I must say, this race was a great value. The pre-registration cost of the race for non-club members was $18 which included a long-sleeved moisture-wicking shirt and a great food spread after the race. For frugal runners like me, this was a great race!
However, there was one small problem - I think that this 10K race was shorter than 10K. RedG measured it at 6.01 miles - and he normally measures races long. There were some other Garmin wearers that also measured the course short.
Normally, having a short course on a small race wouldn't concern me much....but today I was a bit upset since I ran a PR. A significant PR.
My previous 10K PR - set in 2006 - was 56:14...a 9:03/mile pace. Today, I finished the race in 49:04 - a seven minute PR. If the course was a true 10K, that would put me at a 7:54/mile pace. If I go by Garmin's pacing, I ran the course in a 8:07/mile pace - equivalent to a 50:27 overall time or a near six minute PR.
Either way, it's a big PR. However, I have no idea how to log this one. With the "official time" although the course distance is short? Or with the extrapolated time - which really isn't what I ran.
One other note about this PR - my 5K PR is 25:17 - or a 8:09/mile pace. Which means I blew by THAT PR during today's race as well. WOW!
All of this talk about PRs is a bit surprising given the way the race started for me. It's a small race with no pace groups, no chip times or anything like that. People lined up where they thought they would need to be - I chose the middle of the pack. The starting siren went off and everyone started to run. Or jog. Or walk. Which meant I was trying to weave in and out of runners - and trying not to bowl anyone down - during the first mile.
When I crossed the line the official clock was at 12 seconds - not too bad given what I am now used to with larger races. After the first turn there were a few puddles I avoided, but then I realized my left shoelace had come untied. I had forgotten to double-knot my shoes before the race...what an idiot! I got off to the side to re-tie my shoes and I probably lost about 45 seconds.
I got back up and started to run strong. I totally missed the Mile 1 marker, but this is the marker that most people said came too soon (and the rest of the mile markers were correctly 1 mile apart). RedG chirped in when he measured his first mile and it displayed 8:44. Given that I had lost time tying my shoes, I could not believe I was going that fast.
Mile 2 was on an uphill slope. Still feeling really good I attacked the hill and passed many runners. Also, since this was an out-and-back course, it felt good to know that mile 5 would be mostly downhill. When the Mile 2 marker came up, RedG measured 1.85. This continued at all of the mile markers - Garmin measured them at .15 miles shorter. My Mile 2 split (according to RedG) was 8:40. Still on pace for a PR!
A little after Mile 2, the course turned left onto a residential street with some rolling hills. The hills were not long, but they were a bit on the steep side. This was out-and-back as well, so I knew some of the steeper uphills would be downhills on the way back. I was still feeling strong and kept pushing - attacking the uphills and coasting on the downhills. Mile 3 split - 7:59. Mile 4 split - 8:25. I had this PR!!!
Now I was heading back towards the High School where the race finished. This stretch was downhill and I still had a lot left in the tank so I started to turn on the burners. When I passed the mile 5 marker on the course, I took a look at my watch and saw that I was at 40 minutes. Wow! Even though my watch showed 4.85, I knew that I was a shoe in for a PR. Mile 5 split - 7:44.
One mile (or 1.2 miles) left. I had no idea if the extra distance would be tacked on at the end or not. Either way, I started to go for it even more. I continued to pass other runners up to the 6 mile marker on the course. Come to think of it, after I tied my shoes about 1/3 mile into the course, I passed by tons of runners, but I don't think I had a runner pass me.
With the last .2 left, I started to fatigue. I pushed myself to keep going, but I wasn't accelerating like I was since the mile 4 marker. I made the final turn, dug in deep and then saw the clock - 48:58, 48:59, 49:00... I passed the finish line in 49:04 - a huge 7 minute PR. RedG displayed the final distance as 6.01 - and my final mile 6 split of 7:19!!! My previous mile PR was 7:25 set last year...
I checked the results page and it looks like I came in 127th of 448 runners - in the top 30%! In five years of running I have moved from the back-of-the-pack to the front of the middle-of-the-pack runners. I set PRs in the 10K, 5K and mile - although the only one that I have a non-extrapolated time for is the mile :-)
I may need to find another 5K or 10K soon, though. Just so I can have some more "official" times.