Big Chill 5K Race Recap

The Big Chill 5K at Rutgers University is one of my favorite races of the year. You can find previous recaps here and here.

I love it because it is such a great cause. Race registration is an unwrapped toy for a child in need. Every year they collect thousands and thousands of toys. I think this year it was over 10,000! There were 9,000 registered runners and walkers as well.


My dad and brother decided to join my mom and me this year. It was a great race!

We got there by 8 am to park, pick up our numbers, go to the bathroom, etc. I wanted to be in the starting corral by 8:30 am because I did not want to end up in the back. They have barriers on the road for about 100 meters or so, so if you don’t get in early, you have to walk all the way to the back and that’s where you start.

So because of this, we didn’t really warmup. I did lunges, squats, high knees, jumps, etc. in the starting area while we waited for the gun to go off. We also took a few pics :)



At 9 am we were off. There are no chip times, it’s only gun time (unless you pay extra for the seeded corral), so I just wore my watch to get my own time. 

The course is great. The first mile is slightly downhill then flat, the second mile get tough with a few rolling hills, and the third mile is flat. I like to go out fast on the first mile because it is downhill. I know I’ll end up slowing down but I like that strategy for this particular race.

I didn’t really have any lofty goals. I wanted to get a sub-30 time and did not want to walk lol. I accomplished both! In the second mile, I contemplated walking (it’s always in the same spot too). I then told myself I’ll just slow down for 1 minute then speed up again, and that’s what I did.

In that final mile I tried to throw in some “surges” so pick up the pace a little bit. My fitbit said my heart rate was around 192 which is pretty much close to max. I tried to speed up as much as I could!

Since there are so many runners, you try to kick it in the last stretch but it’s hard because people are all around you. You can’t weave in and out in a tight space. So I did what I could and finished in 29:11. Average pace: 9:24 per mile. I’ll take it!

My dad finished in 27ish, my brother finished in 22:56, and my mom finished in 29:30ish. Here we are at the finish:


Afterwards there are food and awards inside the College Ave. Gym. We went and got our bagels and cookies and took more photos :)




My mom and I wore matching hats which actually got a ton of compliments lol. We were elves and my dad was Santa. We’ll be wearing them again next year!



Overall a great day. Now time to start working on chipping away at that 5K time. Goal for the spring is anything below my PR (25:43). Let’s see what we can do!

Have you ran a holiday themed race? Any other races left for you in 2015? I have the Ted Corbitt 15K this weekend (yikes, so not prepared), anyone else running it?


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