Category Archives: 5K

Race Report – Rock & Roll Marathon Running Festival Savannah

This is an easy report to write, as this is the third year for us running in this one. In many ways, this is the event that ultimately led to the creation of We Are O.G.R.E. Simply put, that first year was the first marathon distance race for me (Dru) and the 5th for Scott. It was the realized goal that put our feet upon the path we find ourselves. Needless to say, we really like this event.

This year, the event was scheduled for November 8, 2014 for the marathon and half marathon, but this year they added a second day on November 9 for a 5k, 1 mile and a kids run. Yes, there was extra bling involved, so we just had to stay the extra day and run some more. Keep in mind that running is in fact a disease, once you start and get through the ‘I hate running’ phase, it is quite difficult to not sign up for these things.

Before I get to the nitty gritty details, this year, we ran the half marathon event. Scott ran it for himself, while I ran it in a support/coach role for my wife who was running her first half. She did awesome in case you were wondering. I also ran the 5k (for time) and the 1 miler (for grins) on Sunday.

Course Half 5k 1 miler

The Half course did not appear to deviate much from the last couple of years. It remains a fast, flat course through some truly gorgeous areas of downtown Savannah. The only complaints that I hear about the course are the occasionally rough patches of road where there are some old cobblestone around the squares. Personally, I think they add flavor and character to the course.

What I always come back to at this event is three core things that make it great. First, the Rock n Roll organization puts together a well oiled machine. These races are consistently well run, despite crowds well over 10,000 runners. Second, the city is just fantastic in it’s support of the races, with many local businesses reaching out to the runners to embrace the race as a great event for the city. Third, the people.

Seriously, I cannot say enough about how awesome the local residents are coming out to support this race. With ‘unofficial’ water stops and families out on the lawns cheering, supporting and spectating. In so many ways, they are what make this race so special.


As always, this course starts on Bay St right by the river, winds it’s way out the northwest side of town, circles back and runs through downtown, under the live oak tree lined streets. The canopy of trees and spanish moss are spectacular. By about mile 8, many of the runners are starting to suffer, and the scenery becomes less spectacular, so the course routes out into a couple of great residential areas, where it ceases to be about the scenery and becomes about the people. In this late section of the course, up until about mile 12, it is like having a constant cheering section. IF this cannot motivate you, nothing can.

That leaves just the last little bit. Mile 13. Oh mile 13. This is, for all intents and purposes the hardest part of the route as it rises ever so slightly from the highway up to Forsyth Park. It is straight, and a bit of a late slog. The people are still out there, but the brain and body start to tell you bad things. It is only about a 40 foot climb in total, but it is a misleading and slow climb. Once you hit the top of the hill, you turn right and dash into the park for the big finish. The finish is great, and no matter how many races you have finished, it never gets old.

5k & 1 miler

This was a completely new event this year, and really needed to be better promoted. What a great little event and course. First, this is a screaming fast course. I ran a 23:29, off the half, with a pretty nasty case of plantar fasciitis putting the hurt on the last mile and a half. Yeah, there were some sub 18 minute finishers, it was that fast. But even more than the fast course, it was a tight little loop around Daffin Park with the finish line inside the Sand Gnats minor league baseball stadium. It was a fun little course. An hour later they did the 1 miler, also in Daffin Park. We went ahead and did that event too. We put in a hard effort to challenge for last place, and I am pretty sure we managed it. Yes, my foot was hurting pretty bad about that time.


On a would we do it again scale, the answer is, already signed up for 2015. Should be a big group too, with at least 8 of us already signed up and another 6-8 talking about it. We are looking forward to it.

Race Reports – Dog Days Run 5k

August 9, 2014 a couple of us got a chance to go over to East Cobb and run in the 9th annual Dog Days Run that is put together by the Rotary Club of East Cobb. This is one of the more family oriented events in the area, and is also a very dog friendly affair with contests being held for the dogs around the running events. In addition the 5k that was the primary race, the was also a 1 mile fun run and a short tot trot for the youngsters.

Course View

2014-DogDaysRun-Map The course itself was well marked and staffed. It was also a flat course that ran hillier than it maps. With only 64 feet of gain, each of the three small climbs were of the short variety that cause runners to bunch up without intending to. In addition, the sharp right hand turn from Woodlawn Dr onto Johnson Ferry Rd definitely created a pinch point for runners that were bunched up. Fortunately, the total field was small enough that these little course details did not create any problems.

There was water at the 1.5 mile mark, which was nice, but for a 5k it was largely ignored by the runners up front. Also being a dog and stroller friendly event, most of the dogs and strollers did start towards the back of the pack, eliminating the contention for space between the runners and the strollers and dogs.

