Rather than my usual Training Tuesday, I present to you a recap of the Biltmore 15k. I’ve run this race at least twice before (and last year was/is my fastest time.) So I won’t inundate you with a ton of photos, but I have a few (eight) keepers to share.
Race packet pick-up was Saturday afternoon or super early Sunday morning. I was already out, so I went by the Doubletree to pick up my bib and shirt on Saturday. The shirts were a great technical shirt (this year they were blue) but I think I preferred last year’s gray shirt (by Recovery) even more. I wear the gray shirt all the time. Unfortunately, when I tried my shirt on at home, I realized it had a huge hole down the seam in the side. On the plus side, the race organizers were awesome and allowed Carol to pick up a replacement shirt when she picked up her packet.
I picked Carol up at zero dark thirty on Sunday morning (actually, it was 5:50 a.m.) and we headed over to Biltmore. This was Carol’s first 15k race! We’ve run so many other races together and I forgot she hadn’t actually done this one. This race benefits Kiwanis Club and this was the 17th event.
We did some stretching, grabbed coffee, used the bathroom (no port-a-potties since this was Biltmore!) and even met up with Julie who was running the 5k! It was raining lightly, and I was so jealous of Julie and her 5k (also – be sure to check out her race recap!)
The race began promptly at 7:15. We were in the middle of the pack, and the first five miles had two really awful long uphills. Around the five mile point, we arrived at the house. We were sure to take our race selfies and this slowed us down a bit. (For future races, we’re going to start tagging photos with #candjraceselfie since we seem to take pictures of ourselves at every race we run together!)
We had varying degrees of rain throughout the race. Also, I was wearing glasses (I couldn’t wear contacts for over a week due to infection) and I had to stop a few times to try to dry my glasses off. They were wet and foggy for most of the time. It was so frustrating (I was wearing a hat, so the heat from my face was causing some of the fogginess.)
The second half of the course is rolling to flat. I would prefer all downhill, of course, but I can’t really complain about the back half of the course.
The volunteers for this race are amazing and plentiful. We had water stations at what felt like every 2 miles. I think I remember reading that there were 4 or 5 water stations on our course? For 9.3 miles, that is not a bad ratio of water stations per mile(s).
The finish was on an uphill (always on an uphill, Asheville. What is up with that??) and this race the food was provided by BiLo, so our maple cookies were not there. We grabbed a bagel (a friend actually had water at the finish for us!) and we headed out. We just didn’t have it in us to stick around long – and the massages that have been available at the other Biltmore races didn’t appear to be available at this race. (Again, sad face.)
My finish time was 1:40. That’s 10 minutes slower than last year. I think a few factors contributed to that time – lack of training on my part. Rain, wet and foggy glasses, cold temps. And the fact that I needed to treat this as a training run as opposed to a race.
I had fun, though, and that’s what really matters!