the cute medal too! I don’t think you look horrible…but I do think that shirt looks about 2 sizes too big for you 🙂

  • Way to go on nailing your goal pace….hopefully that’s a good sign for LR 🙂 $65 is definitely a lot, but it seems as if you got a lot for it (except a well-measured course). I know I’m in the minority, but I can’t stand getting tech tees for races, I would so much rather a cotton tee or something that feels like cotton. Your pictures are cute and free pics are a great perk!

  • nice work running exactly your goal pace!! i hate when courses are short (I know Garmin’s aren’t 100% accurate, but under 9 miles is too short for it to just be Garmin error) – i personally didn’t could a “PR” on a short 5K course, but I don’t think it matters! Come run the Gate in 2 weeks – it’s definitely not a short 15K (US Road Champs), is cheaper (I think even now it’s only $45)- and I selfishly want to see you! 😉

    i also agree with corey, i think i should have gotten you a small in that top. 🙂

  • Congrats on placing! I’m glad you were able to go pick up your medal. That sucks that the course was short. That’s happened to me many times, even on certified courses. Makes no sense!
    I think you look cute, but I do have a similar hat to that one, and I feel the same way about it, it looks awful on me. I guess I have a weird shaped head, but I think only ball caps look good on me!

  • I have the same question about whether to count (probable) inaccurate timing results as a PR! I ran a certified 5k that didn’t have a starting timing mat, and both my time and my bf’s came out 29 seconds faster than we expected. I don’t want to count a PR that’s possibly inaccurate, but I wonder if we’re holding ourselves to a double standard – we’d never count a Garmin PR if it was faster than the official time! As of now, I’m counting my PR with a GIANT asterisk.

    Congrats on a great race and sticking to your super speedy plan!

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