Category Archives: 10K

2011 Ragnar – Great River Leg 17

Running a 10k at night, on a gravel road, in the middle of no where sounds pretty boring, lonely, and a little scary. If you do it alone.  Fortunately, for me I only had to run the first 1.5 miles alone.  That was a very lonely stretch.  There were no red flashing lights ahead to spur me on and no vans around to make me think I was on the right track.

At one point I did see a flashing red light.  Perfect someone to catch and score my first “kill” of the relay.  The light kept getting closer and closer and closer.  It was only a Ragnar sign indicating a turn.  Bummer.  Last year I passed quite a few people on the night leg and the steady stream of flashing red lights was a great encouragement to keep pushing.

This sign indicated a turn onto a gravel road which was a pretty pleasant idea for the legs – not so much for the lungs as the vans stirred up quite a dust storm.   I had taken the pace out much easier for this leg, remembering what happened on the previous day (this run started at 12:15am) and knowing that I had a 7 miler looming later in the day I was happy to start out pretty relaxed and to just go with the flow.  I did want some road kill numbers though.

Our van was nicely lit up with flashing christmas tree lights making it easy to spot.  I saw it up ahead and I as I approached I shouted, “Where are all my road kills at?” Two seconds later some girl passed me (effectively making me a road kill).  How embarrassing.  I had been passed by plenty of women in my first run – so I think it was my just uttered arrogant comment that spurred me to shift gears and lock-in behind her.

Once I got into the rhythm of the stride it wasn’t too bad.  I never did dare to look at my Garmin to see what pace we were at, but I knew she was pushing me hard.  I had no idea how long I could stay with her, but knew that at least mentally I had to try.  We ran stride for stride for the next 3-4 miles.  Mainly her pushing me to dig deep and keeping me on my toes.  I wasn’t at a conversational pace so we didn’t talk much, but I think she had run competitively.  She effortlessly used the variation in terrain to try and drop me. But I hung on as we proceeded to climb almost 1000 feet during the 10k distance.

We battled, I never really took the lead not wanting to actually get ahead of her since it is easier when someone else is setting the pace.  Sometime after 5 miles I was struggling and let her go.  I never lost sight of her but was starting to give up hope of reeling her back in.  Then we got a road kill.  Success!

The terrain leveled out a bit as we neared the finish and I started trying to work on picking her back off. I started picking the pace back up and within a half mile of the finish some random dude came out of no where and flew past us.  WTF.  I shifted gears again and gave it everything I had.  So did the girl.  It was a super battle to  see who had a kick – brought  me back to the college days.  In the process we picked up another road kill right as we passed the spotters.  Poor spotters.  4 runners in the dark all yelling out our team numbers!

I passed the girl for good, the guy was long gone, and I was absolutely spent.   So much for saving anything for my last leg!  Even though I was spent it was much different than after the hot 8 miler.  This was a great feeling of giving 100%, digging deep, and beating the competition.

I thanked the girl for helping me push the pace and for getting through an all uphill leg that could easily have become a negative suffer fest – instead of the positive suffer fest we enjoyed!! She thanked me for helping push her and that was that.  She ended up being from team 105 – Better than Bond Girls: Dirty Martinis.  They ended up beating us by 14 minutes after all 36 legs.

I stretched quickly and then we loaded up to cheer on Aaron and to head to the Van Exchange.  We passed the figurative baton (a slap bracelet) and drove to Hudson WI for breakfast at Denny’s before driving to Stillwater to get a few needed hours of sleep!

Here is the map/elevation chart (almost 1000 feet gain):

Here is my pace chart with elevation throw in for comparison:

We relaxed on Lake Pepin waiting to start back up again:
Lake Pepin

Everyone has to wear a reflective vest between 7:30pm and 7am:
Awaiting the Night Exchange

Our van lit up with Lake Pepin in the background:
Lights on the Lake

Enhanced by Zemanta

Get in Gear 10k

I didn’t run the Get in Gear 10k this year, though I would have loved to be in shape to take part in this “Annual Rite of Spring.”  It was a cool (low-50’s) and rainy morning (with a spell of lightening and thunder before race time), which was actually better than two years ago when it was in the 30’s with snow on the ground!  See my race report from the 2008 edition.

As I mentioned on Monday a friend and I showed up to Minnehaha Falls fairly late, close to 10am or an hour after the 10k and 1/2 started and 40 minutes after the 5k.   The 10k race is the main event, even though there is a 2k, 5k, and half-marathon.  We got to see the back of the pack runners finishing and then the half-marathon leaders finish.  It was sad to see that they haven’t fixed the finish area problem of runners from the longer races merging into the shorter ones and having to dodge runners and walkers.  It seems it would be easy to setup cones for at least the last tenth of a mile to separate the races.  I’m sure the leaders would appreciate that!

Below is a video montage I created from some of the videos and pictures I took.  I’m not sure what the issue is with my cell phone’s video encryption but sometimes Windows Movie Maker doesn’t read the video, while Flickr does.  So Kim Scheel, Women’s 1/2 marathon finisher, didn’t make it into the montage, but gets her own separate video!

Kim Scheel finishing the 1/2 marathon in 1:28:23.

Rocco at the MDRA (who finished in 37:21) also found this video by Brett Sall who finished in 45:25, not bad for his first race:

Get In Gear 10K from Brett Sall on Vimeo.

How was your Get in Gear Experience this year?

[tags] Get in Gear, 10k, GetinGear[/tags]

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Twin Cities Marathon Weekend

It is still 3 months away but it is never to early to plan for race weekend.  For 11,000 runners the Twin Cities Marathon will be the culmination of many miles of pavement (and dirt) pounded throughout the summer.

