This past Saturday I participated in the Women’s Running Series Nashville race. This post recaps that race and is part of my partnership with Women’s Running Series through FitFluential.
I recapped the expo and our night in Nashville on Monday, but now it’s time to officially recap the race! Saturday morning came quickly with a 5:30 am wake-up call. I decked myself out in my pink gear (you have to have pink for a women’s race!) and headed down to the hotel lobby. Our hotel kindly offered shuttle service to the race start for the morning…and they even had oatmeal, bananas, water, and coffee set out for the runners too! Talk about service.
I think one of my biggest praises for the Women’s Running Series event was the fact that even though it had the energy of a larger race, it was so well organized and everything from the race start to after the race want so smoothly. We had no problem finding and accessing the race start. There were plenty of porta-potties to accommodate the runners with little wait time before heading to the corrals. The race had six corrals to keep the start line from overcrowding. Basically, everything was in order and there were no headaches trying to maneuver the race start line. Time to run!
The 5K and Half Marathon courses started together in front of the Country Music Hall of Fame.
There were a large number of runners and as I started the race the jolt of adrenaline from racing really had me pumped up. I was so excited that I even thought how I wished I could still be doing the half marathon.
The courses stayed together for the first mile, which included a decent sized hill right from the start. I hear the half marathon course for this race is quite hilly, so I guess it was a good precursor to what was to come for that distance. That first hill was definitely the largest of the 5K course, which split off not long afterwards. And in all honesty, by that point I wasn’t as bummed to have listened to my body and dropped from the half marathon. I quite contentedly veered right as all the half marathoners veered left.
It was crazy, though, how empty the course got after the split. This race is definitely geared toward the half marathon. There were only a handful of runners on the 5K course and it doesn’t go by near as many landmarks as the half marathon course – which is, of course, understandable as you run 10 miles less.
I found the 5K course a relatively easy one. It was mostly flat with only a few short light grade inclines spread throughout. While most of the course didn’t have the greatest scenery, it still featured quite a few nice sections – including a quick view of the river and a decent run down Second Avenue’s tree lined street that features many of the popular nightlife spots.
Shortly after that, the course rounds the corner to the 3 mile marker and the finish line in the distance.
There was a large line of welcoming fans cheering down the final strip and the announcer calls out each runner’s name, which I always find a nice touch.
After crossing through the finish line, I received my medal and grabbed my banana and water.
And clearly I just ran this race for fun as I have no clue what my time ended up being for the race. Can’t beat the smile, though.
Even though I didn’t run the half marathon, I could tell that the finish area would be a dream for those runners. They had a ton of options – power bar packs, granola bars, bananas, apples, bagels, water, Gatorade, and more – plus the fun medals for the half marathon finishers. I received a basic medal for the 5K but the half marathon medal features a fun pair of cowboy boots. Cute.
Outside of the finisher’s area, the great set-up continues with booths for a massage, a glass of champagne, cookies, and even a “freshen-up tent”.
Cookies, champagne, and a place to freshen up? They know how to cater to women. We hung around for a bit, but unfortunately had to get back to the hotel to shower up and check out and hit the road back to Atlanta. It was a quick trip and run, but I’m glad to have participated.
For those wondering if they should look into future Women’s Running Series races, I highly suggest it. I thought the race was very well run. I do think it would be a more fun experience completing the half marathon since that is the focus of the series, but it’s nice that they have the 5K option for those who can’t complete the 13.1 miles. I think it’s perfect for those racing with family or friends doing the longer distance or those needing an alternative due to injury or other scenarios. If you’re interested, they still have one race left on the calendar this year – the St. Petersburg, Florida race which I have heard nothing but wonderful things about from many friends. If you’re in the South, give it a shot! Or, if you’re a West Coaster, registration for the February 2014 race in San Diego is already open. You won’t be disappointed!
Your Turn: Ever done a Women’s Running Series event before (or other women’s race)?