I’m going to sum this race up in three words: Rain, cold, COOKIES. On Sunday, April 15, 2018, I ran the Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay Thin Mint 5K in Wilmington, DE.
I ran this race back in 2014 and had an awesome time! Here’s the race recap if you’re interested.
I had been keeping a side-eye on the weather the whole weekend, because I knew it was supposed to rain and come nowhere close to the over-eighty-degree weather of Saturday.
The location of the race also eluded me a bit, because the address was listed simply as “Lot E, Wilmington Riverfront”. Hubs knew in general where we were going, but without having a concrete address, it was confusing. Because of that, we left the house around 7:30 a.m. EST in hopes of getting there around 8:30 a.m. for a 9 a.m. start.
I registered the Angry Almost-Kinder (AAK) for the fun run, and I tried to hype her up beforehand. She had run one with me back in 2015, but this time I convinced her to run by herself. Kids’ fun runs are never long, and I knew she could cover the distance easily.
We didn’t hit any traffic going there, but when we pulled up to where I thought the race start was, there was no one around! We drove around the parking lot a bit, and I finally spied an ambulance and a couple of tables with volunteers—one of whom was my friend Suz! It was so good to see her, despite the weather and gloomy day. (Hi, Suz!!)
It was drizzling and SO COLD. I hopped out of the car while hubs and the AAK stayed warm inside to grab my race bib and my goodie bag. I love this race, because you receive a free box of Thin Mints! For a split second, I considered taking my goodies and going home, but I knew I wanted to get in some miles and that I could tough it out. I went back to the car for a few minutes to warm up, but the fun run started at 8:45 a.m., so we got out and trudged over to the starting line.
The AAK is typically the smallest/shorted in the lot, and that day was no exception. She ran as fast as her little legs could take her though, and I was wicked proud of her! One woman behind us said, “The little girl in the green jacket has great form!” And of course I yelled back, “That’s my daughter!” with a smile a mile wide. Here she is below in the green jacket and black/pink hat.
After the fun run, hubs and the AAK went to a local coffee shop to stay warm while I ran. I stood at the starting line in my jacket and the AAK’s pink kid gloves. I’ve never raced in a jacket like this before, but there was no way I was going to run in that wind/cold without something. I looked over and I heard, “Becky?!” It was my friend Stephanie, whom I haven’t seen in forever! It was great to chat with her at the start of the race. Senator Tom Carper gave a speech and rallied the runners and walkers. I loved his line of (don’t quote me here), “I ran a 10K as a warm-up for this race. If I can do it, you can too!”
To give you an idea of how I felt, here’s a hilarious picture of me at the starting line with Bib 3125 on. Maybe I’m conducting a symphony? Or rockin’ out a killer drum solo?
I told Stephanie that I’d be behind her the whole way, and that’s exactly how the race panned out. It was drizzling, so freakin’ windy, and downright cold. Hubs asked that I text him when I had about ten minutes to go so that they could meet me at the finish, so in my mind I was looking for the two-mile marker as my signal.
We passed the one-mile marker, and I felt like I was going at a decent pace without too much effort. I didn’t have my Nike+ Run Club app on (per usual during races now), so I just ran by feel. I wasn’t trying to give it my all, and I felt great throughout the race. (Read: In my head I wasn’t spouting curse words or thinking I was going to keel over and die.)
Overall, the course was extremely flat and fairly well-marked. There was a race in the same location a couple weeks before, so we were advised to watch out for cones with arrows for this race and to ignore any other signage on the ground. At one part, we ran right along the river on a wooden boardwalk where I almost bit it due to not paying enough attention to the transition. Points for not falling!
As an aside, I give major kudos to the volunteers and supports that day, because no one had any business being out in that weather! Everyone was so upbeat and friendly!
I kept plodding along, hoping to see a two-mile maker. At one point, I saw a HUGE MOUNTAIN, oh, wait, we’re in Delaware. OK, teeny-tiny hill coming up. The volunteer at the top of the hill was awesome and announced, “There’s a half-mile decline!” which of course I took advantage of. If you’ve ever read a race recap of mine, I dislike hills with passion, so of course I cursed a little bit under my breath. Flat and fast my ***! But really, it was just a tiny hill and nothing I couldn’t endure.
Still no two-mile marker in sight, and the next mile marker I saw was a small, yellow, three-mile marker cone. I literally raised my hands in a “what the?!” pose as I passed it. I yelled out more to myself than anyone else around, “Is that really the three-mile marker?!” So much for giving hubs a heads up!
As I sprinted toward the finish line, I knew I had come in at just about 30 minutes (30:28 to be exact), and I congratulated Stephanie on coming in just a bit before me. It turns out that we both won second place in our age groups! I’ve never placed before in my age group, so I was super excited. Granted, I’m in a different age bracket now, and there weren’t that many people there, but I’ll take it!
Here are Stephanie and I with our medals with my wind-swept, soaked hair:
I was soaked to the bone but happy as a clam! Go us!
And can you guess what I did that night? I ate nearly the entire box of Thin Mints! (OK, I may have shared with hubs and the AAK, but the box was gone that night.)
The course is gorgeous, relatively flat, and the race support was wonderful! I’ll definitely be back again next year.