Race Notes

As a relative newcomer to the 5k race format, having run a limited number of them since adding them to my schedule of longer distance events, I find the differences in the race organisation of the 5k events to be interesting. This particular event used chip timers, but did not route all of the runners across a start line sensor. Instead, they used a mass start right at 7:30AM, with a single timer at the finish line. Out on the course, they put people with stop watches at each mile mark calling out splits as the runners passed by. Quite a fun little personal touch, one that some runners did not like, but as I run with a GPS watch anyways, I found it fun. Race day also brought with it some significant humidity, having seen pretty heavy over night rains that left the ground damp, and some standing puddles. The temperatures in the mid 70’s together with the high humidity meant that despite being relatively cool for early August in Hot’Lanta, it was still a truly steamy run.

For all of the good things about this event, there were two items that were less than positive. The first was that the volunteers were not covering the finish line as well as needed. We saw two different runners cross the finish line in clear distress without volunteers there to get them water, food or even medical attention if warranted. One of them probably should have been looked at by one of the emergency staff, but without volunteers present, was allowed to wander off. ( We did get him some water and a banana and he perked back up after a little recovery time ). The other was the handling of the awards. These were held for a VERY long time, with the first award for a 7:30 AM start time race not being presented until 9:40 AM, and after several of the expo vendors had started packing up to leave. To all appearances, this was an organisational challenge, not a technical one, but it made for a bit of confusion, and very few of the winners stayed long enough to be presented with the awards.

Race Day Equipment

In what is to be a regular section of our Race Reports, we will specifically discuss equipment used in each race. We don’t change equipment all that often right now, but at the same time, we are trying to take every opportunity to try products to see if they work better for each of us.

_Dru’s Race Day Kit

New Balance Minimus 10v2 Trail

For a little over a year now, these have been my go to shoe. I am now on my 3rd pair, and continue to find them to be the best match for me. You may note that this is a trail shoe, and this was not a trail event. That is exactly right, I find that I prefer the minimal style, but the little bit of grip and protection from the trail shoe design gives me greater comfort on the road. This pair ticked over the 200 mile mark during this event, but is still showing very good tread and structure, so I am expecting to be able to use them for another 100 miles before moving to my fourth pair. After my last race of the 2014 season, I am planning to reevaluate some shoe options, with the Altra 3sum being the most likely runner up.

TomTom MultiSports GPS Watch

Almost a year in, the TomTom has served quite well. Though it may find itself relegated to other duties in the not too distant future due to it’s weaknesses in open water swimming for my triathlon usage, it remains one of the quickest to acquire signal (even on heavily overcast days like this one), and it’s accuracy in recording is excellent. The only complaint about it on this race day is the same one that I have seen in training with the last couple of software updates. The real time Pace updates very slowly and has a tendancy to be more accurate as a reflection of an average over the last 2–3 tenths of a mile than a reflection of your current speed.

Wahoo Fitness Bluetooth HRM

For this race, it was still the original bluetooth heart rate monitor. The TIKR is very much on the list of items to acquire and test out, but budgets being what they are, we are still working with the older model. That said, this remains the most reliable of the heart rate monitor units that we have used to date.

Garneau Tri Elite Course Triathlon Shorts

Having recently started running triathlons after two decades of off and on cycling and just a couple of years of running, I have moved almost entirely to running in triathlon gear. Why? comfort. Atlanta tends towards muggy anyways, and tri gear is built to transition from the water to the bike and the run. For me it works extremely well. If you find yourself needing multi-sport gear, I highly recommend you give your local tri shop a visit. These Garneau’s have been a training staple for the last 8 weeks, and they have replace my long time favorite Saucony running shorts as well as the Pearl Izumi bike shorts that I have been replacing with the same basic short for almost 20 years.

Endurance House Technical Tee

And last but not least, this event was the first run event we have done since Endurance House Atlanta opened up. These are some great people, and so when the opportunity presented itself for us to grab one of their shirts to represent, we did. For the record, the shirt was fantastic to run in particularly on such a steamy morning.

Shout Out

We would like to send a huge thanks out to the Tuesday Run crew at Endurance House Atlanta whom we have been running with for the last couple of months. Thanks for the work that has helped us get so much faster this season.


As we flesh out our fall calendar, we are trying to sprinkle in some smaller events to keep motivated, and keep running.  This is another one that is local and should be a good time.  Dru and Scott are both signed up, along with a couple of friends that will be completing just their 3rd race each.

Race forward as time moves back!
The Anything is Possible 5K run/walk starts at 1:50am on Sunday morning when Daylight Savings time ends and clocks get turned back.