Tag Archives: Events

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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Marathons and Race Directing

There has been some recent news about where Chicago Marathoners might re-try a marathon. One is the Denver Marathon which is actually this Sunday (Oct 14) but they have waived the entry fee for Chicago runners. Another as reported in the Indy Star is the Indy Classic Marathon, they have expanded the entries and re-opened registration. I have some hesitations about suggesting this for anyone because of their past history. I’d recommend the Indianapolis Marathon on October 20, but the registration ends today.

Blog Land! Attention Race Directors

I was recently encouraged by this article to write about the blogs I read and share why I read them, with you my readers. So here it goes!

As an avid runner I enjoy participating in well run (no pun intended) races and other running events. There is nothing worse than going to a race and it is poorly run. Whether its no water on the course, poorly marked course, or messing up the awards race directors have a lot to think about.

After directing 3 5K races I have experienced both sides of it and commend race directors and their teams (paid and volunteer) for all the hard work. I found the Association of Running Event Directors while working on my first 5K and added their blog to my RSS feed so I can stay up on what they have to say. I never actually became a member, because that would cost money!

They have a lot of good resources for the first time event or even new ideas for the old tried and true. Many race directors would spare lots of hard work and agony of trying to establish a quality event by checking this site out.

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Featured Blog & More

Run Central Indiana site was the featured blog of the week on Phedippidations a running podcast produced weekly by Steve Runner. Click here (mp3) to listen to the whole episode entitled Hard Days. Or you can just click here (mp3) to hear the blurb about Run Central Indiana. I’ve mentioned this self-described goofy little podcast before as well as it being mentioned in Runners’ World awhile back.

Steve and others are also hosting a World-Wide Half-marathon encouraging runners around the world to run a half-marathon on or around October 13-14. The theme is “Think Global, Run Local!” You can join this free event, especially if you are participating in the Indianapolis Marathon’s Half.


On December 8th at 10:30am the 2007 USATF Club XC Championships will get under way in Columbus, OH. Information and Registration

You can read the Road Runners Club of America’s newsletter Footnotes here (pdf kinda large).

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