Category Archives: 8k

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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Race Plan: Human Race 8K

This weekend is my first race for 2009.  I ran the Human Race 8k last year, see my review.  I actually wrote a little preview about it last year as well.

The Human Race 8k is put on my TSL Events and has become the annual spring opener.

Last year I finished in 31:27. My goal going into last year was breaking 32 minutes which was a fairly arbitrary number but was based on my goal 10k time.  That also represents my post-college PR.  There aren’t many 8k around.  I don’t actually remember my collegiate 8k PR, but I never broke 30 minutes, but it was below 31 minutes.

The Human Race course is nicely designed for setting PR’s because the last half is downhill.

I think my goal for this year will be to set a new PR – it would be nice to break 31 minutes but that might be stretching it.  To PR would require running a 6:19 pace.  That might be stretching it since I’ve  not run that fast very often this training cylce.

We’ll see what happens.

This post was inspired by this one.

Updated: Be sure to check out how it went!

[tags] Human Race 8k, St Paul, 8k [/tags]

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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]

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Race Review: Rocky’s Run 8k

The Rocky’s Run 5k & 8k brought back a lot of college memories for me.  I’ve done a lot of trail races since college, but this is the first “cross country” race.  So many things about it were similar to a cross country meet.

Location – a golf course, we ran on a few golf courses throughout my career, most notably the Notre Dame Invitational.

Format – this event was a 5k and 8k.  The women’s USATF race was the 5k and the men’s was the 8k – just like in college.  NCAA men run a 10k championship race, my alma mater was NAIA so we stayed at the 8k all year.

Weather – this was like an early season race, warm and sunny! My first collegiate 8k was at Purdue on an extremely hot morning.

Team – This was part of the USATF Team XC series.  We cheered for our female teammates (and Kirk who ran the double so he could score in the Grand Prix) and they cheered for us. All of the other factors heightened the team feeling.

Ok, but what about the race? This was my hardest workout since Twin Cities so I pretty much had no expectations going into it.  When you have no expectations you can come out happy! I ran a 34:40 which is just at 7 minute pace and we actually cut off a little piece of the course.  How does a golf cart mislead the race leaders?? I finished 44/87, just missing the top 50%. But I was a 1:20 faster than the average!

The course was fairly hilly, nothing major but lots of little ups and downs that wear on you over 5 miles.  The course had a lot of turns and made numerous loops (see picture).  Since this was my first year here I had no idea where in the world we would be going next, except for seeing the string of people ahead of me, occasionally.

I think I may have been a little dehyrdated.  The sunny conditions took some out of me.  The nicest thing though was how short the race felt compared to the marathon. And the rest of the day I wasn’t sore or tired.  What a nice feeling.  It did help that I had an hour to lounge around after the race talking with Nathan and Mike, while we waited for AAA to retrieve Nathan’s car keys for him!

Another little highlight of the morning was the fact that the Rocky’s Run raises money for the University of Minnesota’s Women’s Cross Country Team‘s scholarship fund. After the 5k it was announced that their Varsity team won Big Ten Championships! You can read more about the story of Rocky here.

[tags] Rockys Run, University of Minnesota, XC [/tags]

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