For the first time since I started running on a regular basis last August, I ran 3 races in the same day (all within an 8 hour period). Let me share with you my experience.
A couple of months ago, my commander approached me and asked if I would be interested in running in the 1st annual Rocking into the Night Glo Run on the 4th of July. He said that if I ran in, he would sponsor me (by paying my registration fee). I immediately accepted his offer because I never ran in a race in the middle of the night. Last month, I was reviewing the Middle Georgia race calendar and noticed there was a 4th of July Firecracker 10K road race in Wrightsville, GA. I haven’t ran a 10K race since March so I thought it would be a good idea to run in it. For an extra 5 bucks, they were offering the 10K runners to run in the 5K road race following the 10K. The 5K started an hour and 15 minutes after the 10K so I figured I could probably run in that one too so I ended up signing up for both. My thinking was I would run in the Wrightsville races, go home, rest, and run at midnight. But then it hit me. The Glo Run was going to start at midnight on the 4th of July, which would have been Thursday night/Friday morning. For whatever reason, I was thinking the Glo Run would be Friday night/Saturday morning!!! DOH!!! I just signed up for 3 races on the SAME day!!! Glo Run that starts at midnight, 10K at 7 am, and 5K at 8:15 am. Oh did I mention that I have an an hour and 20 minute drive to Wrightsville? The 4th of July is going to be a long day! Oh well, there is no turning back. I am committed and I am going to do this!
Prior to the Glo Run, I stopped by the dollar store to get some glo sticks. I also had the idea to wear something patriotic, so I went to Party City and got me a patriotic top hat to run in. Since I ran 13.1 miles in a cow hat, this shouldn’t be a problem!
Prior to the Glo Run was the Warner Robins Independence Day Concert and Fireworks. Parking is at a premium but luckily, the race organizers made a VIP parking area available for the runners participating in the run on a first come, first serve basis. Being on the cautious side, I decided to get there early so I got there around 9 pm. I went to registration, picked up my race packet and returned to my car to start getting my gear together. I ran into some of my Run For God friends so we just passed the time by chatting and watching the fireworks.
Before we knew the race was about to start, so we headed over to the starting line. Everyone was “glowing” and ready to run. At midnight, the race started. It was a pretty decent course that went through our “downtown area” and some of the residential neighborhoods right across Robins AFB. Even though it was a midnight, it was pretty hot probably because I was wearing my top hat. In no time, I approached the finish line. My race time was 27:28 (8:42 pace). I finished 8th out of 19 for my age group and 36th out of 220 overall.
While I was hanging out at the finish line, one of the race directors came up to me and asked for my bib number. He told me that I was in the lead for the best dressed individual. Huh? You are running a costume contest? News to me! I am being honest, I didn’t know they were having a costume contest and I wasn’t even trying.
The race came to an end and they started to give out the awards. They started with the best dressed individual and best dressed team. Well, I won the best dressed award and got a nice glass award framed in glass plus a reflector belt. A trio of girls dressed in patriotic tutus got the best dressed. Even though I didn’t win in the race, I walked away with a nice addition to my running wall!
I left the race a little after 1 am; luckily I live about 5 minutes away. I got home, set my alarm for 5 am and went to bed. 4 hours later, my alarm rang. Got up, got dressed, and headed to Wrightsville. I got to Wrightsville at about 6:30 and checked in. I did a couple of laps around the town square to warm myself up. The temperature was perfect – about 65 degrees. 7 am rolled around and the 10K race started. The first 10K I was relatively flat; this one was HILLY. My app recorded about 321 feet of elevation climbs. One thing I didn’t like was at every mile marker, a volunteer would yell out your time. I don’t want to know my time!! On the way back to the finish line (which I thought was where we started), I noticed a runner in front of me turned left. I followed him and we found out that we about missed the finish line. There was a turn off a while back off the main road however there was nobody there to direct us. Besides getting a little off course, I finished the race in 53:42 for an 8:36 pace. I didn’t PR (10K PR is 53:23) however considering the terrain, I was satisfied. Now if I was on the right part of the course, I had a chance to PR (I normally make a mad dash to the finish line) but really couldn’t since I had to do a very slight turn around to get to the finish line. I had about 15 minutes before the 5K started so I got some water and rested a bit.
At 8:15, the 5K race started. Since I just ran a 10K before, my legs were tired but I did the best I could. I didn’t have a set pace goal or time. My primary goal was to just finish it hopefully without walking. On the way back to the finish line, somebody was stationed at the turn off the main road, so that wasn’t an issue this time. I was the finish line, so I made a mad dash of it. My 5K race time was 28:27 for a 9:06 pace. I was shocked considering I started the day running a 5K, got 4 hours sleep, and just ran a 10K 30 minutes earlier. My time was faster than my slowest 5K race from 2 years ago (10:42 per mile).
After the 5K was completed, we returned to the downtown area for the awards ceremony. They started with the 10K. Well, to my surprise, I placed 3rd in my age group (35-39)!!! That’s not all. I also placed 3rd in the 5K race!!!!! I couldn’t believe it!!
Wow what a DAY! I run in 3 races in the same day on 4 hours sleep and ended up winning something in each one. What are the chances of that happening??? I consider it an award for pushing myself for something I haven’t done before. But most of all, I did it for my running buddy Hunter. For those that don’t know, Hunter is not able to run so I run for him. Ever since we have been matched, he has been my inspiration and motivation to push myself. Since I got two medals, I mailed him one plus my race shirts. Because he deserves it! I also give credit to God, because without HIM and HIS strength, this would have not been possible.
I am just blown away on what I accomplished on this day. I am not sure if another opportunity like this will come up again however I would probably do something like this again. Question is will I be able to walk away with a prize from each one? I think I just set the standard…lol.
Thanks for reading about my memorable adventure and happy running!