Sunday, November 6, 2011

5k MAG Wrightsville Bridge Run

This past Saturday, November 5th, I did a really cool run over a very old bridge.  I read about the bridges history and learned it had once been the longest wooden bridge in the world, 1.4 miles long.  It was damaged by ice and was rebuilt.  In the civil war, the bridge was burned to halt the advancement of the confederacy.  They later rebuilt the bridge out of cement. 
I woke up early Saturday morning for the run.  This was the first ever race I went to alone.  My husband or sisters usually go with me.  Since this was a close one, I went alone.  I met a friend there.  She met another friend there, so I had a few running buddies anyway.  It was so cold that morning!  I am a real wimp when it comes to cold weather.  It was about 34 degrees when I parked my car.  One good thing about this race was that it started just outside an elementary school.  Registration was inside that school.  There was plenty of room in the school to hang out and stretch before the race.  The best part of this race—no port a potties! 
The start of the race was rather uneventful.  Everyone gathered at the start.  The race organizer was speaking over a loud speaker, but it was muffled inaudible.   All of the sudden, the people in front of me were running!  Off we went.  The beginning of the race was down a very steep hill toward the bridge.  I stuck with my friends for about the first half mile. Once I got moving, I worked up quickly.  I was wearing an Under Armor tank, a Target C9 long sleeve compression top and a zip up jacket, with my Old Navy Yoga pants and Asics shoes.  This combo worked great for me for this run.
The view off the bridge was absolutely breathtaking.  I could look both ways up the river and see for miles.  The sun was slowly rising in the east, the direction we ran in the first half of the race.  I could see lots of geese swimming in the water.  There were few boats in the water.  There is a dam a few miles south of the bridge, so the current is quite strong in the area.  The water’s edge was iced lined.  The bridge was closed to traffic, so we had the whole thing to run.  By the time I reached mile one at around eleven minutes, I was being passed by runners on their way back.  Once I reached the end of the bridge, the turnaround was at a little tiny park.  It was just a small loop and back to the bridge we ran. 
One thing I really liked about the organization of this race was the every tenth of a mile, there was a large brightly colored flag.  These flags really helped me plan my run/walk ratio.  I was more tired on the return run that I was on the first half, but my time stay steady.  I was running at about twelve minutes a mile—that is until I got to the last quarter mile.  Once I got off the bridge, the last quarter mile was straight up!  I was paying for the nice downhill beginning.  I have never run up a hill like that.  It was as steep as running up stairs.  This really slowed down my pace and killed my PR. When I hit mile three, the clock read 36:40.  My PR on a 5k is 38:12.  With almost a minute and a half, I was close enough to touch a new PR.  I started up the hill, but quickly lost steam.  I crossed the finish line with a time of 39:02.  According to my RunKeeper, my pace for the last tenth of a mile was 15:42. 
There was a nice lady waiting at the finish to hand the runners a bottle of water.  I was feeling warm and sweaty, so I unzipped my jacket and waited for my friends to finish.  Bad idea!  As my body slowed down, my temperature dropped quickly.  I was still sweaty, so I got cold really fast.  I learned to welcome the warmth when running in the cold.  One thing I really like about this race was that the fastest runners were not the ones to win all the prizes.  This race gave out about 20 door prizes, ranging from $100 cash to gift cards to local restaurants.  I like this idea because most of us are never going to be elite runners.  It was nice to have the chance to win a prize anyway.  Over all, this race was a great experience.  It is on my list of must do races next year. 
A dream is a wish…
***The winner of my GU sampler pack is RunDreamCook!  E-mail me at with your shipping address and I will get it right out to you!
***Don’t forget to enter my Balancing Act clothing giveaway!!!


  1. I'm so happy to find your blog! I'm a fellow local blogger who has been recently bitten by the running bug- I ran my first 5k on Oct. 22nd (The Great Pumpkin Chase in Harrisburg) I'll be following your journey and rooting you on! Get those glass slippers! : )

  2. Sounds like a great race, even with the huge uphill at the end! That's how my first 5k was, the last like half mile was straight up...It kicked my butt! I think considering that climb your time is pretty awesome!

    I'm really excited about winning the giveaway! I am sending over my mailing info to you now!!

  3. Great job on the race! That's really interesting about the bridge's history.