This is only the 2nd year they’ve held the Harbor Lights race series in downtown Norfolk. I did the half marathon last year.
Packet pickup was fairly straightforward. I didn’t spend a lot of time at the expo because I don’t need to be tempted to buy a bunch of stuff right before Christmas.
Race Day Conditions/Attire
The race started in the high 40s, and it was to warm up to the 50s and 60s pretty fast. I know that Norfolk is pretty windy and I remembered my experience from last year’s half. I still opted for a short sleeved shirt and capris. I was a little cold at the start, but warmed up very quickly.
Michael and I hung out around the park right near the start. They had food trucks there this year and he found some coffee. My boss was doing the half the next day, and he came to see me off at the start (he lives just down the street from the race start). It was nice to have a send off like that!
I was in corral 3 of 5. I found my place in the start and started trying to stretch and warm up. My low back was hurting from Christmas decorating the day before and I wanted to make sure that I was as warm as possible so I didn’t make it worse.
They sent the corrals off pretty fast, I don’t think I started more than a few minutes after the race start. The first mile was spend just letting everyone thin out. They sent corral 4 out so fast, that the speedy people in that corral started catching up to us. I ran the first half mile, then I walked/ran intervals of .25 miles.
I had finished a mile before I knew it. I don’t even recall hitting the halfway point, I was too busy navigating all the turns. This course had SO many turns. I focused on not weaving through people and running/walking the tangents better.
I hit the end of mile 2 and was pleasantly surprised that we were already heading back toward the area of the finish (the last mile is basically out and back from the finish line…just on the other side of the park).
I felt really strong into the finish, not barely hanging on like some of my other fall races. I finished in 44:09.
Interestingly, at the Crawlin Crab, I had a 44:37 5k finish. At the halfway mark for the Wicked 10k, I was at 44:48. Pretty consistent, huh? Consistently slow, but consistent.
The after party was in Town Point Park. The weather had warmed up and the sun was shining. I got my Blue Moon beer (not repeating the horrible 10k where I didn’t get my beer). I didn’t like the stew that they were serving, but they had these awesome food trucks there.
Michael got me a bacon, egg and cheese calzone at one of the food trucks. It was DIVINE.
I loved doing the 5k of this race series. The half marathon last year was a little rough – especially with weather being so cold. This year the poor half marathoners had pouring rain and cold.
Have you ever run a race in a city? Have you ever had food trucks at a race?