I'm going to start this recap with the description from the GRTC website of the Hearnish 10K:
"It is hilly, it is challenging and it is longer than advertised! At 6.385 miles, it is the longest, and maybe the hardest, 10K you will ever run. (The 10K is certified, so you can get your time - I can almost guarantee it won't be a PR!)"
Well, most of that was right. It was definitely hilly, challenging and long and it was the hardest 10K we've ever run (we've only done one other 10K before), but we both got PRs (official ones anyway).
The race took place at Powder Mills Park in Perinton. It actually went in and out of three towns: Perinton, Pittsford and Victor. Which also meant that it went in and out of two counties, not as fun as two countries but I'll take it!
Unfortunately, I had been experiencing some foot pain but I toughed it out anyway (FYI most of the pain is gone now, good thing)! I wasn't sure how the race was going to go since Mike and I had driven the course and knew what was waiting for us. The course was HILLY and my warm-up runs weren't feeling that great, but I put it in my head that I was going to run the entire race no matter what.
I was feeling pretty good and my foot was cooperating, thankfully. I just tried to keep my pace as close to 10 minutes per mile when running up the hills and to take advantage of the downhills (even though toward the end of the race these were bothering my foot more than the uphills).
I hit the 5K mark at 30:33 and kept on pushing for the the last half, even though I knew that the worst hill was waiting for me!
When we started the race Mike and I weren't sure if there was going to be a water stop or not. These races are just for fun and I know that they don't get a lot of volunteers, but thankfully around the 4th mile there was one! I think I have finally perfected how to drink out of a cup while running and I was glad to have something to drink.
Then it happened. I ran up the WORST hill I think I have ever run up in my life. I was the ONLY one running up the hill from what I could see and Mike later told me that he was the only one running up the hill in his group of runners too. This hill was worse than anything we saw at our half marathon, which was probably the most hilly race we had ever run up to this point. Mike and I both think that proportionally this 10K race was hillier than our half marathon.
The one thing that I said to myself to get up the hill and not walk was "don't walk, don't surrender" over and over again. I would sometimes add "there is a downhill coming". I think this helped and even though I was probably running at the same speed as everyone else walking, I'm happy that I ran up it!
Happy the uphill is over!
After running up the hill, the rest of the race was smooth sailing and mostly downhill. One interesting thing was seeing a car hanging over the edge of the road, I'm not sure if the driver was trying to avoid runners and then drove off the road or what!
I've never seen this before during a race
Right around the 6 mile mark, I was passed by this girl who I recognized from where I work and who I thought was in the same age group as me. I really wanted to beat her so I kicked it in at the end, but she JUST beat me (by 4 seconds).
She asked me which age group I was in and she said "I thought you were in my age group and I really wanted to beat you!" I told her I thought the same exact thing, but we are in different age groups. Oh well, she gave me some good competition in the end.
My final time was 1:03:00 and here are the splits from my Garmin (time was 1:02:57 according to that):
Lap 1 - 9:19 pace
Lap 2 - 10:17 pace (part of the long hill)
Lap 3 - 9:53 pace (the other part of the long hill)
Lap 4 - 9:42 pace
Lap 5 - 11:01 pace (the massive hill)
Lap 6 - 9:32 pace
Lap 7 (.42) - 7:43 pace (that's what competition does I guess)
Average Pace: 9:49 minutes per mile
In the end I now have an almost 9 minute PR! I have run faster than that in other races and training runs, but since they aren't official I am going to go with 1:03 as my new 10K time. I'm hoping that I can break an hour during the last Freezeroo race, an actual 10K. Mike ran the race in 54:47, which was about a 7 minute PR for him!
Do you try to run up every hill or do you walk occasionally?