Ballet Shoes & Mickey Ears

The happenings of this Disney-obsessed runner and dancer!

Downtown Willoughby 5k Race Recap

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Since I find myself with some time today, I figured I would write a little race recap!

First off let’s talk about registration. This race was brought to my attention by a fellow co-worker. She insisted me and husband sign up for it. It was the first race for this organization and they promised some awesome goodies! This was a 5k race throughout downtown Willoughby. It only cost $15 to sign up and with your registration you got the following goodies:

  • Tote Bag
  • Tech T-Shirt
  • Pint Glass
  • Free Cupcake at Finish Line
  • 3 Free Beer Tickets to Local Bars

This is amazing considering the low cost of the race! So of course, I registered. Who wouldn’t run for a free cupcake and beer?! This race actually sold out. I believe they had around 2000 runners? So good for the community!

Race Day. This race started unusually late in the morning…10:15am. By this time in most races I have already completed the race and having breakfast at my favorite place. So this was a little weird, but ok since it wasn’t hot out. Husband and I parked our car, which the parking was super easy and very available, and we made our way down to the race area. We needed to hit the bathrooms one more time before the race, so we went over to the port-a-potties to find an extremely long line with only 4-5 toilets. I think since they knew the race had sold out ahead of time, they should have at least got a few more port-a-potties. We eventually made it through the line and we still had about 15 minutes until race start. We ran into some other co-workers that were walking the race and just there supporting the community. We then made our way to the middle of the pack and waited to start. They had an Irish bag-pipe band get things started and then we counted down! And then the crowd was off! Well, in front of us that is. There were so many people that we actually had to walk up to the start line. There was no room to run. And even once we passed the start line and our timers began, it was a gridlock. There were so many people at varying speeds, and some people even walking, that it was almost impossible to get moving. I lost at least a solid minute on my time here which was very disappointing. People running, including myself, took to running on the sidewalk just to get past people. I’m sorry, but the information for the race clearly said that the walkers needed to line up behind all the runners. People need to adhere to this. It is dangerous to have walkers in a running crowd. It wasn’t until the first mile was complete that the crowd started to thin out. We were running on the street too. So many people!! They had one water stop around the second mile I believe. I did not stop to use, trying to make up for lost time at the beginning. This race also had no mile markers along the course. I run with my Garmin watch, so knowing my distance isn’t a problem. But for people that don’t, not knowing where you are in the race can be very upsetting. My husband had to deal with this and he did not like it. There were many locals standing and sitting in their driveways cheering everyone one along the route which was awesome. I love seeing people support us runners! It makes me keep running!

I ran pretty well considering I had just run 10 miles the day before this race. My legs felt good, other than some tightness in my left IT band. My finish time was 30:03. I’m happy with this considering my long run on Saturday. Had I not been held up at the beginning I know I could have finished under 30. That’s ok though! Husband finished at 31:34. I’m so proud of him! I love being able to see him cross the finish line.

So here is my overall Pro/Con List for this race:


  • Nice race swag (bag, shirt, glass, free cupcake, free beer tickets)
  • Flat course
  • Nice, friendly, atmosphere
  • Instant race results online
  • Very easy and straightforward website for info and registration


  • Not enough bathrooms
  • No mile markers on course
  • Too many people running
  • Walkers not being in the back
  • Late start time
  • Large Age Brackets (mine was 21-29)

Given the race was so cheap and the awesome stuff you got with it, I would probably run this race again. Unless there was a different race going on lol. Overall, I think Willoughby did a good job being that this was their first race. Hopefully next year things will improve and make this race an even better event!


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