The Runner’s World 10k was my first “race” post-baby. I wasn’t completely racing it as I am still trying to be patient with my return and not over-exert my body before it’s ready…but I certainly pushed myself harder than I have in 10 months!
Although the course description and profile didn’t sound or look too hilly, it was much hillier than I expected and was ready for. I avoided hills like the plague at the end of my pregnancy (I was recovering from posterior pelvic pain that developed in July) and so I haven’t run on really any hills since the first week in July.
I started off the run with two amazing (and speedy!!) ladies that I got to spend time with and get to know this weekend - Kristin and Kat. They ran the Hat Trick over the weekend and were still the flying in the 10k like it was the only race of the weekend! Somewhere just before the 1st mile, I started to drift back from them. I was worried about starting way too fast and then crashing and burning at the end, so I didn’t try to keep up (and I wouldn’t have lasted very long if I had tried!).
My garmin decided not to start for the first ~1.1 – 1.2 miles so my splits are not accurate. (Why does it always seem that my garmin decides to give me a hard time only on race days???). These are my estimated paces for the day (based on the mile markers):
- Mile 1: 8:15
- Mile 2: 7:55
- Mile 3: 7:50
- Mile 4: 7:33
- Mile 5: 7:28
- Mile 6: 7:44
- Mile 6.2: 1:30 (7:30 pace)
- Finish: 48:20 (7:47 pace)
- Overall: 242 out of 1705
- Female: 55 out of 995
I’m not going to lie – the first three miles were tough – the hills totally kicked my butt and I just wanted the miles to tick by and the race to be over. The course leveled out and I was able to pick up my pace a little bit (miles 4 and 5). At Mile 5.5, there was a small incline (felt much bigger in person than it looks on the course diagram) and my body just couldn’t recover from it – my lungs and legs were dead!!
Overall, I am happy with how the race went. More than anything, it gives me an idea of where I am in terms of pace and fitness level!
Despite this being the first race that Runner’s World has ever organized (crazy that in their 45+ years in existence, they had YET to run a race!), it was executed flawlessly.
Some of the highlights:
- Number of runners: 6,000 was the perfect number – allowed for amenities that larger races have without the crowd and confusion that comes with a 15,000+ event
- Race Distances: There were three distances offered – the 5k and 10k on Saturday and half-marathon on Sunday
- Expo: While not huge, the expo had a good variety of reputable vendors (including Altra, Running Skirts, and The Stick). It also was not overly crowded (at least on Friday). We were able to comfortably make our way to each vendor (with a BOB stroller) without too much traffic
- Non-race events: RW touted this as being a “Festival Weekend” and they delivered. From the availability of meeting ALL of the senior editors and staff at Runner’s World (hello Bart Yasso, Tish Hamilton, Amby Burfoot, and even David Wiley), to hosting a wide mix of interesting seminars chaired by subject-matter experts (check out the schedule), to getting to meet and chat with (and run with if you ran the half-marathon) Shalane Flanagan, the weekend far surpassed my expectations.
- Support on Course: There was ample support along the course – including mile markers, three water stations(on the 10k course), volunteers directing runners, and police blocking traffic / road closures
- Course: The 10k course was a good mix of straightaways and turns through quiet neighborhoods in Bethlehem. Although hilly, the three courses weren’t too tough where you couldn’t PR – a handful of the runners I know PR’d this weekend – including Robin who PR’d the half by 6 minutes!
- Race Start: Although I have enjoyed running some of the larger races, I dislike the start at such popular events. Having to show up hours before the race, waiting in never-ending lines at port-o-potties, and waiting in corrals long before the race begins makes me prefer smaller races. The RW 10k was ideal for me – I was able to sit in the car with my husband, older son, and newborn – nurse my youngest one last time (good for both of us), and then make my way to the start line 10 min before the gun went off.
I really, really, REALLY hope that Runner’s World decides to repeat the Festival Weekend again next year – I would absolutely love to return to participate in the weekend activities and compete in all three events! And I would definitely recommend this event to anyone interested in enjoying a weekend of running and running activities.
Disclaimer: I participated in the Runner’s World Blogger Event this weekend and received free entry into the 10k on Saturday. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this blog post are my own.
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