Toys for Tots 10K Race Report

Last weekend I ran another local race with two of my running buddies, Brunbec and Jenniac (whom you might remember from such races as the Skirt Chaser 5K back in October). Here’s an old photo of us from that race:

This event was a rather hilly 10K race at 8:00 on a Saturday morning (a much better time for me to be running than a 5:00pm race like the last one was). In spite of the better timing, my stomach was still feeling a little iffy. It was probably an unfortunate combination of 2-3 glasses of wine the night before and general nerves. I didn’t feel like I could really race for a new PR this time, so I declared I would just see how I felt when I started running and take it easy if my stomach ordered me to.

It was a Toys for Tots race, meaning we all had to contribute a toy to give to a child at Christmas — I like racing for a good cause. After we handed in our toys and picked up our race bibs, we loitered around in the cold for a while waiting for the race to start.

Waiting Runners

(All photos are from the local running club’s Facebook group, since none of us took pictures and there were no official race photos taken — Thanks AORTA for sharing your photos online! I hope it’s okay that I’m using a few here!)

Aubie
Start Line

Aubie (our school mascot, for those of you not in the know) got the race started with a big “War Eagle” and we were off. As soon as I started moving, I started to feel so much better. I don’t know what it was, but all my stomach discomfort seemed to vanish. Thank goodness! The first mile of the race was entirely downhill (meaning the last mile would be entirely uphill), and I got it done in a blazing time of 8:32. Yeah, that’s not normal for me 🙂

I slowed down a bit as the rolling hills part of the course crept up on me, and even had to stop to tie my shoe sometime in mile two. The next two miles clocked in at 8:59 and 9:08. With each mile getting slower, I was not exactly negative splitting this race, but I almost believe that would have been impossible, given the downhill start and uphill finish.

As we were getting through the third mile I was running right next to a little girl who couldn’t have been more than seven or eight years old — she was teeny-tiny, and her little blonde ponytail bobbed up and down as she, very seriously, kept up her 9:00/mile pace toward the finish of her 5K (it was a combined 5K/10K race). She was all decked out in a tech shirt, track shorts, and Adidas trainers, and had her dad riding beside her on a bike. She must have finished her 5K in around 27:xx. Insane, and adorable.

Miles four and five kind of ran together for me — by this point, my iPod Shuffle had died (forgot to charge it), so I was running without music and just trying to say hello to all the runners I met along the way. The course doubled back on itself, so there were plenty of people to see. The positive energy must have buoyed me a bit, because despite the hills, these miles went by in 8:53 and 8:51.

Mile six took us back up the long hill that had flown by so fast in mile one. I was tired and ready to be done, and my stomach was bothering me a bit again, for the first time since we’d started running. I took my mind off it by chatting with a little boy I passed (smoking his 10K; couldn’t have been older than ten or eleven and easily running a 9:30-ish pace) and a woman about my own age who confessed to me that she’d gone out the night before and was not really loving the uphill finish. I could identify, and was by this point cursing the last night’s pinot grigio!

I could see the finish line coming up faster than expected — as my watch neared 6.0 miles, we made the turn back into the parking lot and crossed the line, finishing mile six in 9:11. The course turned out to be a bit short, so I wondered briefly if my finish time of 53:34 counted as a new PR or not (my old time was 55:47). I decided I didn’t really care and just celebrated a good race and a strong finish. And not puking.

After all three of us were done (Brunbec hit a new PR and Jenniac met her time goal, too!), we went out for pancakes and celebrated our stellar athleticism with overly indulgent breakfast food. Of course.

I later compared the average pace from this race (8:55) with my old 10K (9:00) and determined that I will count this as a pace PR at least, even though the course was short. So…yay! Another fun and successful race in the books!

Time: 53:34
Overall Place: 65/150
Gender Place: 16/72 (approx)

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2 thoughts on “Toys for Tots 10K Race Report

  1. JJenniac December 9, 2011 / 3:37 pm

    it totally counts, especially since you broke down your pace overall. it was great racing weather!

    • KO December 9, 2011 / 3:41 pm

      That’s pretty much what I’m thinking. I guess now if I want to set a new PR at a 10K some time in the future, I’l just have to come out with a pace faster than 8:55 (and ignore the time). Confusing, but I’ll take it.

      And yeah, I am LOVING running in this colder weather! Such a relief after the long hot summer.

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