Race Review: 2009 Human Race 8K

It was a gorgeous morning to go for a run, the afternoon was excellent as well.  54 and sunny are pretty nice conditions for a race.  The Human Race 8k is excellently managed by The Sporting Life (TSL) Events, a local race management company.  This year’s event featured biodegradable water cups and lots of compost trash receptacles.  The University of St Thomas makes a pretty nice staging area as well, headquarters are in the fieldhouse and the campus is pretty to walk through.

The starting line is on Summit Ave, home of the famous Twin Cities Marathon hills.  The Human Race starts around the 22 mile mark and goes out about 2 miles makes a square around the William Mitchell College of Law and heads back down Summit.  Summit Ave is split on two sides of a grass boulevard for much of the race.  The start is split with the male and female on two different sides of the boulevard joining together about 1/2 mile or so into the race.

I started a few rows back and planned to take it fairly easy out of the start, especially given that the whole first mile is uphill.  My pace seemed pretty solid without being overly fast.  Blogger Chad Austin ran by me and for some reason I thought it might be a good idea to try and pace off him – he’s definitely faster than me, even coming off ski season! I came through the first mile in 6:35.

The second mile is pretty much all downhill.  It doesn’t really feel like it though.  I was just trying to stay relaxed and using people to help block the wind.  Nothing too exciting happened during this mile.  I was still passing people and getting passed.  Was pleasantly pleased to see an even split time of 6:35.

The third mile includes the little square part around the Law school.  It is a one block square with a water stop on the Summit Ave side.  This square is an easy way to make a fast turn-around on an out and back course. Much preferred to the traditional cone in the road method, especially with this sized event!  I saw the leaders coming back by at this point too.  This is an up and down mile and I was starting to feel pretty tired.  Somewhere in the last half of the race my upper body got really tight and I kept dropping my hands to try and relax it.  I went through mile 3 in 6:49.

The fourth mile is all uphill again, but knowing that the final mile is all downhill makes it a little better!  I really started struggling and was getting passed a lot more.  Thinking back though I recall that my breathing wasn’t labored but that my legs really hurt and I just felt bad overall.  Somewhere around here I got a cramp on my right side.  I came through in 6:53.  Glad to keep it under 7.

The last mile is all downhill with 80 feet of elevation loss at a -4% grade (see chart below).  Before the race started I thought downhill with the wind at your back you can fly to the finish.  I tried turning it on, but that didn’t work too well.  Some people passed me and I tried to stay with them and they pulled away a little bit.  It is a little deceiving because the road makes a quick little jog and so you can’t see the finish line, but then you see it for a really long time.   You also run past the starting line.  Finally with about 1/4 mile left I realized that I had to pass all these people and dropped the gears down.  My final 1/4 was 1:21 (which was almost 10 seconds faster than the previous).  The Garmin records your fastest pace (you only have to hit it for a second) and today’s fastest was a 4:24 pace! The final mile was 6:07.

Overall race pace was 6:35 for a 33:02 overall time.  Which was a little disappointing.  Everyone was pretty encouraging and reminded me that this is the first race of the year, so not too put much weight on it.

You can see the 2008 review here.

Comparison Chart 2008 2009
1 6:20 6:35
2 6:12 6:35
3 6:25 6:49
4 6:34 6:53
5 5:51 6:07
Final 31:27 33:02

[tags] Human Race, 8k, Race Review, The Sporting Life [/tags]

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3 thoughts on “Race Review: 2009 Human Race 8K

  1. Pingback: Best of 2009 | Team Cross Runs

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