Saturday I had the pleasure of heading over to the quaint Lake Erie beach town of Vermilion to toe the line for the second year in a row at the Beulah Beach 5K. Last year I was clueless about the course layout, and just thought it would be a fun race to do with my buddy and V-town local Kimi. This seriously ranks up there as one of the toughest 5K courses I have ever run. But that’s the appeal, it is more of a cross-country race with the small amount of road, and it takes me back to my high school and college running days. Oh the memories!
This year they changed up the last half of the race to make it a little tougher. The race starts on the beach running through the sand, then up a solid hill to the road. Multiple turns snake you through the roads and then you fly down a grassy hill, around a corner and then shoot right back up another hill. You then proceed to run a short straight-away on road, down another muddy hill, under a bridge and then it’s nothing but trail for the rest of the race. The trails were crazy muddy and full of puddles, and then out of no where we had to shoot across a wooden bridge which was holy slippery! I basically had to slow down to a swift walk for fear of slipping and falling. After the turn-around in the woods you back-track through the trails and finally end the race with a tough climb of a hill that is capped off with a 100 meter straight-away of pavement to the finish shoot.
My expectations going in to the race were just to push myself and have fun. I also had a title to defend as the previous year I won the race. Talk about pressure!
The race had a nice crowd of participants, the majority seeming to be teenagers which is great to see! At the beginning of the race I was in a little pack of boys who seriously were having an issue with me passing them. Each time I would come upon their shoulder, they would speed up to get away from me! I wanted to tell them that there was no shame in getting passed by a woman 10 years their senior, but I honestly didn’t have the energy. We zoomed through mile 1 at 6:14. I’m not sure what the rest of my mile splits were, but I did finish in 21:58, so they were much slower than that first mile. With the combination of heat, humidity and tough as nails course, I was rather pleased with my time. I finished 4th overall and was the 1st place female, take that teenage boys! The winning male participant didn’t even break 20 minutes so that made me feel even better about my time. Told you it was a tough course!
Highlights of the race?
- The boy wearing bermuda length jorts, a bright orange cotton tee and 1980′ style windbreaker who ran a pretty decent clip and was just out to have a good time. I hope for his sake he applied some body glide to some unmentionables.
- Seeing Mr. Slice of Kiwi complete his first real cross-country style race! He has always run road races in the past, so this was a special treat for him I’m sure. I love sharing my beloved sport with others!
- Our awesome race crew; Kimi & Miles cheered loud and took lots of great photos!