Race Recap – Raleigh and Salem Lake 30K

With two back to back races, here is a combo recap of my latest two:  Race 13.1 Raleigh and Salem Lake 30K


Cara and I headed to the start of the race fairly early to pick up our pacing sign, to meet up with friends who were running also, and to take part in the awesome energetic pre-race warm-up.  With a few minutes until go time, we headed to line up!  Cara and I were super excited because we had a pretty decent pace group this time, the first one for us!  At any point, we had 10-15 runners sticking with us.  The race started and we were off!

We had to be really careful at the beginning.  The first few miles are mostly downhill and we held back a bit just not to wear our group out later.  We would need the energy to head up the last hill, Lassiter Hill.   We were very consistent with our pace and we talked and carried on with our runners.  There were some really awesome folks in our group and one of my favorite things about pacing is hearing everyone’s stories.  It connects all of us together and you instantly feel like you’ve known them for years.  The course was also beautiful!  Raleigh has an amazing greenway system and we ran on several different “trails” including a loop around Shelley Lake.

By mile 11, all of our runners had all gone on ahead of us and I started feeling really yucky.  Even though the air was fairly cool and maybe not as humid, I was sweating way more than I should have been and my heart rate was staying up.  We had also just finished a fairly hilly section and although I tried to stay even and not push on the hills, it just couldn’t keep my heart rate back down.  I stopped to walk at mile 12 and told Cara to keep going.   I had to get my breath back before I hit Lassiter Hill, the last half mile or longer of the race, at a fairly steep grade, 8% at one point.  I jogged up most of the hill, walking when I felt bad.  It was a struggle.  I finally came up the hill and finished right around 2:16 and change.  I wasn’t on pace, but I also wasn’t willing to push any more than I had.  This was definitely one of my toughest times pacing.  raleigh131


Really well run event!  The water stops were right were they were supposed to be, the volunteers were encouraging and cheered for the runners.  The course along the greenway was beautiful!  It was probably my favorite section of all the Race 13.1 races I’ve run.  The pre-race warmup was really fun!  It really made the event start on a high note.


This is a tough course!  It’s amazing that runners PR’ed on this one.  The hills from mile 10-13 will take a toll on you, save something for the end!  I told friends that this course was similar to running in a bowl…you run down the side of the bowl at the beginning of the race, mostly flat along the middle of the course (the bottom of the board), and then you had to climb your way back out of the bowl.  raleigh


If a runner completes 3 of the races in the year, you earn a special medal!  After pacing Greensboro, Fayetteville and Raleigh, I earned the 3X medal!!  race131medals


This is my 3rd time running this event and it’s become a must do race for all of us training for marathons.  It comes at a perfect time, right when most of us are hitting higher mileage.  Cara and I decided to run this one because I had a 18 miler planned for this weekend and we were running it as our long slow run.  NO racing for us!  I added .5 more to the beginning and called it a 19 miler.

Our friend, Nathan, made the decision to run it too, so the 3 of us headed out to the race together.  The weather could not have been any better!  It was a gorgeous morning, cool temps, slight breeze!  We lucked out!  I also really needed the day to go well.  After a series of awful long runs, I had to have a good one.  I was due.  I wore my heart rate monitor to make sure we were keeping ourselves on track.salemlake30k

For being 18.6 miles, this race went by really quickly.  Cara and I chatted, cheered on passing runners, and had a great time!  It wasn’t until mile 15 where we got a little quiet, but we still felt good, just tired.  The course is an out and back so we were able to see Nathan several times while running.   The volunteers were awesome!!  SO encouraging and positive.

Cara and I ran really smart, kept our pace really even and  I ended up PR’ing this race by 16 minutes!!  (This is Cara’s first time running it, so PR for her too!)  I hadn’t run the event since 2011, where I ran 3:33:10.   We finished yesterday in 3:17:24.  It was such a surprise and it really felt good to know that I payed attention to my heart rate, stayed on track with our pace, and still ended up with a PR, not my intention at all!


This race comes at the perfect time in marathon training!  Why not run this race and get a medal and tee for a long run?!  The course is so pretty this time of year and it’s nice to run on a softer surface for a long run.  The volunteers are awesome!   The cost of the race won’t bust your budget either.  It’s only $30 if you register before a certain deadline.  Less than most 5K’s nowadays!  There is also a 7 mile event too if you aren’t ready to take on the 30K.  Each 30K runner receives a handmade pottery medal!


It’s a smaller event (this year had 252 runners), so plan to be by yourself along the course.  There were some stretches where it was just Cara and I.  It’s a nice change though from larger events and I actually enjoy it sometimes.  Parking can be an issue.  You have to arrive early in order to have a close parking spot or you are walking about a mile to the race start and back.  salemlake30kmedal

Happy Week!






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8 thoughts on “Race Recap – Raleigh and Salem Lake 30K

  1. I love that handmade medal. It’s one of the reasons I’d love to run Big Sur half (besides the beautiful course…). Great job on both races. I’ve never paced anyone–this is the first time I’ve actually worked hard on running a consistent pace. It certainly does pay off!

    ~Wendy at Taking the Long Way Home

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