Saturday, October 29, 2011

Witch City 5K Race Report

This was the first 5K that I attended by myself. Usually I go with at least 2 or 3 people, and sometimes more! I love the social aspect of the 5K more than the actual run itself. But I wanted to do a holiday themed 5K for each upcoming holiday and this was the only one I could find in my area for Halloween. So I signed up! I let a bunch of people know about it, but no one else could make it. So I braved it alone. Given it was a Halloween themed 5K, I figured people would be dressing up for the run, but I didn’t dress up. I think if I had gone with people, I’d have dressed up, but I felt silly dressing up and standing there by myself. Other people sure didn't feel silly! They got decked out for this race. There were some pretty clever costumes:

There was no chip timing for the event, so no real start line, but the race organizers had their stuff together! They knew exactly where the race started. We all lined up in the street adjacent to the "yellow fire hydrant on the left side of the road, near the big rock". And what do you know; there was a yellow fire hydrant on the left side of the road right near a big rock. I don't know when exactly the race started, but people started moving so I did to!

This was the "start line"
 I had 4 miles on the training schedule for the day, so I planned to add on the extra mileage after the race. I wasn't sure exactly how close to a 5K distance the race would be so I wanted to just keep going after the race until I hit 4 miles instead of doing a "warm-up" before the race for the extra miles.

The race was a thin loop through historic Salem, MA. I expected to see more spooky things given Salem’s History, but it was 9 AM, so not much spook was going on. Instead I got some beautiful views of the ocean inlets around Salem. 

I also saw the House of Seven Gables, which seemed familiar to me, so I took a picture of it. 

It was a very pretty route. I enjoyed the sights. Since it was my “long run” day, I kept it at a slower pace and walked when I wanted to. At one point I ran for 8 minutes straight, which is a lot longer than I have been doing lately, so that felt good.  When I got to the finish line, there were a lot of people hanging out and cheering on the latecomers. Mainly me. I went right down the finish line shoot, grabbed a banana and a Gatorade, and kept going. People looked at me kind of oddly that I didn’t stop to hang around but hey, I was on a mission. I had 4 miles to finish and 3.1 wasn’t the end of my journey for that day. I looped around the finish area and went down the street to a peninsula area that had really pretty views.

On my way down and back I got to run through some pretty cool trees. Of course I took pictures of those too.

By the time I had finished, and made my way back to the finish line area, they were getting ready to hand out the awards for the winners of the race and the best costumes.  Like I said before people had some pretty cool costumes.

Spaghetti & Meatballs
As I headed back to my car, I thought about how badly my body was going to hurt if I didn’t stretch before my hour-long car ride home, so I tried to stretch as much as possible. On the way home I stopped at PR Running and talked to the owner about compression socks and foam rolling. She pointed me in the direction of “The Stick”.  I have found magic. In other words, “I got the magic stick”. Anybody? Anybody? No? Okay, moving on. This thing gets me better than the foam roller and I can’t fall off of it because it’s a stick. Get your mind out of the gutter you dirty fools.

This was my view as I stretched

The point of this story is the Witch City 5K was a great race and even though I didn’t dress up, I had a really good time. The race director volunteers and organizers of the race were pretty darn amazing. You should definitely run this race next year. In fact if you decide to, let me know we’ll meet up!

Official Results: 54:21 (17:30/mi)
My Garmin results: 3.17 miles – 54:07 (17:04/mi)

Not last!


  1. Nice 5k! :) Do you feel the stick really works that well? I have rollers, but frankly? I HATE them. Also? My cat likes to chew on them, which is driving me crazy.

  2. Ohhh! Looks like a good race...Salem is awesome!


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