The day could have been SO much worse for the runners and walkers who gathered at McMenamin’s Edgefield winery for the Worst Day of the Year 5k. I had talked my husband into volunteering for the race and my two teenagers into running with me, and it was dry, but cool and windy when we arrived around 9am for our 10am wave start. Packet pickup in the big tent was quick; the longest amount of time was spent on choosing our hats out of the selection of around 15 different styles. Both the hat selection and a photo booth were located inside the Blackberry Hall event space, where it was nice and warm. We took the chance to get a family picture taken before the lines got too long. Outside, we got hot drinks (coffee for me, apple cider for the kids) and built our own sunglasses at the REI tent.
The start/finish line was located right next to the distillery at the bottom of the golf course. As the 10am wave starters were lining up (being asked to self seed based on expected speed), some 9am wave walkers were finishing their race, and our wave was sent off right on time. The course for this 5k was a double loop around Edgefield’s golf course. Most of the trail was gravel, which looked like it had been recently re-graveled to reduce the number of muddy puddles. The course was very well marked, and the field spread out quickly without causing much congestion. The first steep hill happened within the first half mile, which stretched the course even more.
The views from the top of the hill were fantastic, and the following downhills made up for it as well. I passed through the finish arch at my half-way point to the cheers and encouragement of volunteers, race staff, and spectators. My second running loop also went well; my trail shoes were doing their work, and the even the cool east wind no longer bothered me. After completing the second loop, I received my finisher’s medal and got a cup of water from the water table. I waited for my younger teen to finish his run as well before heading inside for the after-party.
Inside Blackberry Hall, spirits were high! Finishers were eating their soup (curried lentil or vegetable black bean) and rehydrating with chocolate milk, water, soda, or beer. Costumed runners received a free drink ticket, while non-costumed could choose to buy themselves a beer or soda at the drink truck outside. The costume contest winners were also announced while we were warming up with our soup.
Overall a very fun and well done event! While I don’t dress up myself, I enjoy watching other costumed runners. Chip timing for the race was an optional add-on (for an additional $3) so the results don’t reflect actual attendance. The scenery is beautiful, and you can really make a day of it at Edgefield’s bars, restaurants, and spa. I really enjoy the hats as race swag! They were the main reason I was able convince the teenagers to run with me.