This year was my 3rd year running the Fireside Frostbite 5 Miler. It is a 5 mile race hosted by the Ambler Area Running Club (AARC) that is known for it’s chilly weather (hence the name). However this year runners lucked out. Race day morning was close to 35 degrees, unseasonably warm for the time of year. Compare this to years past where it was so cold I had icicles forming on my beard.
The morning started like most (non half marathon) race mornings do for me. Getting changed into my running clothes but not really sure what to eat to get ready for the race. So I shuffled through the cabinets and found what is my favorite food group: cereal! So I scarfed down a bowl of Cap’n Crunch and headed out the door.
The race this year was as fun as it has always been. Race day morning is very easy to navigate. The race is always held at a local high school so logistics can go very smooth. However parking tends to be tight so the recommendation is to get there early. Once you are parked runners collect their bibs in the local gym. To my knowledge the race did not have anywhere only where you could confirm your bib number ahead of time so this had to be done in the gym. They had a large board with all registered racers and their bib number. So a quick check and then you headed to the table and received your bib. They also had race day registration as well. You could skip this process by picking up your bib the day before (a very nice feature) however I opted for race day bib pick up.
The course is a very scenic course throughout the neighborhood of Ambler. Runners rarely ran past the same area twice. You went from downtown Main Street of Ambler to rural neighborhoods and everywhere in between. Last year I recall a portion of the race being done over trails. This year it looks like they were able to push that part of the course onto the main street, which made for a more open running space. Also the course had just as many downhill’s as it had uphill’s so a PR is definitely attainable in this race.
For me personally it was cool that this race ran past my 2nd favorite brewery, Forest and Main brewing. If it were open at the time we ran past it, I might have been tempted to stop in.
After the race runners were welcomed to a post run buffet of hot dogs and other carb friendly foods. New this year every runner received a Fireside 5 Miler head wrap. That was something they did not do last year and is a very cool piece to add to the race gear pile.
The AARC (hosts) does a great job treating this race with all the amenities you would find at much larger races. Runners are afforded pre-race packet pick up, free race photos, indoor bathrooms and a post race food buffet that goes beyond just chips and an apple. Also if you were training for this race you could join the host club for weekly training runs. It is because of all this that it is very hard to pass up this race.
Did you run the race this year? If so, review the race yourself on BibRave!