This race is billed as the annual rite into the spring racing season. Well it definitely wasn’t spring out there. I awoke to a car completely covered in snow and snow covering most of the grass. It wasn’t sticking to the roads but the air temperature was about 30 with the wind chill of around 18. It was pretty windy and intermittent light snow. YUCK! Why did we move to Minnesota??
I’ll start out by saying that I was pleased with my time after the race given the conditions. When I got home I became even happier when I realized that I was only 2 seconds from a PR. That happiness was tempered with the thought that I should have found a few more seconds and actually PRed but oh well.
Packet Pick-up went pretty smoothly. I went down on Friday because Minnehaha Falls (check out this older pic of the falls) is only about a mile from work. The packets were full of goodies including a box of Minute rice! I opted for the cotton t-shirt instead of paying more for the tech shirt – it has a pretty good design.
Race morning was biting cold. I wasn’t 100% sure what to wear but opted for a long sleeve tech shirt underneath the jersey with tights. And of course gloves and a hat! At the start it was a little chilly but I’m glad that was all I wore because it got warm on parts of the course. We had to wait around for awhile before the gun went off but this is the largest 10K in Minnesota and the 15th in the nation. This year there were almost 3,500 finishers and I’m sure some people didn’t even show up. We settled into our spot in the chute and shuffled to the line. It was then that we realized we started to far back in the chute. Within the first few hundred yards we were dodging people left and right some who were almost walking. I tried not to zig-zag too much but had to fight the crowd for at least the first mile. The course was pretty scenic running along the Mississippi Byways right next to the Mississippi River. The overall course was mostly flat with a net elevation loss and only one hill worth mentioning (right after halfway). I came through the first mile in 6:34. I felt like I was working a little bit but it didn’t seem strenuous. I was definitely a little tight.
We continued along the river for the second mile. At this point I let teammates Kirk and Chris pull away a bit. Nothing too exciting was happening. We were mostly protected from the wind during this stretch. It was generally from the West but was blowing pretty much every direction at some point! I came through the second mile in 6:27. The third mile continued on the West bank before making a jump onto the Lake Street bridge. I caught back up to Kirk and Chris as we got to the middle of the bridge and ran with them for awhile again. It was really during this mile that it finally seemed like the crowd had dispersed on the course. After crossing the bridge we headed down the East Bank of the Mississippi, now in Saint Paul. I came through the third mile in 6:36. I came through the 5K in 20:22.
Right after the third mile we climbed up the hill to the University of St Thomas area before turning into the wind and going back to the river. When we made the turn and headed West again, it was spitting snow and had some powerful wind gusts during this short section. With the hill I let Kirk and Chris go but started finding other people to run with. As in most races I would pick it up for awhile with the occasional runner who was passing me. I went with one guy wearing an IU Little 500 hoodie for awhile and he helped me catch onto another group of guys that I’d run with for awhile. I came through mile four in 6:46. Mile 5 was more of the same trying to hang on and push through the tiredness. Going back and forth with runners and staying tough. I came through the mile in 6:40. Mile 6 seemed pretty long but it was a difficult mile. We continued along the river before making a quick loop to get onto the Ford Parkway bridge. In my mind this meant we were pretty much done, but in reality we had almost 3/4 of a mile to go from when we actually got on the bridge. The bridge was brutal because we were running right back into the wind. I tried to draft off of some people but it wasn’t really effective and actually slowed me down a bit (maybe my 2 seconds for a PR!). A small group of us went back and forth for the rest of the race. After I crossed the bridge I kept thinking – we have to be almost done. Finally we came to the 6 mile mark and I ran it in 6:52. The last .2 went by pretty quickly as we left the main roads and down into the park (the last half mile was pretty much all downhill). Somewhere in there we merged with the 5K runners so the final sprints to the finish was a mix of 5Kers and 10Kers which made it a little frustrating since you didn’t know who you were trying to outkick! I did manage to kick in the last 0.2 miles in 1:32. My last 5K was 20:50 my Garmin measured the total course 0.09 long so officially the last 5K was 21:08.
My overall 10K time was 41:30.
I think this would be a good race if it hadn’t been so cold! April is so unpredictable that you never know for sure what you are going to get. I would say that crowd support was pretty good for how cold it was! What did you think of the race?
[tags] 10K, Get in Gear, Race Review [/tags]
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