Hubby and I headed up to Pottsville on Friday for the very first Yuengling Light Logger Jogger 5k. We normally do not stay over night for a 5k (minusing out the Baltimore Women's Classic which has become somewhat of a tradition), but this race seemed too fun to resist.
We arrived on Friday night in time for packet pick-up. We made it to Maroon's and waited in line. It was a bit of a crowd, but not awful. Basically, the space was too small for the 2,500 people who had registered for the race. We picked up our stuff, got our ID's checked for beer consumption after the race, then headed downstairs to have dinner. And we waited. And waited. And waited. Apparently, they did not have enough staff to accommodate the uptick in patrons. We left.
Not having a clue where we were, we took trusty Garmnie and pulled up restaurants. We chose to find The Wooden Keg. Garmie did her thing and off we went. Initially we got lost and on our turn around we found the place.
After dinner it was time to check into the hotel. Hubby used Hotwire to get us a cheap room at the Econolodge in Frackville. It wasn't one of the race hotels, but it was cheap and only 15 minutes from the start. Not bad. Until we get there. I do not like rooms that open to the outside. They kinda freak me out. And I knew since he got an Econolodge that it would be that way. Check in was quick and efficient. We headed to our room, opened the door and the stench of smoke was over powering. Just disgusting. Hubby offered to see if there were any other rooms, but at this point I was tired and I had a feeling they all were like this, so we stayed put. We didn't stay up much longer because we wanted to get up and out to the race early. All race materials indicated it would be a good idea to get there before 7:00 a.m. (race started at 8:00 p.m.) due to parking and such.
Got up Saturday morning at about 5:40 a.m. and got ready. We did great at getting ready by the time we wanted to leave. We checked out and headed to the race. We had no problems getting there, the map the race people provided was perfect for finding parking, and we got to the parking lot about 6:30 p.m. Yea us! We got the closest parking lot to the race and chilled. It was cold out there! We anticipated warmer weather and neither of us had cold gear with us.
About 7:00 p.m. we got out of the car and put bibs on, then followed the crowd to the start...which was a block up from the parking garage! We had no idea we were so close! We passed by packet pick-up since we did that the night before and passed ID check since we did that too. We got confused over the line to sign up for brewery tours, but hubby figured it out and we got in the 9:50 a.m. group. Perfect!
And now to just wander. We did hit the port-a-potties once before the race. We hit the hidden ones thanks to some really nice lady who told us where they were! Then we hit the starting area. No reason not to. This is one of the few races that we both ignored the corrals. There were four well-marked corrals for runners based on how fast you run per minute. I will say I was very disappointed in them in this. All the pre-race emails sta
ted the last corral was 11+ minutes. Ok, that's me. I can be anywhere from 12 to 13 minutes based on the course. When we got there, the corral said
We are both wearing our Shamrock stuff because it was the warmest stuff we brought with us. The temps at the start were about 37 degrees. Great running weather if either of us had packed correctly. Ugh. The race did a great job of starting on-time and we were off not too much past 8:00 a.m.
I'm sure you've heard people say the race was all uphill. This race honestly felt that way! Literally, the first mile was uphill. I'm not lying about this. They warned us in the paperwork it would be hilly, but I don't think most of us understood how hilly it would be. My hat is off to any Pottsville runners out there. You are incredible!
This may not seem like a steep hill, but keep going at this grade for a mile. It's kinda insane! I did do my run 1/2 mile walk 1 minute break on this hill. But, I felt good on this hill. I felt strong. I took the break because it's in my training, but I didn't feel like I needed the break. Along this stretch of course was a lovely house with a table out front and the following
What I failed to know at the time was that table held mimosa's and bloody Mary's. LOL! Had I known I would have grabbed a mimosa. Why not? Anyway, I kept going and we finally came to the top of the hill. This is where the first water stop was. Not bad Lager Jogger people. And thank heavens there was a downhill!
