Just a few weeks ago it was announced that the Daniel Island Happy Hour race series was underway again this year. I was so excited to see this race series come back this year. I did one of them last year at 30 weeks pregnant and I had so much fun. It poured rain and I ran super slow but it was a beautiful course with lots of friends!
This year Fleet Feet has taken over the series. Included in the race series is a finishers medal, 1 free beer at the restaurant/bar that is hosting each week, and a technical shirt. The other bonus is that this is another Thursday night race series just like Race the Landing. Since Tony works on Daniel Island, it’s really easy for me to make it to this race series. I of course persuaded my favorite running partner to join me in this series as well. Then again, Lana doesn’t need much persuasion to join me in races.
Lana and I got to the race early and did a quick warm up around Daniel Island. It was a pretty warm and humid day. This course is part trail, some of it is literally in the grass, and half of it is shaded. It is a gorgeous course though that offers some of the most beautiful scenery of the island. After Riverdogs, I came to the conclusion that we are no longer in PR season, it’s more about just getting in speed work at these races now. I decided to try and take the first mile of this race at a 7:15 pace and either maintain or negative split hopefully. This course was full of crazy turns and some narrow paths so I wasn’t sure that keeping steady with that pace was actually going to happen but I was going to give it a shot.
Mile 1: We took off and the beginning has a lot of tight turns that doesn’t allow you to really be able to pass anyone. So if you get behind someone, you’re kind of stuck there until a break opens up. This part of the course was difficult to even run next to Lana because it was a bit tight. I thought that because of the turns I needed to push it more because I felt like I was going out too slow. Then I saw my watch click off at 6:58 and I realized I went out faster than I had expected to go out. This felt hard but not too hard.
Mile 2: 7:23 I kind of expected this to happen because of the heat and humidity. It has finally settled in and I’m just not great in it. Maybe I need to do more speed work in the heat, maybe I need to just quit doing races in the summer of Charleston. Oh well, not much I can do but truck on and truly hope that all of this pays off in the fall.
Mile 3: 7:47 Here is where I just pushed on through as best as I could. I just wanted to finish, I just wanted my post race beer, I just wanted it all to be over. This mile is kind of just a haze. I pushed through the heat and humidity the best that I could and was so happy when I could see finish line arch.
When we finished we got our medals and Lana & I headed to Daniel Island Grill for our post race beer and awards. We did a 2 mile cool down on the way there. This race does huge prize baskets for the top 3 overall, and then gives a beer glass to the 1st place in each age group. I ended up taking 1st in my age group with a time of 22:33 and Lana came in right behind me taking 2nd in our age group. Lana and I had some yummy beers, chatted with Melissa, Amy, and Penney, then we headed out for the night.
I really love this course because it’s absolutely stunning. It’s such an easy race for me to do logistically and who doesn’t love a free beer. ( Even if it was crappy bud light) Thankfully this race series is spread out to 1 per month unlike Race The Landing that does two races back to back. I think now I’m scheduled for a race every Thursday all summer. It’s fun though to switch up between evening races and morning races. It’s giving me a good balance of speed work in the different temperatures.
For some reason, Lana and I both forgot to take pictures during this race too. Whoops. I thought that Brian would be out there photographing like last year and both of us just completely spaced on our usual pre and post run selfies. We’ll have to make sure to get extras next time so you can see how beautiful this course really is.