This past weekend I ran the Scioto Miles 10K. This is a race series put on by our local running store as a spring goal race training series. There is a race in March and a race in April for runners to test their fitness and see how their training is going. The March race is also the goal 5K for the beginner training group. The course is a 5K loop and participants have the option to run a 5K, 10K, or 15K. A few years ago I did the 15K, but felt the 10K would be fine in terms of testing my fitness and seeing how my training is playing out for my April goal race.
The race is downtown and starts at the science center, this is pretty common for smaller races in Columbus. It provides plenty of parking and easy access to the greenway trail. I love running down in this area. It’s right along the river and some call it hilly, but there are really just some small inclines and I enjoy the rollers and change of incline to give my legs a break.
I got there a little early and parked in the lot and ran a mile warm up. It was around 30 degrees and breezy so I ran an extra half mile and felt pretty warm. Since this is a smaller race, there aren’t any corrals. The 50 min 10K pacer turned out to be someone that I know – his name is Ken and he’s a badass sub-3 marathoner. I told him I was going to stick with him. He told me that last year the course was a little long so he would have to adjust once he figured out how the course measured out. My plan was to hit the first loop at a pace a little faster than 8 min/mile and then try to kick it into a higher gear for the second lap.
The race started out with a simple countdown and we were off. I decided to use music on this one since it’s a crowd-less race and it would allow me to dial in and focus on my running. The course took off into downtown and then jumped onto the greenway. Since much of the greenway is along the river, it was a really scenic course. I knew by mile 1 that the course was long. My watch beeped in ahead of the mile marker and given the simplicity of the course and the small size of the race, it wasn’t a typical tangent issue.
The weather was calling for clouds, but by mile 2 the sun was starting to break and I was really wishing I had my sunglasses! I wasn’t paying attention to my watch much since I was trusting Ken to keep me on pace and also because I didn’t want to freak myself out and slow down if I didn’t need it. I also almost ran into Ken a good 2-3 times when we went around sharp turns, oops! I don’t remember seeing the mile marker for mile 3, but before I knew it we were heading into the finisher chute and heading back up onto the course for the second lap.
As we headed into the second lap, Ken asked me how I was doing and told me he needed to speed up to hit the times he was supposed to get as a pacer. I told him I would drop back if I needed to, but at that point I was feeling good and thought I could push it to the finish. We passed the cutest badass running kids, but I was happy to run by them! There were two guys fighting to stay in front of me and eventually I just let them go. I picked up the pace just a bit to be slightly in front of Ken so I would stop running into him, but I could see the shadow of the pacing sign so I knew I wasn’t over doing it. When I got into the final mile and knew I was getting close I tried to kick it. There are some slight rollers in this spot so that’s easier said than done and I knew I was getting tired, but we were starting to lap some of the slower runner/walkers that were still on their first lap. I used that to my advantage to reel myself into the finish.
I crossed the finish and hit my watch where it displayed a new 10K record. Unfortunately because of the long course, my official time is only a PR by a few seconds. Since it was a long course, I am going to use my watch time as my current PR as a benchmark to beat the next time I race one.
Official Time: 50:24
Unofficial Time: 48:04
4th Female Overall
2nd Female Age Group
My watch distance was 6.52 miles and was in line with what everyone else had. I’m really happy with how this race went and it served its purpose in helping me to assess my fitness and how my training is going. I got a shirt and a medal so it was a pretty good deal. There were some boxes of granola bars and bottles of water at the finish, but I just chatted with a few of my friends (one of which was 1st female overall!) about the long course and then headed back to my car for the short drive home.