Running the Hangover Classic is becoming a tradition for me. This was my 5th time running. I had to go back and look at my past results when I got home today. The times vary because the weather varies drastically. I've run in 40 deg and rain. I've run in 10 deg with stiff cold winds. I've run with the roads covered in snow. This is what my past 4 races looked like:
2005 - 5K, 3rd place, 20:03
2006 - 10K, 7th place, 41:19
2007 - 5K, 6th place, 21:09
2009 - 5K, 3rd place, 21:52
The other part of this race I like is that you have an opportunity to "take the plunge." Yes, jump in the Atlantic Ocean on Jan 1st ... and all for a mug! The first thing I did when I arrived was walk up to the beach to check out the waves.
It looked good and at a balmy 32 degrees plunging was definitely an option this year.
I went down to register and signed up for the 5K. I'm still nursing a sore and tight left hamstring so didn't think I could make it through the 10K. I did a 2 mile warm-up with Laurie and Linda then went inside to really stretch my hamstrings. I went back to the car, pinned on my number, put on my flats, and changed my shirt. I jogged a little more and then hit the start line.
Now, one of my pet peeves is races that start late. There is a reason we warm-up and it's not to stand forever at the start line. For some reason the race director found it necessary to delay the start to let a few runners get through the port-a-potty line. Seriously? Urgh!!!!
We finally started and I got trapped behind a few slow starters. After we rounded the first corner I made my way through and had room to run. I settled in and felt good. I hit the first mile marker in 6:45. At about the half-way point, we take this little detour around the block before we head back. At the first corner they ran us over some person's yard to avoid a flooded street. The footing was horrible but luckily is was only for a few seconds. I was still feeling really good except my hamstring was starting to get tight. When I hit the two mile mark it was tight enough that I could feel my gait changing slightly to compensate. I crossed the line in 21:02. I had no idea where I was until I turned the last corner and saw the clock. For some reason I never looked at my watch again after the first mile. I ran hard and was happy with that. I was also pleased that my overall pace is about 6:47, which means I never slowed down after the first mile.
I collected my mug for being in the top 25 finishers, walked down the finish shoot, caught my breath, then headed to the beach. Yup, it was time to take the plunge. Off with the shoes and socks, off with the stocking cap, off with the shirt. I trotted toward the water in my tights and sports bra. In order to get the mug, you have to fully submerge yourself. I've learned from the past that you have to be careful of the waves, especially when your legs are tired from racing. I walked out and waited for 2 big waves to roll into me then under I went. I came up and headed back up to collect my second mug!
I jogged back to the car barefoot, not very smart, but I didn't want to get sand in my flats. I grabbed my bag and headed inside to change. I'm always amazed at how much sand accumulates in your hair and bra in the 20 sec you are under water. Amazing! Putting on dry clothes felt wonderful.
My 21:02 gave me an overall 3rd place finish. My 5th hangover classic, my 3rd ocean plunge. It really is a great way to start the year.