This year I got to ride with friends so there was no mad dash to make it to the starting line like last year (read about it here). We had a fairly large group, with most doing the 5k, but this year there were a couple of friends doing the 10k, too. It’s always fun when you have friends cheering you into the finish line.
We all picked up our packets the day of the race this year, with no issues. Even my friend who’d registered after the tee cut off time got her tee.
The weather & dressing
It was fifteen degrees cooler than last year’s race, which would have been fantastic — if there hadn’t also been a cool drizzle going on for pretty much the entire race.
My Race Plan
I didn’t bother to ask Rachel @ Runningonhappy for a race plan (again). But Another Mother Runner just happened to run an article about 10ks recently, so I based my plan at that: shooting for an average of a 11:00 mm, I planned to go out at around 11:10 – 15, try to run 11 the next three miles, then see if I could pick up the pace the last two.
I did not look up my 10k PR or last year’s race — but I did know that the hills start when the 10k splits off from the 5k (you all start together).
So how’d that work for me?
- Mile 1: 10:58. A slightly fast start but nothing that would come back to haunt me.
- Mile 2: 11:09. Relatively flat. So just switch mile one and two and I’m right on track.
- Mile 3: 10:39. A slow decline and oops! Definitely way faster than I’d planned to run it..
- Mile 4: 10:40. A long decline and a long incline — I guess the decline must have been longer! The hills were already draining my energy.
- Mile 5: 11:19. Mostly a long hill, plus quite a bit of wet pine needles and pine cones that you need to be careful on. I got to see Running Buddy J here & shouted some encouragement. Definitely a tough mile.
- Mile 6: 10:47. Mostly downhill.
- Last .16: 10:45. And a sprint to the slightly uphill finish with my friends cheering me in.
1:07:14 — Official Time
10:50 Average Pace
6 out of 9 in F55-59
249 out of 321 Runners
2017: 1:08:39 — Official Time, 11:03 Average Pace
Yes, it was both a 10k PR and a course PR. I met my goal although I didn’t quite follow my plan. Hills always make it hard for me to pace myself! A really good tune up race for my half in two weeks, which supposedly is rolling hills.
Was the race well run?
The race was extremely well marked and there were plenty of course marshals even on a cool, rainy day. There are a lot of refreshments after, but there’s a long line (even though the 5k was long finished!) and we skipped them (I had a protein bar with me). One of our group placed in her AG — I was definitely envious of her pint glass, but I was nowhere near placing in mine, even though there weren’t a lot of us.
Since I’m now a *little* familiar with the race, having run it two times, and went with friends, we had no problems with parking. If you miss the first entrance with the Great Pumpkin sign (we did, actually), do yourself a favor and turn around — you can thank me later. Otherwise you may have trouble finding the appropriate parking lot.
The real bathrooms at the pavilion are always a treat — and there are portapotties if you don’t want to wait on line, too. There’s a coat check, too, which Running Buddy J and I took advantage of. So my throwaway fleece lives to grace another race.
- Such a pretty park to run through, especially in the Fall.
- Real bathrooms.
- A well marked and well directed course.
- Nice long sleeved tech shirt.
- The entry includes a free raffle ticket — unfortunately I didn’t win anything (again!).
- Running with friends.
- A PR is always sweet.
Of course no race is perfect. The downsides:
- The weather (although it wasn’t that bad).
- The pavilion is too small for all the runners! Thankfully it wasn’t pouring.
- The paths, for the most part, are quite narrow. And speaking of running with friends, two moms were running with their strollers, keeping together. While I was happy they had each other, I was not happy that they took up the entire path. And with my run/walk, I’d pass them, then fall behind, then have to pass them again . . . and again . . . maybe I was petty, but it was annoying. Then there was another mom pushing a stroller, who stopped to tie her shoe, and the stroller started to roll into the woods . . . runners closer to her alerted her and as far as I could tell her kid was just fine — never saw that before!
What I learned
Good question. I guess that I will probably never execute a race plan perfectly. I didn’t learn this, but it’s a good reminder — I really have a lot of trouble pacing myself on a hilly course. And always carry something to eat after the race — you can’t always rely on race food.