This race was not on my list this year. I came across this race on http://www.runnersworld.com during a video that was describing some 2011 races to look into. The video got me interested, so I headed over to the race’s website read through it. Proceeded to check the calendar and noticed a Saturday race, not Sunday. Oh, this would be nice. Sunday races are great, but they make Monday morning a little tough. So, this race would give us an extra day to relax before the work week began. So, I scheduled in the Ukrop’s 10k only 2 weeks after the Shamrock Half.
This race is in Richmond, Virginia around the VCU area. Packet pick up would be a challenge, since we live 1.5 hours away and there is no packet pick up on race day. To me this is unusual for a 10k race, but after attending and running the race, I fully understand why there is no race day pick ups. We picked up our packet at 8:54 PM on Friday, the last day and 6 minutes before closing.
I did get to walk through the vendor area and speak with the Runner’s World table. I picked up some products for their rwchallenge in Chicago and Philadelphia. Wished the runner good luck tomorrow and was off back home and in bed shortly after walking through the door.
Saturday morning, the alarm went off at 0430. I didn’t move out of bed until 0445. I repeated my morning routine before race day. We were out of the house on the road up to Richmond by 0540. The ride up wasn’t too bad. I believe I dosed off and got some extra zzs while my husband drove up.
We arrived in Richmond around 0715 and found parking very easily. We walked through Monument Park where the race ends and saw a large amount of runners and some very creative costumes. A few of my favorites were the canoe/crewing team, and the bowling pins with bowling ball. As, we made our way over to the starting line to find my “H” seeded corral. I got shocked by the length of the starting line. I knew that there was about 40,000 runners/walkers last year, but once I was there I grasped how long the starting line is for 40,000 + people.
I must congratulate all the workers and volunteers for how smoothly the starting line went. Each corral moved up to the starting line in an orderly fashion with a visible clock countdown for when the runners could start and the excitement within the corral was great. I was in the “H” seed, which started 8 minutes after the first group started the race. I was seeded with other runners that excepted to finish the 10k (6.2 miles) between 53:00 to 54:00 minutes, each of us had qualifying times to be in the “H” seed and the max cap for my corral is 750 runners. Great rules. As the clock ticked to 8 minutes and as the other corral was moving out of sight, the rally for our corral began to take form and before I knew it — we were off.
I was one of the first waves of runner in my corral to cross the starting line. I rather be able to set my pace and have the runners behind have to work around me than me having to move around runners while reaching my pace and settling into the run. My dad the cross-country runner and still running 5 miles a day, taught me that at my first 5k race when I was 10.
As we moved through the first mile, I was feeling great. My goal was to finish with a time of 52:00 or better. My husband believed that I would and could break 50 minutes, but I was not so sure that would happen. At the end of the first mile, I as at 8:10 minute miles (mm) and feeling confident that 52 minutes was in reach. I got to pass numerous monuments along the way up to the turn, which is shortly after mile 3, but before the 5k mark, a.k.a, half way.
Mile two went by with little struggle. I noticed I was passing more runners, I check my watch at mile 2 marker – 7:59 mm. I made myself back down a bit, I still had 4.1 miles to go and I didn’t want to burn out at the end.
Ah, mile 3 — the turn — went rather well. By this time, the runners were somewhat thinned out, so there was not much a pace slowdown during the turn. I crossed the 5k mark at 25:18, a PR for me for a 5k. Mile 3 marker was back to a good strong pace of 8:13. I began to think maybe, just maybe, my husband was right. On the way back, I got to see the other runners across the median. Holy smokes! A sea of runners dressed in black and yellow. I never felt that I was running with that many people.
Mile 3 into 4 came and went. During this mile, I got to see the bowling crew perform a perfect strike in the median. Everyone was having a great time. Other than seeing the bowling team, I was in a total daze and rhythm that I would not have even notice I ran another mile. If it was not a big yellow and black sign saying mile 4, would have never heard my watch beep for the minute pace for the mile. I decided not to look at my watch and just continue forward. I felt great and really didn’t care what my watch said.
Mile 4 to 5 went the same as the mile before. I heard the cheering, claps, and cow bells, but not one struggle, not one negative thought crept into my thoughts. At the 5 mile marker, I looked down at my watch and my total time was 40 and change. My first thought was I can do this, I can beat 52 PR and possibly break 50. Mile 5 was the slowest with a pace of 8:18. Later I realized, I was 2 minutes and 58 seconds faster than my half marathon time. Not too shabby — even though it does make sense why its faster than my half pace, but still its faster than any other time I completed 5 miles.
Heading to the finish line was great. I heard more cheering and saw a large crowd of people. This is where I ran into my first issue, NON- RUNNERS where actually on the road and crowding it. I almost ran into someone trying to cross the road. Really people, walk the additional few blocks and cross the road where you aren’t interrupting the race. I was lucky and didn’t knock them down or get knocked down. I completed 6 with an 8:07 pace.
Now, I am only .2 away from the finish line. I picked up my pace and pushed through the finish line. I saw the clock over the line tick to 58:44 – subtract the 8 minutes from that since I started 8 minutes behind the first pack. 50:44, Official time was 50:42, a PR for a 10K race, and sorry dad for saying this — its one minute faster than your fastest 10k in the last two years! 🙂
My Total Placement
Overall place 3,673 out of 33,322 runners
Gender Place 883 out of 20,261
Division Place 222 out of 3,368
Overall this race was very successfully, not only because of my PR, but 41,360 (runners and walkers) crossed the finish line in an orderly fashion just like they started. The roads were packed with cheerleaders of all ages. The finish line party at Monument Park was great. I got to ‘introduce’ myself to Bart Yasso and get a picture with him. He is such a gentlemen and always has an encouraging word. His training plan is one reason I have been able to succeed on both races this year. I missed out on meeting some of the Runner’s World team, but there is always Philly.
Even my husband enjoyed the race from the sidelines. Below are some pictures taken at the race.