Bele Chere 5K 2013- A Comeback Race

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Bele Chere 5K 2013- A Comeback Race

I did something completely out of character for me this past weekend.  I made a last minute decision to run what may be the final Bele Chere 5K.  Yes, I did something spontaneous!  I have been itching to do a race since I had to pull out of the Frostbite 10K last February.  I just wanted to really feel like a runner again Smile

I ran the Bele Chere 5K twice in my first couple years of running and always enjoyed the big race that closed off streets through the heart of our downtown.  A “big” race for Asheville is about 1,200 people.  The festival around the race is being cancelled due to lack of city funds, so the race, will probably not happen again.  I suspect organizers will put something else together, but with the festival gone, it will not be the same.  I did not want to miss out on running the last one.

I knew I wasn’t in real racing shape and really hadn’t trained for the race.  But I have consistently been running 3 miles several times a week and I was positive I could finish the race running.  And most of the time that is a victory alone!

So I put on my one of my favorite summer racing outfits…


Yellow and pink tank- Avia -Marshalls

Grey “swagger skirt” – Athleta

Pink Mizuno Wave Precision – They stopped making these… boo!

My lucky pink running headband


And… My rain coat.  Yup- it was raining.  It stormed all night and continued to rain in the morning.  I tried to stay a little dry before gun time.  My dad was in town and was kind enough to wake up for the early race and carry a giant umbrella and take some pictures for me.

I looked at the radar before we left the car and there was a giant cell heading straight for downtown.   I knew it was coming, but I didn’t know exactly what it would do to my race.


I stood in the middle of the pack waiting to move up to the start line.


And we are off!


Just as the gun fired it started to POUR!  I usually avoid running outside in inclement weather (hello treadmill!) and had never before run in rain this heavy.  In the 19 races I’ve run I have run in cold, heat, fog and light rain but nothing like this!  At first it was a little shocking, but after you were drenched it didn’t matter as much.


I did struggle with my wet and heavy shoes.  There were huge puddles everywhere.  People started joking that this was going to end up like a mud run.  I also ended up with water pouring down my face so badly that I almost had a contact wash out of my eye. I had to blink it back into place.  I saw people all around me stop running and a few even looked like they were going to quit.


Mile 1 was fast.  Too fast.  Despite the downpour, I felt pumped to be back in the game.  It was pouring so hard though that I could hardly even see my pace watch.  Pace- 9:10.  It felt mainly downhill and smooth.  I had no idea how fast I could really run so I didn’t have any set goal paces.

Mile 2 was probably a better goal pace for me considering I’m coming back after an extended illness and surgery.  Pace- 9:52!  Hello hills!

Mile 3 was hard.  The wet shoes and clothes started feeling yucky.  The hills also started to feel brutal.  I believe we were coming back up from the smooth downhill in mile 1.  On the downhill bursts in Mile 3 I started to worry I was going to slip if I pushed too hard.  10:21- DOH!


Last .10 – MORE UPHILL!  Uphill finishes to races are hard! I gritted to get past the finish line! Pace, 9:26

Chip time: 30:05!


Couldn’t I have at least pulled another 5 seconds out of my legs to break 30 minutes??!! Aw man!!!


Oh well.

I was DRENCHED!!!!!!!

Considering the circumstances, I think it actually went pretty well.  It was only June 17th that I posted about my first run back after surgery.  I knew I had to go into it remembering I’m just getting back into shape and my time wasn’t going to be where I was before.  I knew a PR wasn’t going to happen (My 5K PR is 27:22) so it was about having a good time.   Mission accomplished; I was so happy to just be able to run a race.  A month ago I would not have even been able to finish this race running.

There are two minor victories and race accomplishments though….

My previous times for this race (different course) were 31:16 in 2009 and 31:17 in 2010.  SO…. 30:05 is actually a Bele Chere 5K PR!

AND… remember how in this post I wrote that my short term running goal was to run 3 miles in under 30 minutes?  Well, according to my GPS I hit the 3 mile mark at 29:22!! BOO-YA!


Maybe one day I’ll look a little more like the winner finishing this race!  He looks fierce!





WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE RACE?[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

By | 2017-08-15T14:04:30-04:00 July 30th, 2013|Fitness, Races, Running|23 Comments


  1. Monday November 14, 2016 | 2016kevin November 14, 2016 at 2:43 pm - Reply

    […] Here is Julie wunders  blog about it! […]

  2. […] of Running in a Skirt, you may remember that this time last year I was still struggling to break a 30 minute 5K after coming back from sinus surgery.  My goal was not going to be an easy […]

  3. […] all started last July with the Bele Chere 5K, which was my comeback race post sinus surgery, and continued all year.  In October I did the Pink […]

  4. […] 2 minutes faster than my Bele Chere 5K time a couple months ago and my second fastest 5K […]

  5. […] big running comeback hit a bit of a roadblock following the Bele Chere 5K in late […]

  6. Karl Quisenberry July 31, 2013 at 7:14 am - Reply

    Julie, I am so proud of you! Letting that rain not deter you is amazing. You are sooo gutsy. Karl Q

    • JulieWunder August 1, 2013 at 8:03 pm - Reply

      Thanks Karl!

