Overall I was pleased with my race yesterday. I was shooting for under 80 minutes. According to my Garmin, I did that. By the time I hit the finish, my Garmin said 10.16 miles and the time was 1:20:53. (I don't think I have ever run a 10 mile race before, so I think this is now my PR)
I have wanted to run this race since I learned about it two years ago. It starts at the high school near my house, runs past my house on the way out and the way back, and goes along one of my favorite routes through a rural and wooded area and past a reservoir northeast of twon. There was still a lot of snow on the ground and trees, but the roads were mostly clear (from about mile 3.5 to mile 5 was on a dirt road that got sloppy in the snow and rain).
It was cold (in the low 30’s) and damp. Right as the race started, it began to snow. By mile 5, it had switched to a light rain and by the finish, it stopped but it was still raw and cold. The course was a bit hilly, with a short hill at 1 mile, a long hill on mile 4 and another long hill from mile 8.5 to mile 9.5. I was doing great through mile 9, but the second half of the last hill took a lot out of me and I didn’t have much left to kick it in through the finish.
There were a lot of fast runners at the race: a lot of New England running clubs were represented and a lot of runners were using it as a tune up race for Boston in April. USATF-New England used it as the first event in their 7 event Grand Prix race series. The men’s winner came in at 51:48 (5:11 pace) and the women’s winner came in at 58:40 (5:52 pace). I ended up placing 314 out of 510 overall and 59 out of 75 in men’s 40-49. (Like I said, it was a fast, competitive race! The top 11 in the 40-49 bracket were under 60 min)
The race was organized by the Sugarloaf Mountain Athletic Club (SMAC) and was well organized and supported. They run a lot of races in the Connecticut River Valley in western MA and do a nice job with them.
Part of the reason I ran out of gas at the end was that I probably went out a bit too fast (it’s hard not to when you are psyched up by the crowd of other runners). My splits from my Garmin:
Mile - split - total time
1 – 7:50 – 7:50
2 – 7:09 – 14:59
3 – 8:12 – 23:11
4 – 8:31 – 31:42
5 – 8:07 – 39:49
6 – 7:51 – 47:39
7 – 7:15 – 54:55
8 – 7:58 – 1:02:53
9 – 8:04 – 1:10:57
10 – 8:44 – 1:19:41
Finish (10.16): 7:26 – 1:20:53
Given the raw weather, there were not that many fans along the route. The route passed my house just before mile 2 and at mile 9, so my wife and kids were out with signs and cheering. Here are two pictures of my cheering section:
It was a good race, I am glad I did it. I wanted a faster time, but given the weather and the hills, I am very happy with how it went.