My running has been more consistent leading up to this race, but I didn't run for 3 weeks in March. Not good! The weather has been getting better so I went out for a short run last Thursday and an even shorter run Saturday morning. Getting outside (after only running indoors for the last 4 months) built up my confidence for the race.
I ran this race last year and the weather was just awful. Rain, hail, sleet, snow...every type of precipitation you can think of, we had it during those 2 hours! This year was 1000x better. A bit windy and chilly, but the sun was out, the sky was clear, and the ground was dry. I'll take it!
The course starts and ends just outside of a baseball stadium and it's an out and back course. The only problem is you're out in the middle of nowhere (or at least it feels like it!) and the road seems to go on for forever. Finally you turn the corner and see the tent marking the turnaround. It's a beautiful thing!
I started out with the 10:00 min/mile pacer and my first 2 miles were my fastest. It was too fast for me so I had to slow down a bit. I wanted to wait until I made it to the turnaround before kicking it up. The course consists of rolling hills, with 2 bigger hills as you near the finish, and I needed to save some energy for this last mile.
My splits were 10:37/mile for the first half and 10:38/mile for the second half. Finish time was 1:46:06, my second fastest 10 miler! And I beat last year's time by 4 1/2 minutes! But really, how could I not with the drastic differences in the weather? Still, I'll take it!
See that squint? Gotta love that sun!
Thanks to the hills and me pushing it (and after a 3 week running hiatus), my quads are still sore 3 days later. Am I crazy for loving it? I guess that's why I continue to run! :)
Here are a few things I love about this race and why I plan on doing it every year that I'm able to:
- It's local and takes less than 30 minutes for me to get there
- The race fee doesn't break the bank and even if it did, it goes to a good cause (see below)
- It's a 2pm start time on a Sunday. They want everyone to have the chance to go to church in the morning before the race. How great is that? And I love that I don't have to get up super early!
- It's called "A Race for Recovery" because they support a local Rescue Mission which provides long-term residential recovery programs to the chemically addicted, food to the hungry, and clothing and furniture to the needy. This year they raised $25,000!
- You get a nice running shirt and medal
- They have same-day packet pickup so no having to go out of my way the day before. And did I mention the race is at 2pm? Packet pickup goes until 1:30. Again, no getting out of bed super early or going out of your way!
- A great selection of post-race food and drink
- Amazing volunteers who had smiles on their faces. One even thanked me for being out there running.
To sum it up, this is the perfect race (at least to me) and I can't wait to do it again next year! If you live in the area, definitely check it out. Maybe I'll see you out there. :)
What do you look for when signing up for a race? What's important to you?