Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Race Recap: Esprit de She 5k

Esprit de She 5k Atlanta, GA
Field: ~600 in the 5k, ~175 in the 10k
Spectators: Minimal. It was a night race.
Start/Finish: Park Tavern in Piedmont Park (Atlanta version of Central Park)
Course: Loop course through Piedmont Park (Double loop for the 10k)
Schwag: Athleta singlet and lots of goodies in the start/finish area including massages, photo booth, yogurt, etc. Post race there were plenty of tapas and glasses wine (2 free per bib) to truly make it a fun girls night out with friends.
Other: With this race being only 36 hours before a marathon, I planned to take it easy and check out the series that I'd heard so much about.
Yep, always looking to run with a smile.
When I originally won a bib for Esprit de She from the lovely Jen over at Hello Fitness, we meet again, I didn't realize the race was only 36 hours before my upcoming marathon. But once I did, I figured it was a great way to shake the legs out, enjoy a nice fall night in the park, and experience my first 'ladies race'.
Pre-race sights. The park is looking lovely with some nice fall colors.
With both a 5k and 10k, Esprit de She bills itself as "a night of fitness and fun" for ladies. A rare Thursday night race, it combines a 5 or 10k with a girl's night out feel. Pre-race there is a market place like expo with lots of free samples, massages, mini manicures, and a photo both. Post race the marketplace continues with the addition of complementary tapas and 2 glasses of wine for each participant. It's a fun way to get together with friends, get in a run, and enjoy happy hour.
3 cheers for the volunteer who was bound and determined to get a good pre-race pic for me. She kept having me pose in different lights.  I loved her optimism and effort! 
Being the well prepared runner that I am, I didn't even think about the fact that a 6:30pm gun time the week after the time change might be in the dark. When I arrived at the race and saw the other runners with their headlamps and the amply distributed glow paraphernalia during bib pick-up, I knew that maybe I should have actually thought a little harder about the race rather than just plotting about how to find a free parking spot during rush hour. On top of that, with the setting sun came dropping temps, another factor I had not considered.
Pre-race enjoying the skyline and trying to stay warm (it was rather windy).
The course was a nice tour of Piedmont park. Weaving it's way around the paved paths, runners had nice views of downtown at night, the Botanical Gardens, and the reservoir. There were a few spot lights set up along the course, but I would have enjoyed having a few more. I started out the race in the middle of the pack and quickly decided to pick up the pace, both to warm up and to get out of the crowd so I could see my footing. I did not run "all-out" due to both the lighting and the constant thought of an upcoming marathon, but I did push the pace more than originally planned. It is well know that the 5k is not my favorite distance and I don't have the foggiest idea on how to run one, so I never really know how to pace them. On this night I was cold at the start leading me to want to run to warm up, and by mid way through I had to pee, so I rushed to the finish. Some amazing race strategy for you.
The Race shirt. Yep, totally closed my eyes in this photo. Nailed it.
I ended up finishing in 24:36 (9th overall, it was a small race), so there were no lines for the port-a-johns or the post race snacks. What could be better? I might use this strategy more often. I enjoyed the event, but wish I'd come with friends to hang out with and share in the happy hour festivities. I would recommend it if you have some running buddies and want a fun and festive, small race with the girls.

Have you done a girls themed race? Do you like to race with friends?

12 comments:

  1. This sounds like fun. I don't love evening races but lots of good things about it.

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    1. I don't do a lot of evening races either. It was a fun way to mix it up.

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  2. That is a really good time for taking it easy! I love the shirt, that's great for race entry. It sounds really fun, two glasses of wine is always good lol The only time here we tried to do an all girls event, it was rained out. I always seem to end up at races alone.

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    1. It's a little more expensive than most 5ks, but there are a lot of extras that make it worth it. A fun little girls night were everything is taken care of.

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  3. Awesome job EB! I've done a few womens races. I always enjoy them- they're just different! I think that's awesome you did this race so soon before your marathon!

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    1. Thank you Katie! Women's races are different and I had a lot of fun with it.

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  4. What a great finishing time even though you've been training for a longer race! Congrats!

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    1. Thanks Tina! I still am confused about how to run a 5k, so that might be on next year's goals list!

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  5. I've done two girls only races and they were ok. I wouldn't do either one again due to course issues more than anything. I do like running with friends, and hardly ever run solo for training or racing. When I do get to run on my own I love it because it doesn't happen often.

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    1. I almost always run solo, and I think that is why I have so much fun at races. It's like a treat to have that many people around.

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  6. i have no idea how i missed knowing about this race- i wish i would’ve done it with you! glad you had fun though. :) and yes, i love getting to race with friends!

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    1. I hadn't heard about the race either before I saw Jen's giveaway. Maybe because it was during the week? Anyways, it's nearby and one to check out in the future.

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