Virginia is for Lovers 14K 2013

I’ll do a proper introduction in a bit but first, a race report!

When I signed up for the VIFL14K, I was excited to run someplace warm(er) and flat!  Little did I know that the blizzards and other weather wackiness of the weekend would affect us that far south!  We arrived in Virginia Beach around 5:30 on Friday night.  The skies were beginning to clear but it had obviously been raining all day.  Saturday morning we woke to strong winds (20-25 mph) and temps in the low 30s.  We bundled up, drove the 10 miles from our hotel to the Virginia Beach Fieldhouse.

Staying warm

I was dressed in just a long sleeve shirt and Brooks shell so I decided to buy a sweatshirt to wear in the corral.  Best $60 I  my husband ever paid!

First up, Little Runner (6) had his 1K.  We had planned on him running it solo but we were late leaving the Fieldhouse so he and I had to run to the starting line.  Once I was there I figured I might as well warm up with him!  It was very windy and his little cheeks were beet red but he soldiered on and we crossed the finish in 7 minutes.

One in the bag!

The 6K and the 14K both started together, with the 6K breaking off around mile 1.5.  I self-selected the 3rd corral and I think it was a good choice.  Others, however, were overly optimistic.  I’m all for people following the run/walk plan but if you know that you are going to START OUT walking, then move to the last corral.  The race organizers allowed strollers but they had to start in the 4th corral – a very wise move, in my opinion.  They released us in waves with about 2 minutes between groups.  The course was crowded until the 6ers broke off but it wasn’t horrible.  There were a ton of costumes so the people watching was excellent.

Course Map
Course Map

On the course, there were two hair-pin turns (1.5 and 4.5) that I didn’t really care for – the 4.5 was especially tight.  The was a stretch by the back tennis courts where we had to run on an open field that was pretty muddy and mucky from the rain.  The officials posted a lot of volunteers there to warn people and make sure no one went down.   They gave out little cups of M&Ms on “candy curve” around mile 6.  I took some and immediately regretted it.  I didn’t realize how DRY chocolate is!  Also, my stomach just didn’t like the idea.  Luckily there was a water station about 1/2 a mile down the road.

We had to fight a tough headwind at mile 7 and that was my slowest mile of the race.  I picked it up at mile 8 and hustled across the finish line inside the Fieldhouse where I received my medal and a carnation.  They then funneled us down the aid line for water, a banana, pretzels, and a red beanie.  There was beer and soup, too, but I wasn’t overly interested.

Good

Tons of volunteers

Fun signs with cheesy pick-up lines, romantics sayings, etc. posted along the course. When we ran through the amphitheater, there were signs with quotes from romantic (and not so romantic! “Love stinks”) songs.

Great costumes! One couple was marrying immediately after the race so she ran in a wedding dress, he in a suit, and their wedding party was also properly dressed.  Her dress was cut high in front and she wore pink knee highs that said “Bride”.

Light on-course supporters (due to wind) but there were cheerleaders, radio station vans, a guy in a gorilla suit…

Water and Gatorade at every stop and they were clearly marked

Our son was able to play on the indoor climber in the Fieldhouse while I was running (I LOVED THIS!)

Great swag! Cute shirts, medals, reusable race bags, stemless wine glass, beanies, etc.

They texted my 5K split and finish to my husband so he knew where/when to find me (also posted to FB, ‘natch)

Indoor finish – excellent on a cold and windy day!

Bad

Honestly, nothing!  The weather was a bit crappy but I’d rather it be cooler than warmer.  The wind wasn’t too horrible, except at mile 7.  I would be happy to do this one again.

ResultsDone!

5K 33:16 (1 second PR 🙂 )

10K 1:06 (2 minute PR)

14K 1:33:17, avg. pace of 10:45

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