Oak Island 5k
Woke up at the bright and early time of 3:30am for some pre race breakfast and was on the way to North Carolina just after 4. Made it to the race site nice and early, which was good because there was 3 races going on that morning and waves of people trying to park in limited parking. The goal for the day was to just run hard, and not pay attention to pace or time. So when the warm up went well and the legs were feeling reasonably good things were lining up to be a good day. Lining up at the start I noticed that there was only about 10-12 people standing ahead of the 8min/mile area, and only a hand full of women. I thought to myself for a quick second that as long as I don’t completely blow this, there is a chance I could place well today…….and then the race started.
Horn sounded and everyone was running. We make the first left at the end of the block and it’s on. The race route map showed a hard right turn not far after the start. There were about 5-6 people ahead of me when we passed the road that I thought was the turn, but they all were running confidently and kept going straight. I just thought “ok, maybe the map wasn’t to scale and the first turn it further up”. So we kept running and finally turned right, but at this point I was 80% sure we were going to wrong way. At the next turn I looked down and noticed a 26.2 with an arrow on the ground. We were almost 2 miles in at this point and 100% on the wrong course. Soon after a car rolls up and a guy gets out and stops a few of us to let us know we are going to wrong way. He said they would figure it out when we got back, but didn’t tell us anything else. So we turn around and start running back. Still sort of running hard but not all out because at this point I’m not sure how far we will actually run for this 5k. We finally get back to the 5k course and I pick the pace back up because there is no way they are going to re-start the 5k at this point. The next part of the course is a long straight section and there is everyone from marathon-5k out there, but no one seems to know where we are going. There were random 5k people turning at random corners and just flat turning around. I knew there was a turn around, but not sure where and at this point I had run 4 miles and staying on course seemed like a lost concept. I turned at the next corner and ran up the parallel road that the finish line was on.
I finished the “5k” (4.69 miles) and got my medal and my slice of pizza and headed home. Lesson of the day……Always know the course!!