Great Pumpkin 10k Race Recap 10/12/19


Our group was slightly smaller than in past years, with Darlene @ Myfirst5kresting up for her 20 miler the next day (7 + a Half), and another running friend not able to make it. About evenly split between 5kers and 10kers.

Packet Pickup
We all picked up our packets the day of the race this year, with no issues. They changed the tee design (which we all like) just slightly, and we all still liked it. Warned that they are a men’s style, I got a small — it was still rather large on me but better large than small I say.

We got there early enough to park by the pavilion that the race is held at, so we were able to go back and forth to the car frequently. The real bathrooms are always a plus and oddly never super crowded.

Cool It Long Sleeve under the fleece (which I took off for the race); as you can see it was a bit cool before we started but warmed up quickly!

The weather & dressing
It was pretty much perfection this year, in the low to mid 50s, with almost no wind at all.

I wore my Skirt Sports Cool It Top (Skirt Sports Ambassador) and a Skirt Sports Pocketopia Capris. It was cold when we left, but I knew it would be warming up. I have to say I wish I’d worn a skirt instead of the capris, but I actually like not having to reach underneath my skirt to get at my water bottles, too.

The Cool It Long Sleeve actually works great in the Fall transitional weather — keeping you mostly covered can keep you warm before you start, but also still help you stay somewhat cool as you warm up during the race. Go figure.

Even the course marshals get into the holiday spirit. They warned us not to lose our heads.

My Race Plan
Nope, no race plan. No expectations, either. Running has been squeezed in when I can lately, and speed work has been pretty much non existent. I have run a few times at my mom’s, though, which is super hilly — as is the second portion of this 10k.

I was hoping to keep it under an 11 mm every mile, but I knew that between the stress the past six weeks and a few really restless nights recently that was a tall order and I also knew I’d be okay with whatever the race handed me — well, within reason, of course. I wouldn’t be happy with an injury!

So how’d that work for me?

  1. Mile 1: 10:19. A fast start (quite a bit faster than last year) but nothing that would come back to haunt me.
  2. Mile 2: 10:48. Relatively flat. So just switch mile one and two and I’m right on track. <== that’s what I wrote last year. Still true. Faster than last year.
  3. Mile 3: 10:19. A slow decline and again faster than last year.
  4. Mile 4: 10:50. A long decline and a long incline. Slower than last year but not by a lot. I learned from Firecracker 4 this summer that with steep hills like these I’m better off doing run/walk, so I did. Just by feel.
  5. Mile 5: 11:09. Mostly a long hill. A bit faster than last year. Darn, that 11 at the front! Like last year, I got to see Running Buddy J here & shouted some encouragement. Definitely a tough mile. I also passed another running friend here who is generally faster than me so I was pleased.
  6. Mile 6: 10:56. Mostly downhill. A bit slower than last year.
  7. Last .16: 10:51. And a sprint to the slightly uphill finish with my friends cheering me in. Again just a bit slower than last year. Usually I can sprint in the last little bit but that darn small uphill before the finish gets me every time.

1:06:06 — Official Time
10:39 Average Pace
9 out of 19 in F55-59
233 out of 299 Runners

Previous Years:
2018: 1:07:14 — Official Time, 10:50 Average Pace
2017: 1:08:39 — Official Time, 11:03 Average Pace

Yes, like last year, it was both a 10k PR and a course PR. I mostly met my goal; that one mile was just barely over an 11 mm so I say that’s splitting hairs. Extremely pleased with such a strong race on so little training (and sleep). I’ve lowered my 10k time since my first, eight years ago, but about 5ish minutes.

Seriously, though, where were those 10:19s in my recent 5k? Oh yeah, that one wasn’t mostly downhill, as the first half of this 10k is.

I really do think those few hilly runs at my mom’s were good training. Or maybe the HR training has also been helping? My easy runs are a lot slower than they have been, but for this race, I completely ignored my HR and turned off HR alerts, too.

Running Buddy J was pleased with her stemless wineglass for her AG 3rd place

Was the race well run?
The race is extremely well marked and there are plenty of course marshals. There are a lot of refreshments after, but there’s a long line (even though the 5k was long finished!). Although mostly the baked goods are just okay. Some year I’ll remember to photograph the spread. Running buddy J placed in her AG. I was very pleased with my PR.

