I have done Five Star NTP’s Freakin’ Freezin’ 5k for several years now including the 2018 one last week, January 13th. This one was held at Brook Run Park in Dunwoody, GA (same as last year). I have a few observations from this year’s race.
First & Foremost, Observation #1:
Weather in January in Georgia has to be the most unpredictable anywhere!
Last year, same 2nd Saturday morning of January, the weather was so warm I ran in a tank top & shorts. It must have been in the 60’s. I remember we were making fun of the Freakin’ Freezin’ name because it was so freaking not-freezing! This year, however, was a whole different ballgame. Oh my goodness! It was so cold, about 20 degrees at race time, with a windchill that made it feel in the single digits. Very similar to the New Year’s Day 5k 2 weeks before. I wore 3 layers of clothes—2 long sleeved t-shirts, insulated vest, tights, pants, gloves, neck warmer & 2 hats. It was so cold that even when I started warming up during the race, I still needed everything on, including the gloves & hats!
Cold Temps=Fewer Participants=Better Chance of Bling.
Lets face it…it takes a special kind of person who willingly gets out of a warm bed on a Saturday to run outside, in the morning, in the dark, in below-freezing weather. Some people do it, especially in January, to jumpstart their New Year exercise resolution. Some do it because they run year-round no matter what the weather. And I do it because my bling algorithm tells me that the cold weather will result in fewer participants which will increase my chances of placing in my age group resulting in that precious medal, that bling, that reason for the season. Five Star is great for having multiple award categories; many more than the average 5k. In addition to Overalls, Masters (40+) & Age Group winners, they also have Grand Masters (50+) & Senior Masters (60+). This opens up opportunity for more participants to place. In the case of this year’s Freakin’ Freezin’, I placed 1st Overall Female Senior Master and got the beautiful wide-ribbon medal to prove it. It made the bitter cold sub-freezing weather completely worth it!
“True Sadness” by The Avett Brothers is a great song, but not necessarily a good choice for your Running playlist.
I hope your 2018 is starting off well. Get out and run (or walk, or run-walk, like me). Most of all, have fun doing it no matter what the weather. Enjoy your accomplishment and your Bling!