The Heritage Festival 5-Miler is a Fredericksburg tradition, a race on the morning of July 4 to kick off a fun day of activities–a craft show, classic car display, and all kinds of other things–they used to have a parade and a river raft race, but sadly they don’t anymore–ending, of course, with fireworks.
I signed up for the race at Packet Pickup at VA Runner, and of course they were having a sale. I walked out with my bib and my race t-shirt, along with two pairs of running shorts, several pairs of Balega socks, and a mishmash of gels and Picky Bars. (And they say running is an inexpensive hobby…)
The race was set to start by the train station and head down Caroline Street all the way to the Heritage Trail, go about halfway around the Canal/Heritage loop, and back through the streets to the finish near the new courthouse building. I parked along George Street, not far from the finish, and walked to the start. On the way I stopped at the Courtyard hotel to use the restroom and ran into a former co-worker of my husbands and her family, and chatted with them for a few minutes before heading to the train station.
I was able to meet up with two of my fellow Life Runners for a quick photo before the start of the race. (We forgot to pray the Life Runners Creed–and someone forgot to arrange for the National Anthem to be sung before the starting gun. Who forgets the Star Spangled Banner on Independence Day??)
I had my timer set for 2/30 intervals, and as expected, lots of runners passed me at the beginning. I fell into a pretty comfortable pace, although at every walk break I had to move to the side because the course was fairly narrow and crowded with runners. I blame that for my positive splits!
Mile 1: 9:49
Mile 2: 9:52
Mile 3: 10:00
Mile 4: 10:09
I did start passing people after a while, though, and I was even able to sneak a quick photo of one of our Life Runners, Howard, as I was coming up behind him.
Mile 5: 9:30
Official Time: 49:42
The race photos of me are NOT GOOD, and there don’t seem to be any finish photos of anyone. I did get a nice shot of Howard coming across the finish line, though!
Will I do this race again? Definitely. In the past I’ve been reluctant to do it because, well, it’s hot in July and the race doesn’t start until 7:45 am. Normally I’m beginning my summer runs between 5:30 and 6. This year the weather was cloudy and rain was in the forecast (luckily it didn’t start until later!) so I wasn’t too worried about getting overheated. Besides, I’ve run quite a few hot and humid miles this summer, and I think I’m FINALLY figuring out how to hydrate properly. Hot weather doesn’t scare me anymore!
I don’t know if I’ll have a chance to post here again before the end of the month. I hope so, but if not of course I’ll have a July RunnerCache wrap soon! I can’t believe July is nearly over already. Stay cool, my friends, and happy running, geocaching, or just enjoying the great outdoors!