  7. Madeline St Onge July 30, 2013 at 10:29 pm - Reply

    Good job Julie, you are a better person than I. I can walk a 5K but can not run for beans. So proud of you girl <3

    • JulieWunder August 1, 2013 at 8:03 pm - Reply

      Hey! Walking is awesome!! Walking a 5K is hard work too!!

      Thanks 🙂

  8. Lindsay Sweeting July 30, 2013 at 10:17 pm - Reply

    I ran BC this weekend, too…I think I finished right next to you. Congratulations on meeting your ‘under 30’ goal!

    Mile 3 hit me like a ton of bricks, too. It was a doozy after Asheland. As for running in the rain…I think it ended up being awesome for keeping us cool during the race. Definitely much better than a superheated Bele Chere like last year.

    Keep up the comeback–you’ll be feeling like you were pre-surgery and beating your PRs in no time!

    • JulieWunder August 1, 2013 at 8:04 pm - Reply

      Yeah, that hill was brutal! I actually preferred it to being super hot too.
      Thanks Lindsay

  9. Sarah Farrant July 30, 2013 at 8:33 pm - Reply

    Great job! I think sometimes running in the pouring rain can be fun. I’d take a downpour over temps in the 80s for any run. Also I love your skirt. Thanks for posting info about your adorable outfit! 🙂

    • JulieWunder August 1, 2013 at 8:06 pm - Reply

      That is by far my fav running skirt. I really like the grey color.
      You are right– It was actually pretty fun in the rain once when you got over the shock.

  10. Shirley Deters July 30, 2013 at 6:46 pm - Reply

    Atta Girl !! Julie – I am so proud of you. I am sure you will continue to run & inspire. Spontanaity (sic)can be a good thing sometimes.

    • JulieWunder August 1, 2013 at 8:06 pm - Reply

      Yes! I need to do more of it! I’ll plan to be spontaneous… haha 🙂
      Thank you Shirley

  11. Jaime July 30, 2013 at 6:42 pm - Reply

    I’ve run in rainy races, but never one as wet as Saturday’s race! I’ve also run races in snow and awful, awful conditions (think the marathon at Biltmore in March. That was THE worst.) I prefer the fall races around town. Those are good weather races.

    • JulieWunder August 1, 2013 at 8:07 pm - Reply

      I have to admit… I am glad I wasn’t running a marathon in that brutal weather. I’m looking forward to some fall races this year. I always seem to gravitate to spring races.

  12. Esther July 30, 2013 at 6:26 pm - Reply

    You go Girl, I followed you thru your surgery and now you getting back on you feet for racing! You are the Best!!!

    • JulieWunder August 1, 2013 at 8:08 pm - Reply

      Thanks Esther!

  13. Allison Bosco July 30, 2013 at 6:10 pm - Reply

    Yes, Julie, I ran a half marathon in the pouring rain-twice. Once on Presque Isle in Erie PA-a very flat course (ask Victoria about PI) and the second one started in a downpour and ended in sleet and hail. I set my PR in the sleet and hail-think I was just glad to be done and get something warm to drink. You should be very proud of what you have done! Way to go!

    • JulieWunder August 1, 2013 at 8:08 pm - Reply

      You set your PR in sleet??? WOW! Now you are fierce! I’m so impressed!

  14. Dan Steadman July 30, 2013 at 6:10 pm - Reply

    Wow!!! That is awesome and a quick comeback at that…signed up last minute? Last year I signed up for the Paris Mountain HM the week before the race and loved it (except for the running up a mountain part). Rain in the pouring rain? You’ll get lots of responses on this, the 2012 IDES Hot Chocolate 10k…the monsoon started 20 minutes before the race and continued throughout. Favorite has to be the aforementioned HC10k…I don’t mind driving over an hour to run a January 10k race…not my greatest time wise, but the course is great and the after race hot chocolate is awesome, plus the logistics are smooth as silk from the ride to the course to the bag drop…all around my favorite…

    • JulieWunder August 1, 2013 at 8:10 pm - Reply

      I remember that morning of the HC 10K… I was thinking… I’m glad I’m not running this… ahhh!
      Hope marathon training is going well!!! Last couple weeks of hard training coming up!

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