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Woodlands 5K & Play Race Recap

After sitting out last Saturday to let my heel heal up, I was back at another 5K this weekend!

There were four races to choose from:
1. The Palmetto 200 - nope & nope. I'm not running from Columbia to Charleston on back country roads in the dark.
2. Climb the Clay 8K - it advertises that there is a massive clay hill you have to climb on this run through Saluda Shoals Park. Pass.
3. Quarry Crusher - you run down to the bottom of a quarry in Columbia, turn around, and run back up the 10% grade. Um, no.
4. Woodlands 5K & Play Race - yes!

I picked the one race this weekend that did not boast of hills on the course nor did it include running from Columbia to Charleston with 11 other teammates. I was already picturing the flat, fast course that would be a trophy hunt thanks to the other races going on at the same time.

Mile 1
{9:08 / mile}
This race started in front of Meadowfield Elementary School on a completely flat road. We hung a left to run around the side of the school on another completely flat road. Are you sensing a theme here? My biggest complaint in the first half a mile was the number of kids running the race who were all running like crazy and then immediately stopping to walk without checking to see if there was anyone about to plow into them from behind. We ran through where the finish line was and that's about when things started to go downhill.

Literally, downhill. We turned a corner and it was a steep free fall down the next street. All I could think is that somewhere along the way we were going to have to make that free fall back up.
Mile 2
{9:55 / mile}
Holy. Hills.

I have never run such a hilly 5K! Once we got off the free fall, it was nothing but rolling hills through an older neighborhood. Up and down and up and down. They weren't killing me but they were definitely slowing me down. We hit the 1.5 mile point of the course and I figured that the back half of the course couldn't be that bad. Um, wrong.

All of a sudden there was the steepest hill ever in front of us. My body was like "Nope, I'm not running that." and promptly fell back into a walk. I looked up at the hill and noticed that every single person was walking it. Not one person was running up that beast. I took off running again about halfway up the hill and powered past some middle school girls who were more focused on taking a selfie than doing any actual running.
Mile 3
{10:12 / mile}
Would the hills ever end?! For a race that didn't advertise and boast about their hills, they sure had a lot of them. The beast of a hill had taken it out of me and the smaller hills really slowed me down during this mile. But... then I saw the school up ahead! FLAT ROADS!!
{7:06 / mile}
... can you tell that I prefer running on the flat roads? I saw the finish line up ahead and figured that this was hands down going to be my worst race {maybe 31-32 minutes?}, thanks to a little walking on the hills. I was cruising along until I saw that the clock had just flipped to 29:00 and then I booked it to the finish line.

Final Results
Watch Time - 29:32
Chip Time - 29:33
Pace - 9:45/mile
Age Group - 3/5
Gender - 25/78
Overall - 59/140

Surprise! I ended up with 3rd place in my age group. Not too bad for a super hilly race that nearly beat me. Plus, this makes the 3rd race this year that had free Chickfila chicken biscuits at the finish line {score!}

Next up: a road trip! My mom and I are hitting the road Friday after work to head up to Charlotte for a 5K Saturday morning for our friend Parker. I ran it last year and in preparation for this year's race, I've been carefully studying the course map. There won't be any misdirection this time!


  1. Girl you are so awesome!! Congrats on your third place finish!

  2. I have several friends who ran the Quarry race. And that 3rd place prize is adorable! Way to Go!

  3. 3rd place - congrats!! And more chick fil a at the finish - yes!!

  4. What a fun race, and congrats on your finish. Chick Fil A is the best prize ever. I had a few friends do the Columbia-Charleston race - it looked crazy!

    Meg, Borrowed Heaven

  5. climb a clay hill? ew. haha. you did pretty great for such a hilly race. i'm with you, i hate hills. i love when races give free chick fil a stuff.

  6. Good job! I hate running up hills! It's so hard to pace yourself.

  7. Congrats on 3rd place! That is awesome!

  8. This sounds like such a fun race! Congrats on 3rd place! :)


  9. Another great race in the books!! That's a fantastic finish! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

  10. Just catching up on my blog reading.... ;) You amaze me with all of these races you run! I did ONE race, one (1!) last weekend and it just about killed me. I'm thinking of mayyyybe doing another one in the FALL. Ha! Congrats on placing in your age group!!! :)


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