Ever get to the start line of a race and you feel really great and then within a half mile into the race, that feeling is gone and out the window? Well, in a nutshell, that is how the Riverview 5k went for me on Friday night. The Riverview 5k is the second race in that unofficial Tour de Burgh and probably the hardest in terms of elevation change. Riverview Park doesn’t mess around when it comes to those hills.
I ended up getting to Riverview Park around 6:20pm and quickly picked up my bib. There wasn’t a lot of parking and I didn’t want to get stuck on the race course, so I headed out of the park to the main road. As I put the car in park, the skies opened up and the rain came down. It was actually a pretty heavy rain, so I decided to just hang out in the car until it stopped. If that meant 5 minutes until the start, so be it. Luckily, it only lasted a few minutes though!
Once it stopped, I headed toward the start line. I was on my way to meet up with Steff, Mike, Charles and Joe, who was running his first 5k, but ended up running into the Steel City Road Runners group. Their one coach, Kim, who I have run into basically the two times I have gone recognized me and pulled me in for their SCRR picture.
After the picture, I ended up running into the others. We all hung around the start line and waiting for the start of the race. It kept sprinkling, but it was actually nice and was slowly cooling it off. Finally after a few minute delay we were off!
The first mile of this race isn’t that bad. It is an out and back to the park entrance and then you head up the hill toward the Observatory. There is a climb up and around the Observatory, but I didn’t think it was that bad. The worst part of the climb was the actual road. It was riddled with pot holes and I was constantly looking down at my step to make sure that I wasn’t step into a crater and fall or trip. Steff wasn’t actually racing this 5k, so she was out cheering. She stood along this hill, so we got to see her going up and going down.
Once we came down from that hill we headed into the main downhill part of the course. It was here where that feeling of crap starting kicking in. As soon as I realized I didn’t even WANT to push it and gain some speed down the hill, I knew this “race” was over for me. I decided to just take it easy at that point and just use this as a run. I had a lot of people pass me and normally this would make me push harder, but I honestly just didn’t care. This downhill portion lasted for just over a mile. At the bottom all of a sudden you saw you a nice thick cloud of haze.
Well, as you guessed, what goes down, must come back up. Right? Unfortunately during the downhill, the city didn’t bulldoze the hill, so we had to start heading back up. This uphill lasted about another mile. Urgh. Have I mentioned that I actually hate hills?
As soon as we turned one corner, the uphill started. I have to say, for the most part it wasn’t a steep uphill. It was just long. I decided to walk when I felt like I needed to walk. My ankle also was starting to hurt pretty badly at this point, which was annoying me and concerning me. The worst part of the uphill was this hairpin turn. I think it was the steepest and even then it wasn’t that bad.
Finally I started seeing some runners walking back to their cars an they kept cheering the rest of the runners on and how we were almost there. That is always a nice feel and luckily they were actually right as the finish line was really there. I saw Steff cheering everyone on to the finish and was happily done!
After the race, I finally got to meet Gretchen and her fiancee, Dan! We had been chatting about this 5k all week, so it was great to finally meet her in real life. She was amazing and ended up snagging 2nd place in her age group! We hung around for the age group awards and the raffles, but no on in our group won any of their raffle prizes. Boo! Both Gretchen and Dan joined me, Steff and Joe for dinner at James Street Gastropub for some post race noms! It was the first time for all of them being there and I think I sold them all on one of the great places on the Northside.
The next race will be my half marathon in Alaska, the Mayor’s Midnight Sun half. I plan on taking it easy for that race and maybe even stopping and taking a few selfies along the way. I really want to take in everything about that race.
Although the Riverview 5k was not the best for me, it was the 12th race in my quest for 30 and I am now 2 of 5 in the Tour de Burgh. The next tour stop in the Tour de Burgh is the Brookline Breeze on August 8th, but there is lots of other races between now and then!
Official finish time:
11/14, 30-34 Females