Although most of the race reviews I have done have been for larger races and/or fun runs, my sole sister Jessica has been on my case about doing some reviews for some of the local races we have completed. If you haven’t kept up with my blog until now, just know that Jess and I try to compete in at least one race per month, whether it be a 5k, 10k, half marathon, etc. and it may or may not be a local race, regional race, fun run, or mud run. The objective is one race per month, period.
One of our favorite races to date was the Honda 5k, which was our very first “night” race. We had only really been running for about a month at this point, as this was only our third race together (my fifth race overall).
Race: Honda 5K
Location: Lincoln, AL
Date: November 1, 2014
Time: 5:30 PM
Registration Price: $20.00
What’s Included: Race t-shirt, race bib, timing
Stars: ★★★★★ (5 out of 5)
Located smack dab in the middle of Lincoln, Alabama, Honda Manufacturing of America is one of the largest employers surrounding the Calhoun county area. Knowing that Honda offered their employees a significant race discount, I expected to see a lot of employees running this race, but with less than 300 participants, I doubted there were too many that had signed up.
I remember feeling very intimidated when we arrived because a majority of the runners there seemed very physically fit. I thought for sure we were about to experience the same kind of embarrassment I had felt at the Chick-fil-A CONNECT Series 5K, which was coming in dead last. (I know, I know…finishing the race is what matters, because we all run the same distance, but when you’re surpassed by a five year old boy and cross the finish line last, you lose some major confidence. That’s just real talk.)
Prior to race start, we headed inside to warm up, tinkle, and grab our packets. Packet pickup was extremely organized and flew by very quickly. We grabbed our race bibs and t-shirts and headed back out to the car to drop our stuff off. I should note these race shirts are some of our favorite to date. They were long sleeve dry fit shirts, and although they ran pretty big, I wore my shirt a lot during the winter months of 2014. It’s one of the few race shirts I haven’t dumped in the garbage or used as a rag to wash my car.
Several food vendors were set up in the parking area that was roped off for the runners. I haven’t seen many food vendors at smaller races, so I was surprised to see some here. A stage was also set up for a live band.
When the race started, the course headed immediately up a large hill. I was wore out before I got over the top of the hill and it really slowed me down the rest of the race. Now that I’m a more experienced runner, I don’t think that will bother me as much. Once you got up over the large hill on the road way, the course veered off onto a gravel path, then to a dirt trail. Most of the course was on the dirt trail with several small hills, but nothing that wore me out too badly. There were a few water stops along the way and each runner we passed or were on pace with seemed to be having a great time. There were several kids running the course, too.
The very end of the course came back down the large hill that was at the start, so I darted down to the finish with my eye on the time clock. I pushed harder than I had done up until then and felt like I was going to die when the race was over, but I was satisfied with the run.
Once Jessica crossed the finish, we headed over to the timing tent and were able to get our results immediately printed out for us. This was a huge plus for us seeing as to how we are normally scouring the internet for days after the other races to see what our official times are. If you know me personally, you probably know my involvement as co-director (and maybe, possibly, it’s-on-the-table-I-think as the 2016 race director) of the Woodstock 5K. Both the Honda 5K and the Woodstock 5K use BestTimes for timing, and I’m almost 100% sure the experience with timing for Woodstock has been nothing but positive. But don’t quote me on that.
Before writing this post, I asked Jessica to send me some reminders of the positives and negatives from this race, and she responded that she honestly didn’t have any negatives. I’d say that rang pretty true for me, too, which is why I gave it five stars. I think the weather had a lot to do with the rating, as well, because I just like running in the cooler weather more, but the atmosphere, goodies, and experience played in to the rating, too.
I’ll be signing up for this race again this year and I would definitely recommend it to other runners, as well. I hope this race has a good turnout each year so that it will continue to be sponsored. If you’d like to participate in the race this year, mark your calendar for October 17, 2015 and head over to www.honda5k.com today to register!