2014 Virginia Is For Lovers 14K

Month 2 in my “12 races in 12 months” goals took me to running the VIFL14K in Virginia Beach. Originally, the race was supposed to take place on 15FEB. However, since the schools in the area had snow days, the schools had to make up the time on Saturday. This meant a lot of the registered runners wouldn’t be able to make it to the race. To mitigate this, the race directors decided to move the race to Sunday, 16FEB.

I was excited for the expo. J&A tends to put on some awesome expos. I was sorely disappointed by this expo, though. There were maybe 3 vendors, tops, and 4 charities there. Other than that, it was just the race vendor selling Shamrock and VIFL stuff. The “race shirt” was terrible. It was a “jacket” that was made out of plastic that was similar to rain poncho plastic. I did manage to get there early enough to score a beanie, though, which was great because I’ve been complaining about how I need one for the colder weather we’ve been experiencing this year. At the race day booth I was able to get 2 shirts from last year’s race for 5 dollars a piece and a Brooks running technical l/s tees for 25 dollars (on sale due to there being only 2 left and they were both small…score!). After that I left since there was nothing else going on.

Race day was a lot different than what I was used to. My race didn’t start until 0900 so we got there at 0700 to get good parking. I fueled up with a tall macchiato and oatmeal and people watched. I watched the runners take off for the 6K and the first finishers of the 6K cross the line. Before I knew it, it was time to head to the start. I was in Corral 2 so I made my way to the front.

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The race started right on time. This was a wave start race so first when Team Hoytt, then Corral 1, then my corral. As soon as I crossed the start line I was met with the wall of slower runners. That was a tad bit annoying as I was trying to get by, politely saying excuse me, and they wouldn’t budge. Ugh. After about a minute I was able to get around and get into a comfortable pace. I didn’t bother looking at my Garmin as I didn’t want to see my pace. I wanted to run a pace that I felt good running in.

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First 2 miles consisted of us running from the Virginia Beach Field House, past a school, and through the Farm Bureau Live. Supposedly there was an “uphill” but it was really nothing large. from there we ran through a farm, back past the FBL, down a street, loop back, down another street, out and back, and then out to the end of the sports field, turned around, then ran back to the Field House. Seriously, the entire run was nothing but out and backs. It made for a boring 8.6 miles but at least I knew where the finish was.

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I crossed the finish line at about 1:15. I was aiming for 1:10 so 1:15 wasn’t bad at all. My average pace was 8:37, a great pace considering I’ve only been running consistently for the last 6 weeks. I felt great after the run and quickly got through the runner’s chute and to the bread bowl full of tomato bisque with cheese. I got to see my daughter wave excitedly at me as I crossed the line. That made the run completely worth it!

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All in all, I thought this was a nice, mostly flat, run. It definitely wasn’t at the caliber that the Shamrock was but it was still nice. My advice would be to get to the expo early to get all the items you want (they ran out of beanies and shirts by the next morning). It’s definitely a good, easy run if you’re looking for something longer than a 5K but not as long as a half.

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