Frostbite 15k 2023 Race Recap

Richmond Road Runners Club

Well, well, well. If it isn’t another race that I said I’d never run again, and yet peer pressure made me sign up to run it this year. Why did I swear I’d avoid this race? I’ll tell you.

I ran this race 3 years in a row: 2014, 2015, and 2016. In 2014, it correlated very well with my training for my first half marathon. It was cold, and it was the farthest distance I had run at that point in my running career. I crossed the finish line and promptly had a panic attack. Why? I don’t know. The next year, it was 34 degrees and raining. There were parts of the course that were underwater, and they had to create a detour, making the course long. The following year we had rain, sleet, and then snow! I finally had enough of being cold and wet for a race.  

So what made me bend to peer pressure this year? I stupidly registered for the Blue Ridge Marathon, America’s Toughest Road Race. That’s on April 22nd. It was an impulse decision made out of grief. Go figure. But in order to get on track with mileage for training, the 15k aligns with the plan. And all of my friends were like, “We’re running the race. So if you want to get your long run in, you should run with us!” This is how I found myself hitting that register button on RunSignup. Sigh. 

I’m friends with both of the race directors. (I’m VP of Marketing for the club, after all!) But, honestly, I was initially planning on merely volunteering! But I’m super happy with the soft race shirt, and the medals are really fun!

With friends before the race! Photo by author.

Race morning was cold and windy, in the upper 20’s with steady winds at 8mph. That means a feel-like temp in the teens! As it turns out, I dressed very well for the race. Layers are the strategy for conditions like this, and every time I thought I was beginning to feel hot, I would turn a corner, get into a patch of shade, and catch a stiff breeze. Surprisingly, all of my layers stayed on!

The course is notoriously hilly for this race, traversing through the neighborhoods surrounding Byrd and Maymont parks. There were lovely views of the lakes in Byrd Park, but the course would have been super confusing with the number of loops and out and backs incorporated. Thank goodness for great course marshals!

By one of the lakes in Byrd Park on the course. Photo by author.

Speaking of course marshals, they were amazing! Some of them were friends of mine, and it’s always great to see a friend on the route, especially when they call your name! One of the marshals was playing Beyonce, and I found myself singing “Put a ring on it” for at least 2 miles. Another was doing a striptease to motivate us. Sure, it was only her safety vest, but it was hilarious and thoroughly entertaining! And yet another gentleman was waving pom-poms and showering runners with words of encouragement. They kept me going, for sure!

I surprised myself with my performance, though. This was definitely a day that I toed the line at the start, got going, and felt good. Today was a race day, it was decided. Not just a training run. 

With the exception of stopping for water and a few yards in the last mile of the race, I ran the entire way, even up and down all of the hills. Although my pace was slow, it was fairly consistent. 

In the end, I finished in under 2 hours, which was my plan A goal! (If you’re a runner, you know there are always plans A, B, and C…) 

So, this race I love to hate actually loved me back this year. Another great race with the Richmond Road Runners Club complete! Will I be back next year? We shall see…

After the race with my medal! Photo courtesy of Anna L.


Don’t you love when a race distance aligns with your training plan? 

As always, I hope you all are safe and healthy. 

Published by annecreates

I am a physical therapist, wife, mom, runner, artist, and vegan. I'm passionate about helping others find wellness, speaking about the human experience, and in fighting for social justice. Assistant Coach for the Sports Backers Marathon Training Team. Current ambassador for: Boco Gear, SaltStick, SPIbelt, Goodr, Noxgear, and Switch4Good.

2 thoughts on “Frostbite 15k 2023 Race Recap

  1. I laughed out loud at “Why did I swear I’d avoid this race? I’ll tell you.” 🙂

    Good job on a great race! Isn’t it nice when the stars align? (and too bad we can’t make it happen at will!)

    Liked by 1 person

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