All along the course were tons of spectators! Seriously. I have never been involved in a 5k with more people along the whole course. It was pretty cool to see. There were people on their porches, on the sidewalk, in their yards. Not everyone was cheering, but just seeing how many people came out to watch was cool.
At the bottom of this hill we turned left and yes, went back uphill. LOL! It was along here I saw this
On the right is a woman carrying an American flag, next to her in green is a runner dressed in a beer bottle costume. Yup. Not a ton of people dressed in funny costumes for this one, but there were a couple. I almost wore my Bavarian Girl costume. Glad I didn't based on the temps!
And we're running uphill. You can tell that in the pic above and from this one
Once we got to the end of this street, we made a left. And I faced one of the steepest hills I've ever seen. It was insane! I decided it wasn't worth my effort to run it. I know that sounds pathetic, but I would have put out so much energy and I probably walked it faster. But, there were lots of people who ran it and a few who sprinted. This view is looking down the hill from the top.
At the top of the hill, we turned left again and headed back to the finish. From here on we had a slight uphill, but it was a gradual one that didn't seem too bad. But, in order to really get to the finish, you had to go up another hill like the above.
Sorry. You have to look past the cemetery to the runners going uphill again. Ugh. Once at the top of that hill, we finally got to go downhill. It was sooo nice! It was gradual so you didn't feel like you were going to go crazy killing your legs from careening out of control. Along this stretch of road were some gorgeous houses! This must have been the well-to-do area of Pottsville. I took this photo and after the race hubby and talked about how there were so many gorgeous houses along this stretch. I told him I took a photo of one and he said was it the one with the carriage house? Ummm...yea... How odd is that?
I didn't get a pic of the carriage house, but it's just to the right of this picture. It was incredible! We wondered if this area is where the Yuengling family actually lives. The houses are grand enough. At the end of this street, we saw the 3 mile marker. Yea! The end was near! But first...no, not another uphill, but rather a downhill like those two insane uphills! Many a person slowed down on this stretch. Me? I sped up!
I have to say, I was feeling really good on this run. Along the stretch of road with the gorgeous homes, Garmin said I was doing 6.3 mph. Wow. That's not me, especially at the end of a race. At the bottom of the hill above, Garmin said I was at 7.2 mph. Insane! I know they were downhills, but they were still at the end of the race. At the bottom of the hill, we made a right onto the home stretch.
On the right of the picture on the sidewalk in that bright neon green is hubby! He cheered me in and I finished the race feeling good, feeling strong, feeling positive. I turned Garmie off and she said 40:48. Sadly disappointed. Before the race I felt this would be my slowest race ever, including my first 5k where I finished in over 45 minutes. But, I felt so good on this course I thought I would be under 40 minutes. Darn it!
Hubby and I found each other and grabbed some snacks. We had water, then a bag of Utz's potato chips, a banana, and an apple. We ate our snacks, then headed over to the beer garden for our two Light Lagers.
We grabbed both of our beers at once since that line was long! We then skipped the table area since it was packed and just used a window ledge that was table level. We even used the ledge for a picture!
We finished our beers and headed off to the Yuengling Brewery for our tour. We have been saying for ages we should go and never have. This was the perfect opportunity to go. We both felt it was a great tour with lots of information and the people who ran it were really great! We enjoyed the tour and at the end grabbed a couple things at the gift shop. It was packed! They must have raked it in yesterday! My shirt is all ready for any beer festivals we may attend. :)
After the tour, we packed it in and headed to Dunkin Donuts. We saw one on the way to the race and since our typical Saturday brunch is DD, why not stop? We had the turkey sandwich and donuts. Yum! I tried a lemon filled donut that was awesome! It was like a lemon pie!
Then it was home. Overall a fun race. I was in a foul mood from dinner and hotel, but the race and after party turned that around quick! Honestly, it was a really fun 5k and I would be willing to do it again next year.
Did you race this weekend? Was it a new race for you or an old favorite?