Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Celtic Solstice 5 Miler

This past Saturday hubby and I headed to Baltimore {really early} to run the 15th Celtic Solstice 5 Miler at Druid Hill Park. We ran this race several years ago and for some unknown reason {alright...the reason is I love the design on the swag} I have been wanting to run this race ever since. It just hasn't worked out that we could run it again...until this year!

So, we were up at 5:30 Saturday morning to get ready and head down to Baltimore. We arrived at Druid Hill Park and parked the car as we had to do packet pick-up day-of.
The view from the car

We headed over to the start line to grab our jackets and bibs. Falls Running Store puts the race on, but they are just a tad bit far for us to hit up during the week. The walk from the car to the start area took about 15 minutes, which was a hike when you had to go back to the car, then back to the start again! But, we got there, collected our bib and jackets, hit the port-a-potties, and headed back to the car. We put our bibs on and headed back to the race at 8:00 a.m.

Back at the start area it was packed! There were so many people this year! We totally missed the dogs and the bagpipers. Last time they walked right past me. It was pretty awesome.
Before the race
The race was scheduled to start at 8:30 a.m., but... The gun didn't go off until 8:37 and we didn't hit the start line until 8:44 a.m. Yes, it took us about 6 minutes to go from where we stood to the start. That was a bit crazy.

The race starts on a complete uphill. I was pretty happy I ran the whole thing. I was a tad surprised considering the last race I ran was very hilly and I could barely do the hills. I'm chalking that up to psyching myself out because I was by myself and so much of it was trail hills. Then it was a bunch of small rolling hills that took you towards the zoo.

What was neat about the race was while I was at the back of the pack {like always}, you could see the other racers as you weaved up and down the hills. It really was cool. While running I saw hubby much further ahead of me. I saw him first and waved. It's always nice seeing each other on the course, even though he's way ahead of me. It was also around this time I ran into a friend I met at the KidsPeace Trick-or-Trot on the course. She was just ahead of me, before the turn around. She was rocking it!

After the turn around and grabbing some water, we headed downhill to the lake. You ran around the whole thing before going down the big hill you ran up to start. As I was running to the lake, hubby saw me as he was running around the lake and we got to wave again. Yea!

Once on the flats of the lake I had a hard time determining how fast I was running - was I going too fast, too slow, just right? The hills kinda messed with my flow. LOL! I passed my friend along the lake, which surprised me. But, she was kind enough to say I was looking good when I felt like I was dying. Gotta love running friends!

I came around the lake and to the complete downhill to the finish. Yea! I had hoped to finish in 1:10:00 or below, but it was not to be. I crossed the line at 1:12:27 according to the chip. Bah! I had a really good 1.5 and 2 mile time. Guess the hills overall just did me in.

Hubby waited for me at the finish and cheered me in. I knew my friend wasn't too far behind so I headed back to the finish to cheer her in. She was just a few minutes behind, so we cheered her in, then after a hug headed to the finisher's tent.

We grabbed a warm cup of mulled wine, which was yummy!

We listened to the band for a little bit while enjoying our warm wine.

And took the obligatory post-race selfie.
We don't look too bad for having just run 5 miles.

After we finished our wine, we headed back to the car. I was disappointed though because there were supposed to be cookies, but there weren't any left by the time I finished. :(

We got one more photo before we headed home.
Don't ask about the hair. It was windy and cold Saturday! LOL!

Overall, this is one of my favorite races even if I can't touch the winning times of the overall winner or age groups. The swag is awesome, the course is challenging, and the post-race snacks are pretty cool. I'd recommend this to you if you're in the area. Hope to see you there!


  1. Good job, too bad about the cookies. I wonder if spectators ate some of them. This happened at a race here.

    1. Good point. There were lots of friends of runners there that morning. Ah well...I did get my hot mulled wine. That was yummy at least! :-)