Guest Blogger: Jennifer Ward – Providence Heart and Sole 5 miler – Columbia, SC – 4/27/13

Heart and Sole 015

So April 27th had been a weekend I had already thought about taking off. “Off” is a relative term, since I had run the Run for Your Life Downhill Mile on April 25 (Thursday). But if I’m not pinning on a bib on Saturday morning, then its “off” for me. The option I had was to run the Harbison Firebreak 10k or half, but readers of this blog know that trails are my kryptonite. Sure its fun to go easy pace in the woods, but when I race on trails, all I do is stare at my feet the whole time trying not to wipe out. And then there’s this race, the Providence Heart and Sole 5 miler.  It seems like a really cool race, except I don’t think they’d take too kindly to a 6’3″ albino sasquatch trying to bully his way into a women’s race. Plus, I’d get chicked…bad. So here is Jen “Mrs. Diesel” Ward’s race report.

 The Providence Heart and Sole 5 miler is one of my favorite races. It offers a 5-mile run, a 5-mile walk, and a 3-mile walk to create greater awareness of women and heart disease.  Long before my days of running began, I would walk the 5 miler with a group of ladies. I think part of the reason I have always loved this race, is because I enjoyed the car ride alone. I also enjoyed not having the pressure from Diesel telling me what I need to do, although he did send me a text that said… “You need to sub 42:00. Last years time 45:03 weak.”

Diesel apparently has no shame hiding behind his kids …or his wife.

Packet pickup was from 7-8 a.m. and I arrived at Arsenal Hall at 7:58 a.m. I figured I would let the crowd die down and since I am not one of the “fast runners,” I have never felt the need to show up an hour early to scope out the competition or warm up.

Jeez, what kind of obsessive freak would do that??

The race started at 8:30, so after socializing with several different people, I lined up with one of my friends from high school that also participates in this race each year. She asked me what my goal was; I told her my goal for every race is to just finish it faster than I did the year before. 

The course starts out pretty flat with dancers, vendors & volunteers cheering you on. Mile 3 is the climb up Gervais Street!

I decided to camp out and take pics at that site. Everyone appreciated me catching them walking up that monster.

I won’t list all my splits in case you guys are like me and skim that part of the blog each week. 🙂

Ouch. I’m sorry, I’m a numbers freak.

I will just say mile 3 was a minute slower than mile 2. The last two miles are pretty flat & I just kept waiting to see the downhill finish. I had to dodge a group of young “Girls on the Run” who were finishing the 3 mile around the same time. I was happy to see them out participating and was even more happy to see the clock, as I finished at 41:05- a 3 min. & 58 second PR. I did not come close to placing, but I did get a rose, chocolate covered strawberry & the satisfaction of doing better than Diesel had ordered! Joan Tangwar of Spartanburg, won the 5-Miler with a scorching time of 27:54! Congrats to Kristin Schmitz, Sharon Cole & all the others who placed in their age groups!

Congrats Jen! I’d like to see Diesel face Mt. Gervais without catching a case of the walksies. The SR team did really well at this race (Kenzie, Shannon, Erin, Mary Claire) with them all finsihing in the top 10 I believe. Kenzie got 3rd overall and Shannon got first masters. Birgit Spann finished 2nd masters and Janice Addison won 1st grandmasters. This race featured two brutally competitive age groups – the 45-49 group finished within 17 seconds of each other with Sharon finishing 3rd at 35:20. Karen Manning won the group at 35:03. Mary Howk, Lynn Grimes and Catherine Lemepesis filled out an all-elite 60-64 with Mary breaking 40 minutes. Speaking of breaking 40, Joyce Welch also crushed a 39:07 PR and 2nd in her AG.

A lot of fun to watch this race – huge crowd and lots of enthusiasm. Jeanna Moffett does a really good job directing this race, which has really grown over the years. Now if I can just get my rose and chocolate covered strawberries at my next finish line!

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