Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Crown City Classic Recap

The 4th of July has always been one of my favorite holidays so when I had the opportunity to run the Crown City Classic on the 4th, I was excited. (I received the race entry in exchange for volunteering at the packet pick-up) 

After Flat Jenn was put together, I attempted to go to bed early. The race didn't start until 7:00am, but it was suggested we get there early for parking. The race takes place in the beautiful city of Coronado, which happens to be a beach city. Beaches and the 4th of July means a lot of people, so my plan was to be there by 5:00am. I did end up arriving around 5:00am and found parking right away. (However by 5:20am, the lot was full so I was glad I arrived early) 

Time passed quickly and at 6:30am, I headed over to the start line area for the pre-race warmup. It was an exercise routine with a fun host and great music. After that was done, we headed to the corral area. The corrals were self placement and were labeled "Fast, Fit or Fun." I tend to be a mid pack runner so I placed myself in the middle of the "Fit" group. The race had two distances- a 12K starting at 7:00am which had approximately 1,000 runners 
and a 5K starting at 7:10am which had approximately 1,200 runners.  I opted for the 12K- it would be my first 12K race so automatic PR and how fun to run 7.4 miles on July 4th! 

At the start line, they had a large flag on display. Before the start, volunteers held up the flag and a moment of silence was had as the names of all the fallen soldiers since last 4th of July were read. Truth be told, I had goosebumps and tears. After this, a beautiful redention of the national anthem was sung. After a quick motivational speech from the race director, we were off and running. You run under the flag at the start, which was another neat experience in this race. 

The race website stated that this year's course was new. It was my first time doing this race, so I have nothing to compare it to, but overall I enjoyed the course. It's an out and back course which I enjoy more than point A to point B coursees.  There were a few areas that ran past parks/beaches and because the crowds were already out for the holiday, the extra crowd support was fun. You also run thought residential areas and I loved seeing the houses decorated for the holiday. It's a flat course and definitely a PR course. There was one portion of a course that was narrow which made it hard to pass other runners, but overall the course had ample room. I didn't have a goal going into the run, so I put myself near the 10 minute mile pacers.  I felt strong and at one point, I passed the pacers. When I looked at my Garmin at mile 4, I realized I was on target to PR my 10K time, so I kept pushing. (I ending up PRIng my 10K time by 1 minute and 20 seconds). Before I knew it, I was crossing the finish line and getting my medal.  I finished with a 9:32 average mile which is a big deal for me- it's my first race over a 5K where every mile was under 10 minutes. Thought there were no negative splits, I'll take it! 

This race was well organized. The packet pick-up was easy, both pre-race and race day. Everything was setup and ready to go early (how many times have you shown up for z race and they're still setting up?!) The course was beautiful. The volunteers were awesome! There were plenty of water stations in the course (2 for the 5K and 4 for the 12K) The post race nutrition was on point and we even got a reusable bag for our goodies.  
Overall, I really enjoyed this race. I've already convinced a few of my friends to run it with me next year. 

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