I’ve been to a lot of races, and the food spread at the Run for the Animals in tiny Onancock, Virginia, is simply amazing.
Before I even started the race, I had a delicious glazed doughnut with chocolate frosting. These doughnuts were waiting inside the Historic Onancock School, outside of which the race starts and finishes. I am not normally one to eat a doughnut before a race, but I had stepped on my foot wrong Friday, hurting it, and I figured I might as well eat the doughnut. (Eating it beforehand didn’t seem to cause any problems.)
I signed up for the 10K, because, like last year, I thought I might be able to break the course record for my age group, female 25-29. This year, I would have to beat 56-something. The race also offers a half marathon and 5K.
After hurting my foot Friday, I wasn’t even positive that I’d be able to run, because I was limping some on Saturday, but of course, I wanted to make it work, and since it had improved by Sunday morning, when the race was, I decided I would run.
My friend Veronica and I drove to the race from Salisbury together, and we were able to meet up with fellow Eastern Shore Running Club members and see friends once we got there.
We picked up our race swag, which included a mug — which I love — and a light gray short-sleeve tech shirt.
Because I didn’t want to push myself on a potentially hurt foot, I decided not to wear my watch for the race, but I still wanted to do well.
The 10K race is an out-and-back, and the first mile-and-a-half or so of the race is beautiful. We went through pretty neighborhoods and got a nice view from a bridge — that’s my favorite part of the course. After leaving the small downtown area, the stretch is a little boring, but it was nice to start seeing people come the other way, as I knew the turnaround was not far away. I also paid attention to the mile markers.
I saw some people who looked like they were in my age group ahead of me, so that took some of the pressure off, as I didn’t seem to be that close to any of them. I ran most of the course, but I did get water at the water stops and walk through those and for a little bit after.
In the final straightaway, a couple people passed me and one of them looked like she could potentially be in my age group (she wasn’t, but I didn’t know that at the time), so I found some extra energy and was able to pass them.
My final time was 1:00:28, my new slowest 10K race time. Although it would have been nice to come in right under an hour, I didn’t mind because I had the injured foot (or, at least I have that as a reason other than not doing speed work). It was an average pace of 9:46, which is still a faster pace than the non-race runs I’ve been doing recently, so I can’t complain. My foot really didn’t hurt as I was running, at least not noticeably.
However, my time did mean that I did not break the age group course record, and I ended up coming in third of five in my age group. If I want to break it next year, I’ll have to work on my speed and break the new record set this year of 53:14. My fastest 10K is 50:15, so I know it’s possible, but I haven’t seen a time like that since 2014, so I know I’ll have to put the work in.
First and second place finishers in each age group, male and female, earn one of the unique awards. Even though I didn’t win one of those awards, there were finisher medals, and I received one as I crossed the finish line.
After meeting up with friends, we went inside, where I enjoyed the smorgasbord of food. There were more doughnuts (I did have another one – yum), sweet potato biscuits, fried chicken, cakes, quinoa and pasta salads, and bananas. Among the drinks were beer, coffee and water. I think it would be impossible to go hungry at this race.
I also got to meet author Randy Cook, who I had spoken with on Facebook, and I purchased his book, “Hip! Hip! Hooray! I’m Running Again.” He was also able to sign it for me. I’ll be writing a post about his book once I finish it, but I have a book club book to read first. If you’re interested in purchasing a signed, mailed book for $13, email Randycook48@cox.net. It was nice to meet him, and he purchased an Eastern Shore Running Club shirt, too, so he’ll be able to rep the club in Virginia. (I’m the ESRC secretary.)
The race benefits — as you may have guessed from the name — animals! Organizations who have benefited are listed here.
I also wanted to mention the race does a great job of posting updates on Facebook, and I even won a $15 RoadID gift card ahead of the race for being an early person to respond to the post! I just got a RoadID through being a BibRave Pro, but I might have to get some additional badges.
To learn more about the Run for the Animals, visit the race website.
Like She Runs by the Seashore on Facebook here.
UPDATED: Check out my BibRave review for this race here. I also added the second-to-last paragraph after the initial posting.