People get into the holiday spirit with costumes (there’s also a kid’s race), and there’s a fire at the pavilion — in addition to those real bathrooms


  1. Such a pretty park to run through, especially in the Fall.
  2. Real bathrooms.
  3. A well marked and well directed course.
  4. Nice long sleeved tech shirt.
  5. The entry includes a free raffle ticket — unfortunately I didn’t win anything (again!).
  6. Running with friends.
  7. A PR is always sweet.
  8. Perfect running weather.

Of course no race is perfect. The downsides:

  1. Challenging hills.
  2. The paths, for the most part, are quite narrow, although this time I never really got too frustrated and felt I found my own space for much of the race.

What I learned
Using intervals on steep hills will probably always be the way to go for me. I didn’t use intervals on those hills at my moms for my last run there, but I also ran significantly slower. More than 2 minutes per mile slower.

Those little walk breaks are to help prevent fatigue from setting in, and they work. I won’t say you won’t get tired, you still do. But the break will help you have enough energy to power up the hill when you are back to running.

If none of my friends end up doing the November 15k, it will be a hard decision. Do I really want to do it by myself? Assuming that I am here, that is always up in the air the last 6 weeks. Maybe. Just to see what I can do. Fall really is my favorite time of year to race!

Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup


24 thoughts on “Great Pumpkin 10k Race Recap 10/12/19

  1. Nice recap and congrats on the PR.

    Sounds like you’ve adapted my running style. Run walk hills and take short walk breaks to keep up the energy level.

    I did register for Stockadeathon. Though not racing it. Maybe I’ll see you there if not before.

    I do love this race. Hope to do it next year.

    With 6 halfs and a full, I can’t remember running a short race for time. Maybe next year.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I guess it’s good to experiment.

        And you deserved to PR. You get those runs in no matter what.

        Someday I will get serious and try to PR. When I retire if I’m still running LOL.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes that is the question. I can’t afford to money-wise but I do like to stay busy. So I can’t imagine not working. I’d love to work less.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Great job on that PR!! Well done, indeed! I almost always stop and grab water at the stands…I don’t stand still, but I do pause for a few seconds and walk as I drink. Not everyone likes pausing from their running, but it has always been a nice little vice for me. I never have an issue “re-starting,” and I do get a little bit of a energy boost.I have probably told you this before, but a lot of times (on really steep hills), I can actually walk them faster than I can run them…my long legs come in handy for certain things LOL Congrats on a great race!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve never had an issue restarting, either. My guess is I’ll go back to intervals if I train for a longer distance but maybe not. I’m up to 9 miles running this way.

      I have absolutely no problem using intervals; I dropped them because I wanted to work on endurance.


    1. I have gone back & forth on intervals for the 10 years I’ve been running. I actually do like them, but wanted to work on endurance this year.

      The PR was a big surprise — I haven’t been running too much or training for anything. I always tell people, though, that training is cumulative.


  3. Congrats on the 10K PR, Judy! You got better each year you ran this race. That should feel pretty good, especially when your expectations going into the race were pretty low.

    I am a big fan of running intervals too, especially on hills. I need that little mental break sometimes, plus, I often wind up passing people who run the whole thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Last year’s race was actually after a PR just a couple of months before (on an even tougher, more hilly course).

      I guess my body just likes 10ks, or maybe it’s that I don’t run them often.

      I’ve gone back to running without intervals (except on steep hills — there it definitely is working for me). It started as a way to increase my endurance after being so sick in the spring. Then I just decided to stick with it & see where it went. I’m happy that I’ve still continued to improve, although these days it’s hard to tell since I run so slowly on my easy runs when I mind my HR.

      I always take a break each mile to walk & drink water, though. I only have one 5k that I ever ran without walking at all!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Congrats on your PR! Love it that it happens when we least expect it. My last 10k was last year and my PR is from 2010. Ugh, I am overdue for one. 🙂 Thank you for linking up with us and I am so sorry it has taken me this long to read your post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Zenaida. Often I find PRs happen when you don’t think they will.

      Don’t apologize. It can take me a long time to get back to people, too. You have even more on your plate than I do, and you know I understand. We appreciate the linkup!

      Liked by 1 person

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