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May 29 2014 / Emily

Race Report: Hammerbird 5k

I’m quite behind in my blogging and figured that I’d never catch up if I waited to write chronologically.  So I apologize to the Umstead Marathon, Cherry Blossom 10 Miler and Lapper’s Delight 24 hour race for skipping over you.  I hope to make at least brief posts eventually!

But before May is through, I’ll give a little write-up on this month’s race.  The first weekend of May, I ran the Hammerbird 5k here in Winston-Salem.  It was a first-time event to benefit Habitat for Humanity and the ReStore.

I first learned of this run from lots of well-placed signs around the city and through my neighborhood.  They were nestled among many political signs as the race was just a few days before the primary elections, but a different shape so they stood out.  Honestly I just liked the logo.  My goal for this summer is to focus on getting faster, but I wasn’t really ready for a race yet until I saw this one.  I crossed my fingers that I’d get a shirt with the neat logo – and I did!

I would have been happy with just this!

I would have been happy with just this!


I mentioned the race to my friend Lauren who decided to come run it as well.  She also brought the added challenge of a stroller full of her solidly built, sweet as can be, baby boy.  And boy oh boy, it was a challenge.

This course was hills on hills!  It ran through the neighborhood that Habitat has been working to revitalize for many years.  I hadn’t previously been there, but I’m now drawn to return to help build with Habitat.   What a supportive area it was!  The 5k was in conjunction with a larger fundraiser, and all of the homes they have built over the years were marked with signs.  Lots of residents were out on their front porches, cheering us along.  And we needed it on some of the hills for sure!

photo credit: Habitat Forsyth facebook page

photo credit: Habitat Forsyth facebook page

What a doozy!

Okay, believe it or not, I was the leading woman in the whole race up until that hill, which was about the 2 mile mark.  I had gone out way too fast and the hills and my level of fitness were definitely catching up to me.  So was a speedy young lady.  Some supportive cheering neighbors shouted out to us as we ran up the hill together, acknowledging our roles as first females.  How exciting!  And then someone asked her “where do you go to school,” and she answered a local high school.  Then they asked me and actually seemed surprised when I said I was out of school entirely!  Turns out she was only 14 years old – and ended up as the first overall female.  Impressive!

When Lauren and I arrived at the ReStore before the race began, we saw a big table of prizes, including six rather odd-looking trophies.  Lauren had the confidence to suggest maybe I’d have a chance to win one of them, which I doubted very much.  I’ve never placed in the overall women, though it has always been a goal of mine.

1-Hammerbird 5k trophy


Well – goal achieved!  It was amazing to be the leading woman for part of the race, even if I did get passed by two faster women in the last mile.  But yes, it means I did manage to finish as the third overall woman in the race!  My time of 25:01 was hardly speedy, and in most races it would not stand a chance of overall placement, but one can only race against those who show up!  Lauren also placed in her age group – even with the stroller on those hills! – and got a cool rubber mallet award that had been customized for the race.  Her little guy wanted his hands on that!

fast friends :)

fast friends 🙂


You know, we even color-coordinated with the ReStore building.

It was a tough but fun entry point into my summer of speed.   Up next for me is my fourth Ultimate Runner, with really short distances on the ticket!  Though it’s amazing how long 800 meters can feel when you sort of sprint from the beginning.  I’m hoping to race another 5k or two this summer with the goal of besting my 23:15 PR.  There is a pancake-flat one next weekend at the airport so maybe that’s something to consider.

In the meantime, have a look at the cool trophy.  I want to show you a close up!  Wish I had gotten a photo of the other ones.  They were all very different.  One had circular saw blades, one had a colander, and they were all made up from items around the ReStore (except, I assume, the winged foot toppers) like lamp parts, finials and dishes.  So creative and unique!  I’m displaying this proudly.

unique award

unique award



Leave a Comment
  1. Jason / Jul 1 2014 1:32 PM

    nice job – i love that trophy!!

  2. Steph J. / Jul 9 2014 12:01 PM

    So cool–congrats on winning an overall award, especially on a tough and hilly course! I love the homemade trophies made from repurposed materials, too–one of a kind!

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