Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Race Recap: Lanier Under the Lights

This weekend I ran the Lanier Under the Lights 5K.

I don't usually do recaps for 5k races, but this one was so great I just had to share.

It was my first night race, and I learned that maybe I am more of a morning person than I initially thought I was. By the time the 6:00 start rolled around Saturday night, I was tired and ready to start winding down, not run a race!

Before the race. I look tired already!

The race was very well organized--lots of signs, ample parking (which was a big deal to me after my debacle a few nights ago!) and plenty of activities to while away the time before the start of the race.

The race course wove us around the Lake Lanier Island Resort where--as the name implies--their awesome Christmas lights had been set up and lit for our enjoyment.

My mom and stepfather-who had open heart surgery at the end of June!- joined me for this race. It was their very first 5k and they had been training hard for it. I was so excited to be sharing the experience with them.

I brought Little Man along for the run, which meant I technically had to walk the race with the stroller--it was too dark for us to run with strollers safely.

However, when I told Little Man he was going to race with me, he took me quite literally. As we lined up in our corral he peered out of the stroller and said, "I need to get out! I need to run!" So we stuck a race number to his shirt, and when the announcer said, "on your mark, get set, go!" he was off and running.

I have to tell you guys--watching my three-year-old gear up to run was an absolute joy. And then when he started to run--holy cow! That little boy has some speed. And it became clear to me very quickly that trotting along side him at a fast walk wasn't going to be enough to keep up with him.

Little Man turned out to be a member of the straight run group--not so much in keeping with the run-walk-run Galloway method his mom trains with. By the time he finally tired out at the end of a full mile (!!!) I was wiped out, too. He ran that mile at a dead run and with a big grin on his face the whole time. I was so, so proud of him. There will most definitely be some kids races in our future!

After my mile sprint, I was pretty thankful for the "strollers must walk" policy. The lights were beautiful to look at--Little Man especially enjoyed the giant blue twinkle light train, while my favorites were the more traditional holiday twinkles. The lights at Lake Lanier Islands had always been a holiday staple when I was a child--my Girl Scout troop would pile into a van to drive through every year. It had been about a decade since I'd seen them, and I was thrilled to see some of my favorites were still there.

Even with our slow walking pace, we didn't finish last! After the race, we did what all good runners do--we found the closest Italian restaurant and celebrated our race with giant bowls of pasta.

It was a great way to get into the holiday spirit (even though Thanksgiving is still a couple weeks off). I have a couple more holiday themed races planned, including my very first Thanksgiving day run.

Are races part of your holiday traditions? I know Lanier Under the Lights will become one for me.

Me and my mom! So proud of her for finishing.



  1. That sounds like an awesome race. I have a kid who loves running. I think she might be my new running partner (once I find a time to run when it's light outside!)

  2. I didn't even know about this one! Will have to look into it for next year!