The 26.2 mile race begins at 8am on Sunday, October 4th.  Earlier that morning at 7:05am 6,500 runners will take the “shortcut to the capitol” by running the TC 10 Mile.   Registration for this “shortcut” is via a lottery system that is currently open.  Registration for the 10 Mile lottery goes from Monday, July 6 to Wednesday July 15 at 10pm.  1,000 lucky runners of May’s TC 1 Mile event (including me) won a guarenteed entry into the 10 Mile.  I obviously chose not to use it. This is the 11th annual 10 mile race and is again the USA 10 Mile Championship event.

New this year to race weekend is a 10k event.  Held on Saturday, October 3 at 7:30am this will be an out and back along the last 3 miles of the marathon course (starting and finishing at the marathon finish area).  It appears that there is no limit to the number of 10k participants and offers race day entry.  This also is the first event of the 2009 race weekend.

The TC 5k is on Saturday as well  starting at 9am.  It is an out and back course along the last 1.5 miles of the marathon course, finishing at the marathon finish.  It too appears to have no limit to race entries and offers race morning entry.  Both the 10k and 5k events will be run on USATF certified courses and are chip timed.

Other family friendly events are scheduled throughout the day on Saturday.  All events offer pre- and race day registration. They include:

  • Diana Pierce Family Mile which starts at 10m and is an out and back course finishing on the marathon finish line.
  • Half Mile which starts at 10:30 am and is an out and back course finishing at the marathon finish line.
  • Diaper Dash starts at 11am. Participants crawl from an inner circle to an outer circle, it seems obvious this is for the littlest of “runners” in the family. It doesn’t sound like this one finishes on the marathon finish line but does take place in the same area.
  • Harry & Shelly’s Mascot Invitational starts at 11:15am and is a race amongst your favorite mascots.  I’m not sure which ones will be there, but I’m sure Brutus the Buckeye won’t be.   Harry and Shelly are the TCM mascots (in case you were wondering).
  • Toddler Trot starts at 11:30 and is a 50 yard dash on the capital lawn.

Race fees start at $7 for the Toddler Trot and Diaper Dash and go up to $100 for the now closed marathon.

Last year I was quite happy to visit the Expo, pickup my number and chip, walk quickly through, purchase a shirt, and head home – less time on the feet the better! Some of my non-runner friends have taken their kids to the family events and had a blast.

If you’ll be here for marathon weekend, what event are you doing?  Me – I’ll be knocking out the 26.2.

[tags] Twin Cities, Marathon, Twin Cities Marathon, 10 Mile, TC 10 Mile [/tags]

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

USATF-MN Team/Championship Schedule

The 2009 USATF-MN Team Circuit and Championship Race Schedule was voted on awhile back.  Here is the schedule:

I recognize at least two races are missing from the schedule which is good! Last year I ran the 5000m championship on the track and that wasn’t very exciting. The Earth Day Half Marathon was also on last year’s circuit.  It was the weekend before Boston last year and I imagine that is why it got left out of the schedule this year. It is a little odd that there isn’t a half-marathon on the schedule at all though.

Here is an interview with USATF Minnesota Long Distance Running Competition Chairman Ed Whetham from Down the Backstretch about the 2009 circuit.

[tags] USATF-MN, USATF, Championship [/tags]

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Race Review: USATF-MN 10k

This race served as the USATF-MN Cross Country Championships.  As with collegiate championships this year it was a 10k.  Fitting for the mid-November race, it was cold and snowy when I awoke.  By the time we got to the race course, another golf course, the snow had stopped falling but the ground was very wet and soggy.

The course was 4 laps meandering around the golf course hitting a few good sized hills each time and rarely more than a couple hundred yards of flat terrain.  Knowing the course would be hilly and wet I secured a new pair of cross country spikes. They did a good job for me.  I didn’t slip and fall and I don’t really remember sliding at all while climbing the hills.  The Nike Zoom Waffle XC 7 did an excellent job.  With the waffle it is only a 4 spike bed. My toes hurt a little bit from jamming but I think that is due to the hills and I should have cut my toe nails!

Each lap was 2,500 meters long and the only distance marker on the course was the 1 mile mark.  So if you wanted to do that math that’d be 1600 meters which means that each lap after passing it you had about 900 meters to get to the finish line.  This was helpful on the last lap.  I felt really good at the start and went out with a few guys from my team.  We sorted around a little and ended up with a pack of 3 until about midway into the 3rd lap. At that point I started dropping back a bit.  I tried not to let them gap me too much and we all finished within 20 seconds of each other. It was a little disheartening to see Chris pull off the course in front of me during the 3rd lap as I was starting to get tired, but I struggled on and it looks like he’ll be ok.

I didn’t have much of any kick at the end but the finish was also kind of uphill. The cold made it a miserable day. On the way home a bank thermometer said “32” so it was right around the freezing mark for the run.  Most of us ran in long sleeves and shorts.  Once you got moving your legs weren’t too cold, until you stepped in a puddle or something! There was no precipitation for our race, it was snowing/sleeting for the women’s 5k.

The course had 2 bad spots.  One was over a 90 degree turn around a tree that was on the edge of the rough. The other was a hairpin turn around 500 meters to the finish.  Both of these caused me to slow down a little, even though I tried running them a little wide.

I finished the race in 43:09 which is 6:57 pace. (That is faster than last week’s 6:59 pace for a shorter run!) I was 6th on our 3rd place team and 32nd out of 39 overall.  The winning time was 33:23 by Christopher Erichsen of Collegeville TC.  As I was coming around the hairpin turn on my 3rd lap I saw the gator in front of the leaders and vowed not to let myself get lapped.  (I didn’t!) Our women’s team placed 4th in their 5k (which was 2 laps of the same course, run after our race).

[tags] USATF-MN, Cross Country, XC [/tags]

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]