This past weekend was my second (free) 5K of the year, the Corner Store Country Run 5K. I say free because the first 500 people who registered for this run got in for free! Really cool of them.
Of all the 5K’s I have ever run (somewhere close to 20 now) this was by far the coolest. Mainly because of the after party carnival, but more on that later. Now onto the race review…
The course was 90% on a trail. I had no clue about this and wasn’t informed of the fact until about 2 minutes before the start of the race. This is actually the 2nd time this year that I didn’t find out about a run being on a trail until I was about to start. I’m not a trail runner so I like to know about these things beforehand. So my initial thought was “I should have read the website better…. way to go Chadd.” However as I look back on the website there is no mention of this fact. So for all that I think the race management group did well, they fell short on this fact. If you are going to have a run that’s 90% trail, you should mention that somewhere online.
Outside of that fact it was still a good course. More challenging than I expected, but good. They had a water stop right before every mile marker, so 3 in total. For a 5K that is a lot. I have run some 10K’s with only 2 water stops. It was nice of them to be prepared like that. I did not stop at any of the water stops however. I had a time in my head I wanted to finish by and as soon as I knew the course was a trail run I knew I wouldn’t have time to make any stops, so I ran through all 3. However I have been running at the very least 5 miles for Chicago Marathon training a few days a week with no water so I wasn’t too worried.
Post Race Carnival:
This was probably what made the race so awesome. After you finished the race there was a carnival set up. I didn’t count but if I had to guess there was probably 20 sponsor tents set up giving away free items, another 10 booths set up with carnival games, a stage with a band and most importantly every runner got 2 free beers! And the sponsors weren’t just no names, I saw Monster Energy Drink, Rockstar Energy, Coke, Red Bull, Michelob Ultra and more! It was easily the greatest post race party I have ever been to. And the best part was they gave away all of this swag for free! Here is a picture of what I walked away with:
I was able to fit all of that into the race bag they gave away. That is important to know because ultimately the bag ended up weighing easily 20 pounds and the bag stayed in tact. For me, I like a good race bag because I will use them to bring my clothes to the gym or if I am ever going anywhere on my motorcycle. And too many times the race bags are made so poorly that they break after a few uses. I can tell this race bag will hold up for the long haul.
Overall I enjoyed this race a lot. I know it is a national series and not just a PA thing, so if they have a race by you I highly recommend you sign up for it. (Find the race schedule here). Clearly since I signed up for free it’s hard to say anything bad about it. But even if this race cost me money I would be just as happy.
Outside of my personal race experience, I also got to watch my sister finish the 5K just a few months after tearing her ACL. I know the severity of this injury so I was really happy to cheer her on as she crossed the finish line.