I had been throwing around the idea of doing this race, but didn’t decide for sure until Friday morning. I had already done my speed interval workout. That would come back to bite me!
I like supporting local events. You may remember that I ran this race last year. They only had a 5K then…but it ended up being only 2.4 miles because the volunteers directed us the wrong way.
This year, I picked up a course map when I registered (on site, really easy) and then went and drove the course. There were arrows marking every intersection. This time they were on signs, instead of painted on the road.
I signed up for the 10K…along with two other people. I think there were probably about 15 people either running or walking the 5K. The 10K consisted of running the 5K loop twice-running it backwards the second time. The organizer did this because she didn’t want the runners to get bored doing the same loop twice. As I was driving it, I suspected that this strategy could cause people to lose their way on the reverse loop. And, it did happen. As it turns out, I was the only 10K runner who didn’t make a wrong turn. When you are running the course in reverse, the arrows are much more difficult to see, and they don’t point in the direction you should be going. I mentioned to her that just running the course twice (in the same direction) would be better for next year.
As for my race, I started much too fast. I think I got excited! I should have remembered the interval workout I had done two days before the race and taken the time to consider that my legs might be a bit tired.
I made it about 2 miles into the race before I realized that things were not going to end well for me. I contemplated the idea of just stopping at the turnaround point and being happy with a 5K on the day. But, I kept going. At one point, I decided that it would be a good time to count my cadence. I had nothing better to do, and I always hear how important it is to have a fast cadence and a rapid turnover. So, I counted how many times my right foot hit the ground in one minute. I’ve heard that you should aim for at least 90 per minute. Mine was…wait for it…90! But, I don’t know how representative it is of my running as a whole. I was consciously focusing on my cadence and that may have sped it up a little. But, it gave me something to do.
Once I hit 1.2 miles to go, I tried to pick up my pace a little, but it was a challenge. I was wiped. I knew that I wasn’t going to set any land speed records during this race, but I had secretly hoped to come in around 52-ish minutes. I ended up crossing the line in 53:42, but I’m okay with that.
Since the race is in October, I decided to wear pink to show my support for breast cancer research. I had my 7 year old take a picture for me. I had to borrow the pink shirt and it was too cold to go without a long sleeved layer. I wish I had pink shoes.
After the race, I was standing around and chatting with the organizer, who was marking down finishing times by looking at the stopwatch on her cell phone. I was going to grab some water, but there wasn’t any to be had. She did tell us that we could go inside the school (where the weekend’s other activities were taking place) and get some from the water fountain. I should also mention that there weren’t any food-type refreshments, and no water station on the course.
*Local race. I want to support the local events, because if no one supports them, then they won’t exist. I enjoy being able to sleep in and still get to a race. But this one has now had two years of learning and I hope that there are some improvements made for the future.
*Inexpensive. I registered on-site for $15 and had the option to forego the (cheesy) T-shirt, which I did. Registration with the T-shirt was $25. Still pretty reasonable for a 10K.
*No water station. A 10K is a long enough race where a water station should be a given.
*No post race water/refreshments. Not having any water after the race is just crazy. I don’t think I’ve ever been to a race without water at the finish line. And the way the course was set up, with the 10K turn around at the 5K finish line, you could have double-dipped with the water. The water at the finish line could have also served as a water station for the 10K runners.
*Running the course backwards. I had a feeling people would get lost. I wasn’t entirely sure that I wouldn’t get lost! Running the 5K loop twice-in the same direction- would have been a better idea. Another note on the course-it was open to traffic, with no course marshalls. Another thing I noticed is that we often ran on the side streets that had the stop signs. Not a huge deal, but it would be nice to have the right-of-way if the course is open to traffic.
*Lame shirts. So lame I didn’t buy one. It was very similar to last year’s shirt, except it was a bright green color with black lettering.
Overall Grade: C
Post-race refreshments and a couple improvements with the course will improve this event. I hope that this event sticks around and that even more people participate next year. There is a lot of room for improvement, but many of the suggestions are relatively easy to implement.
What’s the smallest race you’ve ever done? Have you ever gotten lost during a race?