Saturday, December 17, 2016

Christmas 10K 2016

Newport, RI
Sunday, December 11, 2016

I've probably run this race about five times now.  10Ks are not very common in this country, so I like the change of distance, and I really enjoy the course which goes right along the ocean past Brenton Point.  We've had a few off-and-on years of running this as a club, so I proposed to our board that we promote this as a team event again.  Kudos and thank-you to new club Secretary Beth for promoting and organizing.  Several days before the event, I believe only Beth and I had signed up and committed.  I would still go and enjoy it, but the more the merrier.
Fun, nearly traffic-free course,
with 2 miles alongside the ocean.

By race morning, there were 7 of us WTAC'ers in.  Not as many as last year, but still fantastic!  Warmed up with Kevin and Eric, neither of whom had previously been in the park.across the street with cool cliffs and trails.  Changed into my racing flats and headed to the start line.  I got some comments about wearing short-shorts and singlets at the race, but honestly the temps had risen to 30 degrees, it was sunny, and no wind.  Perfect choice of running garb that I didn't regret.
Race start

Miles 1 & 2:  Started off with a pack of 10, including Muddy, Jonny, and Turtles Principe, Jackman, and Venable.  Hung with them for about 2/3 of a mile, and while I'm sure the pace was slow for some of them at just over 5:30, it was too spicy for me.  Dropped off from the pack and finished Mile 1 at 5:42.  Just after Mile 1, another dropped back from the pack.  I thought, good, someone to stay near me and push me, but unfortunately, I easily went past him.  Mile 2 split 5:55.

Miles 3 & 4: Most of this 2-mile section was right along the ocean.  I've run it in the wind, in the rain, with seaweed covering the road, and with salt water spraying on me, but today was just perfect:  again, calm and sunny.  On the downside, I'm running as an island with no one to push me.  At this point, I can only see the next runner (Brightman) on long straightaways.  Similarly, the next runner is quite a ways behind me (I don't look back, but rather when I pass the few spectators clapping, I try to judge based on how long after I pass before they clap or say something again).  I know there is where I become complacent, and I try mentally to keep the pace up.  Miles 3 & 4 splits:  5:56 / 6:01.

Miles 5 & 6:   For the final two miles, we move away from the shore and head inland back to Rogers High School.  There are plenty of walkers on the course at this point, as they walk a 3.3 mile course the overlaps the last two miles of the 10K running course.  Many are supporting and cheering.  The final mile is net uphill.  Turning the final corner before the 6-mile mark and uphill finish, I pass WTAC'er Joe Light leading the walking contingent. Uphill to the school and done.
Finishing up.  Looks like I'm jogging it.

Final results:  36:45.  9th overall out of 251. 1st in age group.  Full results here.

Turns out this was my 2nd fastest 10K ever, 23 seconds off my PR. I don't feel like I had given it everything I had.   Should I have hung with the lead pack a little longer, or would that have hurt me in the end?  TNT took the team title, as they came in 1st, 3rd and 4th overall, but we had a good showing and placement with our WTAC team.  After a cooldown with fellow WTAC runners, most of us headed over to the Brick Alley Pub for lunch.  Fun race, and a fun get-together.

1 comment:

  1. Nice recap! It was an awesomely perfect day along Ocean Road, I was remembering some of the runs I've had along there in the seaweed, rain, freezing wind, unbearable heat.