This weekend I ran the Scioto 10 Miler. This is a point-to-point race that starts in the suburbs by the Scioto River and makes its way to a downtown finish. Much of it is on the bike path, but it starts off with runners heading down a main road. I’ve wanted to run this race for about two years, but generally have had something come up. This year I decided to run it as part of my weekend long run and just take it at my slow-run pace.
Runners park at the finish and are bused to the start. There were a few different bus times, so since I was planning on running 4 miles before the 10 miler I decided to try to make it for the first bus so I could have plenty of time to get my miles in and go to the bathroom before the longer part of the run. I arrived downtown shortly after 5am and quickly found a meter spot which was free since it was on a Sunday. Since I didn’t see any buses yet, I used the bathroom and decided to get at least 2 of my 4 miles in. It took about 2 and a half laps around the building and then I joined a larger group that was waiting for the bus. By this time, it was a little past 5:30 which was when the first bus had been scheduled to leave. Most of my friends were arriving and we were all hanging out together, cracking jokes, and just passing the time. Around 5:45 someone had mentioned that maybe we had missed the 5:30 bus, but I didn’t think I had missed seeing a bus while I was running and figured they must be behind schedule. Around 6 am we were told to go to the other side and we all laughed thinking we were waiting in the wrong spot.
We moved along to where the crowd had gathered and Jeff, the manager of the local Fleet Feet store, got on the PA system. “Good morning! As you can see, there are no buses here yet. Well… actually, there are no buses. There was a miscommunication with the bus company, BUT there is still a race. We’ve gotten permission from the city to make the race and out-and-back so instead of a point-to-point this will be a here… to here race…” We were told to help ourselves to the water and pre-race snacks while we waited and I decided to go ahead and get the second 2 of my 4 pre-race miles in. I did my laps around the building and then joined my friends for some more chatting and photos before the start.
Around 7 am we all set out for an out-and-back race. I started out with the 10 minute pace group, but when my first mile beeped in at 9:45 I decided to drop behind them since that would break my rule of a slow run. From then on out I decided to go by heart rate and see what happened. The course was mostly rolling hills with little shade for the most part, but it was pretty scenic for being right near downtown. About 4 miles in the police motorcycle came down the other side of the path signaling the leader was on his way back. I had a blast cheering on all of the fast-runners and yelling to all of my friends (the majority of which were racing or using the run as a tempo run). There were about 3 water stops along the course, 6 in all in terms of out-and-back, including one right the turn around. As I headed back I enjoyed cheering on the runners towards the back of the pack. I was really tempted to speed up on the way back, but I talked myself out of it and continued to run a controlled pace. At this point, I could feel someone right on my back so I slowed a few times to allow her to pass, but she didn’t. After the finish she apologized for being on my back and let me know that she was using me to pace her. I’m guilty of doing this in races at times and figured when she didn’t pass me that she might be doing just that.
About 3 miles from the finish, one of the pace groups caught up to me. I chatted with the pace group leader for a while and she was super sweet and awesome for her group. She kept encouraging them on the hills and cheering them on the whole way. I ran with them for about a mile before pulling ahead with another runner from the group. On the last bit of the final mile I took off a little bit and rounded the corner to the finish. My BRF and her fiancé and son were cheering me on and I went over and gave her son a high five before crossing the finish. I finished in 1:43:17 which was a solid training run.
Overall, this was a fun course despite the last minute change. I would definitely love to race it next year, but using it as my long run this year was a great test of my control to hold back and run conservatively when I really want to go faster. I think this will come in handy on marathon day when the race adrenaline is pumping and I am tempted to go out fast.