Running of the Lights 2012

The New Year is less than a day old, and I already have my first race under my belt.  The 2012 Running of the Lights at Tanglewood Park in Clemmons NC started this morning at the stroke of Midnight to welcome in the New Year.  This 5.5K race circled the park and ran through most of the parks Christmas light display they do every year.

It was very cold to start the race, and I was cursing myself for only wearing one shirt, but perhaps that was a good thing since once we got going after a half mile or so I felt fine.  If I had layered more I may have gotten too hot.  Started out near the back, knowing that my pace is going to be slow, but ended up having to fight our way through a crowd of people content on just walking.  So got off to a little bit of a slow start.

Small phone picture, but here is Kim and I before the race.  I’m all bundled up and still freezing.

Tanglewood has a lot of hills, which is obvious from my bizarre split times.  The first mile went pretty well and straight and a gentle down hill.  Kim and I jogged all the way out to the guardhouse through the turn around and then part of the way back up the hill.  Shortly before the 2 mile mark Kim ran off and left me, but I figured I would catch up to her later (and I did) so I didn’t worry myself with trying to catch up.  I did catch her again around 2.5 miles and we stayed together the rest of the way.  She did extremely well for her first race, held a pretty steady pace and jogged almost the whole way.  I knew she was faster than me, but had not run more than a mile at one time, so I expected a blazing fast first mile and then have to walk the rest of the way, which I didn’t care, I wasn’t running this race for time (even though I set a 5K PR by over 3 minutes).  She held her pace very well.

Our first mile was completed in 13:46, a little slower than my normal pace and probably attributed to getting caught in traffic, I know there were times we were almost jogging in place because of the crowd.  Weaving in and out of people the whole time.  Second mile I was shocked when my Garmin beeped and told me 12:14, surely my fastest mile ever! And I wasn’t even trying to catch back up with Kim, just doing my own thing, crowd had thinned out.  A little bit of downhill in mile 2, but not much.  Mile 3 slowed down a lot, with a decent amount of uphill and also Kim was getting tired but still jogging it out.  14:09 mile three pace.  After we hit 3 miles and could see the bright lights of the finish line, we took off and jog/sprinted to the finish.  11:19 pace for the last 0.27 of a mile. I checked my watch at 3.10 miles and I was at 41:10 which is by far a 5K PR, in fact even with the extra 2 tenths of a mile, my overall time was faster than any of my 5Ks. I told Kim I would let her finish first, she asked why and I said so she could beat me, but she said no to that and we finished together with the exact same time of 43:18. Ironically, they still listed her before me on the official results even with the exact times.  And my chip time matched my watch time, so I did a good job starting and stopping my watch at the right place. My other friend Jennifer who ran with us and was running in only her third race came home with a time of 52:07 which she said after the race was close to her best time as well, so great job!

Official Results:
43:18 for both me and Kim.
Kim 859/1099 overall (438/614 female)
Me 860/1099 overall (422/485 male)
Jennifer 1007/1099 overall (537/614 female)

Age Group results
Kim 34 of 47 (She didn’t want to be last, and wasn’t by a long shot)
Me 44 of 48
Jennifer 59 of 66

None of us were last in our age groups, and we all finished! That’s always a good race.  And with that, I came home, popped my tiny bottle of champagne and toasted the New Year a couple hours late.



1 Comment

  1. Sounds like a fabulous race! I imagine it was really pretty with all the lights. Happy New Year!

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  • About Me

    I am a recent graduate in Food Science (NC State, 2009) and I work for a major food manufacturing company. I love food, but I can no longer eat anything that crosses my path. About 24 months ago I begin a serious struggle to get my obesity under control and reduce my chances of developing Type II diabetes. Since September of '09 I have lost 50 pounds and I still have a long ways to go. I've started eating better and exercising more, including taking up running.