I woke up on race morning cool as a cucumber. No race-day jitters for me. I am not a detective, but I can easily attribute this to one clear fact: I wasn’t signed up to run a race.
At 33 weeks pregnant, my already mediocre running talents were in near total hibernation. Registering for races was totally off my radar. But Matthew (my husband, remember him?) was signed up for the Bridgehampton Half and my pals Katy and Sarah were registered for the same event’s 5K so I found myself in the Hamptons on race morning looking for something to do.
A true love of efficiency and smart logistics drove me to sign up for this 5K. I wanted to get some physical fitness in and I figured if my friends were going to be doing their workouts at the race, I might as well too.
I hopped in the car with the planned racers, and we headed for Bridgehampton High School (Go Bees!). I will warn, while it’s a small race, parking near the start is very limited. If you’re planning to run this race, allow time to walk from wherever you’ve decided to stash your vehicle to the starting point.
I saddled up belly first at the registration table, ready to proudly sign up for the 5K at eight months pregnant and was asked if I wanted to register for the half marathon or the 5K. I appreciate the staffer’s open-mindedness! Women can do anything! (But this particular woman could not have run 13-miles on this specific morning.)
I visited the porta-potty which I literally never do. When I hit 30 my preference for real plumbing and bathrooms fragranced with the scent of Diptque candles became non-negotiable. While pregnant, my bladder has moved up my list of priority organs.
Moments later I stood next to Katy at the starting line. When the starting gun went off, I initiated some sort of forward motion loosely recognizable as running. Katy, Sarah and many other runners propelled into the distance. Comparatively, I was suspended in space, moving at a snail’s pace.
The route is a flat out and back. The scenery – unsurprisingly – consists of long manicured lawns leading up to lovely and large homes. During the race, I stopped to tie my shoes, and at a water station. But other than that, I think I ran the whole time. Not having a time goal or really any expectations of speed whatsoever is quite lovely. I highly recommend lowering your expectations to “I just want to feel OK while I complete this activity” once in a while.
With about a hundred or so runners, the course never got crowded. Thirty-five minutes or so after I crossed the starting line, I crossed the finish, logging something like an 11:30 minute pace per mile. The crowds went wild. I am the self-claimed most-pregnant person to ever complete this race. (Hey, it’s not impossible; it’s small race with with a short history.) The race doesn’t offer chip time, only gun time for the 5K so I used Strava (I’ve retired my running watch during pregnancy).
For a tiny race, the sponsor and pre/post-race situation was pretty stellar. From Lululemon to Recess drinks to massages, there was quite the scene if you were in the market for swag or samples.
If you’d like to run a race in the Hamptons this year, you haven’t missed your chance. On September 28, Southhampton hosts a marathon, half marathon and a 5K.