Yesterday morning I braved the cold, rainy weather and drove up to Salisbury, NC for the 29th Annual Winter Flight 8k. According to their website, this is the oldest 8k in the state. The 10:00 AM start time allowed me a late race morning start. I drove up to Mooresville to meet a friend and we drove through cow field after cow field to get us to Salisbury (which is still kind of in a cow field).
(Side story: I thought this race was in Charlotte. Imagine my surprise when I found out it was an 60+ minute drive! whoops!)
The race started and finished at Catawba College, who so graciously offered their facilities for our use (toilets, gym, heating, etc). The race also had some great sponsors, which allowed 100% of the proceeds to benefit... whatever organization the race was supporting (I'm not really sure which organization that would be).
The temps were in the low 40s and there was a steady drizzle/light rain that blessed the course for the entire 4.97 miles. We snagged a parking spot on prime real estate and were able to sit in the warm car right up until the start.
I seem to remember during the Resolution Half declaring that I would only participate in races that were further south or east of Charlotte (read: less hilly). This race was neither south nor east and the hills were vengeful. In fact, each mile seemed to have a significant climb.
Of course, it's also possible that I'm being a pansy and the hills weren't that bad.
Through the rain and through the hills, I was able to keep a sub 9 minute pace to finish with an unofficial time of 42:37 (the last 8k I ran was in 2009 with a time of 52:37!). Aside from wanting to collapse once or twice, I ran pretty strong and am quite pleased with my time =)
It was also good enough to snag 3rd place in my age group.
Post race refreshments were served right out of the concessions stand. Water, Cheer Wine (holla!), cookies, candy, bananas, and protein bars were abundant. And, let's not forget, the awesome long sleeve technical tee that every runner got.
Overall the race was pretty successful and very well run. But then again, when it's your 29th time, you'd think all the kinks would be worked out. Great job, Rowan county runners!