October 10, 2011

Race Report: Army Ten Miler

Race Results
  • Finishing Time: 1:09:57  (pace: 6:59/mi)
  • 10k Split:         0:42:54   (pace: 6:55/mi)

I obviously didn't win this thing, or even come close. But even without a PR, I greatly improved my overall, gender, and division percentiles from last year's results:
  • Overall Place:    1,034 out of 21,914  (top 5%)
  • Gender Place:       917 out of 12,245  (top 7%)
  • Age Group Place:  155 out of 1,903    (top 8%)

Race Report

On a sunny morning, I began my third ATM and raced the 27th annual Army Ten Miler, the largest 10 mile road race in the country with 23,000 runners at the starting line...and my first race in the 30+ age group! The starting corrals and starting mile went off as they always do, a mess of bodies...I probably ran a half-mile laterally through the race trying to weave around traffic...as seen by my first mile's 7:20 time. But I made up for the traffic by mile three, cruising in around 20:35 and regaining a sub-70 minute pace.

My 10k (6.2 miles) split was 42:54, so I still had a 30-second or so buffer for a sub-70 race and my pace was averaging 6:55 after recovering from the first mile. But the Army Ten Miler isn't built for personal records, there are just too many sharp turns which cram people against the inside lines and make everyone slow down. The field I was running with came to a crawl, almost walking, around the two 90-degree right turns at the Capitol.

L to R: Gretchen, me, Jennie
Hitting the final bridge towards the Pentagon, the race course changes were about to rear their ugly head. Due to a change in the finish line location, the 2011 race added an additional small hill on the bridge and a hill over the road by the Pentagon, and these two hills definitely beat me. I'd started to feel my hip a bit in mile 8, and on the bridge I was noticing my pace go down, so the final hill was a big hurdle. I lost my 30-second buffer built up in the race's first 8 miles, and I had to kick in an all-out sprint for the final fifty yards to come in under 70 minutes. Finishing time of 1:09:57, not my best, not my worst...and probably better than I anticipated based on the weeks before.