Gallery: Free to Breathe 10K 2013

  • My official time: 54:25 (8:37 pace), top 24% of all finishers, 9/47 in women, 3/10 in gender/age group (F/35-39)
  • Steve’s official time: 48:08 (7:37 pace), top 8% of all finishers, 5/40 in men, 2/6 in gender/age group (M/35-39)

Good things about this race:

  • We both got medals. It was a small race, but it’s still nice, especially considering how tough it was.
  • Steve came in 7th overall. He’s awesome.
  • Parking and traffic control
  • The most water/aid I’ve ever seen at a race under a Half distance and even then, better.

Bad things about this race:

  • Heat and humidity
  • Running into 20 mph wind about half the course
  • Hills and inclines for the majority of the course, not just the one hill like I thought
  • I’ve worn shorts this short before but maybe not in this kind of temperature and oh man… I have the WORST heat rash I have ever had in my life. I’ve been in terrible pain since this morning. Am I missing something you guys? Should I lube up more? How do people run in heat in shorts? I don’t get it.
  • Start time staggering of the 10K/5K run to the 5K walk was WRONG. So wrong. As all of the 10K runners were coming back up the loop, we crossed paths with/merged with the walkers. HORDES OF THEM. I spent the last mile and a half weaving, weaving, weaving in and out, back and forth, going off course. Twice I had to yell for groups 8 to 10 people wide just ambling along to GET OUT OF THE WAY. The first group barely cared enough and I just made it around them. The second group, I actually slammed into a walker who couldn’t figure out which direction to move over. !)@(#%&^ After the race, the timing services people happened to hear Steve and I griping about this to one another and they came over and nudged me to go talk to the race director about it. They said they heard many complaints and they tried to tell the organizers beforehand that they were staggering the start times badly and they wouldn’t listen. I wasn’t in the mood to go talk to her, but maybe I will email. So awful.
  • “This was more than a 10K.” That was the very first thing Steve said to me when I crossed the line and I was immediately inclined to agree. When I went home, I checked the USATF certification for the course and I printed that along with the map from the event website and mapped it inch by inch, four times, even using the satellite feature to see exactly where I was putting the markers. I came up with 6.30, 6.31, 6.31 and 6.32. They did not do the turnarounds on the right measurements nor did they do the start and finish line as far forward as the cert map shows. It’s not like an 8:37 pace would have broken my 10K record anyway (my best is 8:25 pace), but it’s pretty dang annoying when a course is not what it should be. That’s the second time this has happened to me, both on 10K races, once over, once under.

Of course, the last two complaints I can chalk up to one thing: it was a charity event, not a runner’s event, through and through. There were 500 people in the 5K run, walk and 1-mile fun run, only 87 in the 10K. There were tons of kids and families, lots of vendors and activities, and it was all about “the cause.” And you know, that is lovely and wonderful and amazing. It really is. But, as I said last year at this event, I felt weird being A RUNNER out for myself and only myself and taking part in an event for a cause. I felt kind of phony about it. This year just reinforced that. I won’t do a run like this again. There is no consideration for people who are actually trying to RUN and hey! That’s fine! There shouldn’t have to be. For people like that, people like me, there are plenty of runner’s events, not charity events to choose from – and that’s all there is to that.

Still a proud day. It was an incredibly ohmygoodlord tough course, a hard run. I thought about walking a couple of times it was that hard. So I am proud of my work no matter what.

On to the summer 5Ks, first one on June 1. I can’t wait to see what I can do with my times!

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