Technically this was my second stand-alone 10k. I did one last year in FL with my sister, and I've done two at the end of triathlons. I signed up for this one on a whim because a guy at work suggested it. This race is actually several races at the same time. 2k, 5k, 10k, half marathon. There might also be a fun run in there too.
I am not specifically training for any running races. Having said that it seems like the bulk of my training for the last four months has been pretty run focused, and it's definitely had a positive impact on running speed and confidence. It also helps to have this distance and further under by belt a few times.
Packet pickup was in my living room the morning of the race. My wife and I were both signed up and we had enlisted my sister-in-law to watch the kids at the race. So my wife went to the day before and picked up both of our packets. Running races seem a lot more comfortable letting just anyone pick up race numbers and stuff. The only restrictions at this race was that people were restricted to picking up 10 people's stuff at a time.
The 10k and half marathon start time was at 9, the last email we got from the race director said to be there 45-60 minutes early to be able to deal with lines. So my wife planned on getting up pretty early, which she did. And then she woke me up to tell me it was pouring down rain. We could hear it pelting our house, and it was only 40 degrees. I immediately decided I wasn't going. It's not that I don't want to run in the rain, but I don't want to stand around in the rain before and after the run.
After a few minutes I started to second guess the knee jerk reaction to the bad weather. I started reasoning that we should at least go to the event, who knows if the rain was going to let up. Around that time I could not longer hear the rain from inside, and when I looked outside I realized that it must not have been raining long. We talked about it a bit, my wife had no desire to be outside, and we for sure didn't want to subject the kids to standing outside, maybe in the rain, definitely in the cold, for two hours or more. Eventually I decided I just go and everyone else would stay home.
So I scarfed some breakfast, got my running tights, long sleeve shirt, hat and gloves and headed out. I got to the designated parking area with about an hour to spare, headed to the shuttle, got in the longest line I've seen in a while and waited about 20 minutes to get on a bus. The bus dropped us off and I headed to the start area with about 7 minutes to spare.
I think the total size of the event was something like eight thousand people. The 10k had, according to the results, 3,600 people. Unfortunately the start area is a free for all, and by the time I got there I was far enough from the start that I didn't even know where it was. I just knew I was in line for it. I learned the hard way from the ING Miami race that if you get stuck behind a bunch of slow people it can be really frustrating. According to the results I started about 2,000 people back, it took me about 1:50 to get to the start line.
Much to my surprise the pace picked up pretty quickly, and while I spent a good amount of time hunting for a clear path to run for the first two miles I wasn't actually that bad.
I didn't do a preview for this race, but I did have a goal in mind, under 50 minutes which would mean averaging 8 minute miles. Besides the 5k from last year that would be my fasted sustained speed for any distance, but I've been able to hold low to mid-8s for shorter runs and mid to high-8s for longer runs.
So I took it out at a comfortable pace, ran around people pretty much constantly for the first two miles and then just settled in. I had my watch on, and I glanced down once or twice to see what pace I was doing, but mostly I was just checking distances and time. For most the race I figured I was on pace, I hit the half way point and did the math real quick and figured I was pretty much exactly on pace.
The course is pretty flat, not south Florida flat, but flat for Minnesota, one or two gentle climbs with matching downhill sections.
When I got to about 1.5 miles to go I checked the time again and this time I was pretty sure I was way off pace. I figured to get in under 50 minutes I'd need to run at 7 minute pace the rest of the way. Then again my brain doesn't always want to function fully during races so I put that math out of my head and tried to pick up the pace.
Race Highlight - I knew there were a bunch of people I knew at this race, and I saw one of them on the run. That was cool! I also heard the announcer say his name as he was crossing the finish line.
I had starting putting more effort in near the end like I said above. Of course, this is the same time everyone who has anything left starts putting in more effort so, while I was feeling pretty happy with my effort, I wasn't really passing people.
At the very end though the 10k and the 5k races converge on the same finish line and so I was passing people again, it was pretty busy but it does make me feel better to be passing people.
I was feeling pretty junky at the end of the race, I mean there was a fairly good chance I was going to lose my lunch. I just pushed to the end and did lot loose my lunch. I grabbed some water some chocolate milk, milled around for a bit looking for people I knew and then headed home.
|Overall Place||651 / 3,649|
|Division Place||74 / 232|
7:47 - Had this been a 5k, this is almost a PR for me.
7:03 for the last .2
So I'm very happy with this. It's a personal best and it means that the effort I've been putting is paying off.
I don't know what to think about this race as an event, it's large and has lots of history and the course is fine which are good things. But I've heard that it rains every year, and there wasn't actually anything particularly special about it. Who knows, maybe I'll do it again maybe not.