Hilton Head Island Firecracker 5k and a Long Run

Happy Sunday Runday all you runners and readers!

You get to start off this post with a happy selfie:


Do you know why I look so happy? That would be because I just finished running 14 miles.

You know, that distance .5 miles further than I’ve ever run before!!

No big deal. Oh wait, that is a HUGE deal! And I’m so excited! I am on my way to Marathon Melanie!

To tell you a little about the run, I left right after eating lunch because it was starting to sprinkle and if you have ever run in the South in the summer you know you need to take advantage of the rain because it is really the only way you will ever cool down. So off I went. 6 miles in the lighting began so I called my awesome grandparents to come pick me up. They drove me home, helped me dry off and after eating two kiddie pops (instead of the usual Gu on long runs) I changed and went to finish the last 8 miles on the treadmill.

BUT enough about that, I want to tell you all about MY FIRST RACE BACK POST INJURY!!!

Thursday night I decided I would run the 30th Hilton Head Firecracker 5k. It was kind of a last minute decision but since I found out I had Sunday and Monday off of work I thought I could afford an early morning.

I went by the running shop and registered Friday before work at 2pm. Saturday morning rolled around and I dressed in my best “Independence day” running clothes, ate a banana and peanut butter and some raw oats with milk.

I hadn’t been able to be at packet pick up the day before due to work, however the Palmetto Running Company and the race coordinators made it super easy and convenient to do day of packet pick up. This was honestly the first time I had ever done day of pick up and though it stressed me out a little just cause I like to know what to expect, I was pleasantly surprised.

After getting my bib, I took my packet back to my car and noticed I still had a half an hour before the race began and thought it best to do the whole “stand in the bathroom line” thing then. I made perfect timing and only had to wait on three other women to use the 3 stalls before I got in.

Afterwards I just walked around waiting for the race to start and noticing how different people did warm ups. Some were stretchers


Others ran to warm up, but the majority of people just sat.


The race start was quite unorganized as it wasn’t clearly marked where the start was at all. It was also not clear to the walkers that they should get in the back, therefore the start was quite hectic.

However, I really loved the fact that instead of a gun for the starting announcement there was a firework that was lit.


There was a pretty even split of guys and girls, however not many girls my speed or faster. Once I was able to navigate my way out of the starting pack I found pace at what I am estimating a 6:40 mile. I had decided not to wear my Garmin because I didn’t want to be running for a time but instead listening to my body. (That being said my goal time was 23 minutes/ right around a 7:30 mile split)

I had gone out way too fast but I was having fun pacing with all the fast guys. As we rounded the first turn around we weren’t all that far behind the race leaders, however this quickly faded. I was running next to a kid and when we were running back through the finish line we both expressed confusion. “That was only 10 minutes” “We aren’t finished yet” and “This is weird.”

The race at what I assume was around mile 1.5 went through the finish line but the opposite way. Mile 1 either wasn’t marked or I totally missed it but I really didn’t like the lack of marking on the course.

By mile two I had found my pace and was slowing down a bit to a 7:40 mile pace. As I began to lose energy I do what I always do, begin cheering on and encouraging others. I find that if I can still talk might as well use encouragement to distract me from the tired I am beginning to feel.

When I came through the finish line at 22:31 I was very very happy and surprised. I had just done an average 7:16 mile split!

Definitely a reason to be happy!


All in all a nice race and one I would recommend to anyone in the area during the 4th. Not one to travel for though.

After logging in another 3 miles on the beach to make a total of 6.1 miles for the day, I changed and the rest of the day was spent a little like this:

IMG_4903 IMG_4928 IMG_4944

Happy Sunday Runday and Happy Fourth of July!

4 thoughts on “Hilton Head Island Firecracker 5k and a Long Run

  1. Sounds like you’ve had a great time running! And, reading this made me feel a little better about getting rescued from the thunderstorm here the other day!

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