The race offers registration on Sunday which is something that I love. You can stop by at your convenience and pick up your packet and timing chip and save a ton of time on race morning! I love not having to get to a race super early on race morning. This year I waited until the last minute as I was registering to decide which race to enter. There is a 5K and a 10K option and I usually run the 5K race.
The race offers a great swag bag and this year had some Adidas body spray, snacks, and a water bottle. There was also a shirt to select from and the race organizers offered a female version however it was cut small and only went up to size large. I was very disappointed that they didn't offer additional sizes in the women's cut since it was much cuter but the men's technical shirt will be fine too.
I decided to give the 10K option a try this year since I had skipped doing a long run on Saturday/Sunday and needed to get in the distance. I knew the 10K course had some good hills on it so that had me worried but I figured it was finally time for the 10K. One thing that helped with my decision was the weather...for once it wasn't ridiculously hot. It was hot but more manageable than it had been in previous years. The earlier start time also appealed to me: 7:30 for the 10K versus 8:15 for the 5K.
|Beautiful morning to race!|
Race morning was super smooth for me. I already had my bib and chip and was able to get parked very easily at the race site. The race starts/finishes at the Pinnacle Promenade mall and there are lots of parking options. The race had 8-10 porta potty on site and that meant I didn't have to wait in much of a line either time I went to the bathroom. As the 10K racers moved to the start line there was a little problem with the arch...it fell over! I don't know if it deflated or just blew over but either way they had to put it back up for the start.
We headed out on the course and it was exciting to see how many people were running the 10K. Around mile one we got to one of the first inclines. I swear it lasted 1/2 mile...it was just a long, gradual incline. I kept plugging along and decided during this section that my goal for the race would be to avoid walk breaks. I had tried running through the first water stop at mile one and decided to allow walking through the water stop in order to make sure I got in enough water.
Around mile three, I was running behind a couple. I had my headphones in but I could see the wife say to the husband, "You got this." As I passed them, I cheered on some encouraging words. The wife would eventually leave her husband behind and keep on her pace. He stayed near me through out much of the remaining course but would leap frog as he switched from running too fast for his fitness and then taking walk breaks. I finally passed him for good in the last mile of the race.
The 5th mile of the race included a big incline up Bellview Road. It was mentally tough to keep running up the hill as so many others were walking it. But I did it! I was so happy to reach the highway overpass which signified the top of the hill and also a slight breeze! From there, it was downhill past the final water stop and then back to the mall entrance for the return to finish. I enjoyed the shade in front of the stores and found that extra bit of energy to pick up my pace for the finish.
|Celebrating after the race with Mike Rush|
My overall time was 1:03:30 which was great given my run fitness right now. I've been getting maybe 10-15 miles in of running each week which is pretty low for aiming for time goals. I was very happy with myself for running through the race instead of taking run/walk breaks. Overall, it was a great race for me since I accomplished my goal and had a time that I was very happy with. My pace average 10:23 per mile and was fairly consistent except for the big inclines.
One of the best things about the race was afterwards...the post race party. They offer a huge kids party area with inflatables. They also offer a great food spread which included full breakfast this year. I was surprised that I could eat a couple of the food options within the current diet choices I am trying to stick to. There is a huge tent with tables and chairs so that you can sit in shade to eat your breakfast and plenty of cold water and Gatorade to cool you off! But that doesn't even come close to topping the photo booth!!!
|Rocking our matching outfits for goofy pictures!|
By far the best part of the post race party was the photo booth...it had dress up options and you got to do 3 different poses. We had a blast getting our pictures made and it makes me smile! I love that my friends are just as silly as me and that we can share in each other's fitness adventures and triumphs.