Starting out at the Baltimore Zoo, the 10 Miler is Corrigan Sport's lovely summer jaunt through Druid Hill, the north side of town, and around Lake Montebello. This was our first year at this race and we kept hearing over and over how uncharacteristically kind the weather was; a welcome coincidence.
Arriving at the race site, parking was easy and the walk up to the starting line was a nice warm up. We were surprised to find a mini expo at the starting/finish area with merchants, freebies, and full news coverage! They had free coffee, Dunkin samples, and even sunscreen. Very cool, Corrigan. The atmosphere was friendly and the weather was mild. Time to get started.
Jeff and I had discussed on the way down that we wanted to stay together for this race since we'd run the previous few apart. Our goal was to finish in under 2 hours, which is a comfortable 11-something minute/mile pace. Totally doable...as long as the sun didn't come out and kill us. Thankfully, there were pacer groups at good intervals up to 2:00 that we could follow to try and get to our goal.
We decided to start with the 1:50 pacers to give ourselves a buffer. A 1:50 ten miler is exactly 11:00 mi/mi. I typically run/walk faster and slower than that, averaging to about 11, but never consistently running at that in between 11 mi/mi sweet spot. A race is the PERFECT time to try this out.
No it's not. Don't do that.
This was my first 10 miler and I can honestly say, it's an odd distance to pace out. I don't know if my brain kept hearing 10 miler and thinking 10K, but man. The wheels came off around mile 7 and it was all struggle bus from there. Thankfully, we'd picked up a bunch of excess time in the first 5-6 miles, buffering our 11-12 mi/mi on the back end. This makes for "positive splits" and it's not necessarily a good master plan. Does it work? Sometimes. Do you have to basically drag your tired ass over the finish line because you burned out too early? Most likely.
Lesson learned. If you're going to try and run without walk breaks further than you've ever run in your life, don't make it a race and especially don't make it a hot and sunny summer race.
In the end, we made our goal and finished together at 1:57 and some change. Waiting for us at the finish line were ice cold wet towels and the best darn watermelon I've ever had. THAT'S how you end a race, people.
To make the deal sweeter, the race premium was a buttery soft quarter zip with thumb holes, pockets, and a beautiful embroidered logo and all King Crab Challenge participants got a medal that no one else got. Nah nah nah boo boo.
|Gosh, we go on such weird dates.
The last race in the three part King Crab Challenge is the Baltimore Half Marathon in October. I'm pumped for that one - it's a tremendous race festival with tens of thousands of people, a great expo, and sweet Under Armour swag. Waiting for us at the finish line is the half medal, the Maryland Double medal (Frederick + Baltimore), and a crazy looking medal hanger made of golden crab claws. Gotta love Maryland.
Keep an eye out, friends - I have an idea brewing to raise some money for a great cause in conjunction with this race. Hopefully, I'll have information put together soon and can share it far and wide.