Friday, October 18, 2013

Perfect 10-miler

Last weekend I ran a brand-new race -- the CGI Perfect 10-Miler. It is a women's only race that took place in Mercer County Park, a mere 15 minutes from my house. This is where I do most of my long training runs, so it felt very familiar and comfortable. 

It is hard to tell from the picture, but I wore my Double Double Dare shirt.

Packet pick up was the day before in the rink at Mercer County Park. That could not have been any smoother. I hope, though, next year they can get some girly vendors, such as Sparkle Skirts or Bondi Bands.
I brought my camera along for the run, but only took a few pictures. This was quite a different experience from the DisneyLand Half and Alice in Wonderland 10K races. At the end, I remarked to myself how much faster my pace is when I am not stopping to take pictures and pose with characters.

A few days before the race we were told due to the rain we've been getting, parking was being moved from the grass to the paved parking lots of Mercer County Community College and that shuttle buses would be provided. Sure enough, the red Rutgers shuttle buses took us from the parking lot to the start line. The shuttle bus experience took longer than the drive to the parking lot, but it was still a positive experience.

Even with that monkey wrench in the plan, the race only started 4 minutes late. Not bad at all. They had pacers with signs indicating their pace to help us self regulate where to stand at the starting line. That worked perfectly! 

It was a chip start, not a gun start, so my time was my time and not add a few minutes to get to the start.

I found myself with the same pack of women for the entire race. I noticed a lot of the women were doing intervals, even with doing different intervals (mine were 2 run / 1 walk, others were 3/1), we stayed together as a pack. After starting with me, my friend Michelle ran the whole race. We still finished within a few seconds of each other (I darted ahead at the last moment to try to get a finish line picture of her, but missed).

I kept seeing the same husband and dog team taking short cuts to see his wife. It was fun seeing him along the route pop up along the course. I must have been just ahead of his wife the entire time.

Though I knew a lot of women in this race, I only bumped into Michelle, her friend Heather, and my Perfect Princess friend Debbie. I never did see Gabrielle, or Jen, or bump into any surprise friends.

As with the Rutgers 8K (same organizers) the finish line food was very good. This time, it even included a chocolate fondue, which I managed to get all over my face, bib, and shirt. It was tasty! 

The medal is nice, too. I know Michelle will always treasure it because it is her first. 

The weather could not have been nicer. It was 58 at start and 64 at finish. Head wind for the last couple of miles, so maybe it could have been a *little* bit nicer. I suppose I had a nice tail wind for much of it, but didn't realize it. It was overcast. So much better, though, than the three Disney races I have done this year. 

Also unlike Disney, there were not many people wearing costumes. A few women dressed up as super heroes, but for the most part people wore normal running clothes. How boring! LOL My Sparkle Skirt made me stand out.

Michelle drove me back to my car. My wonderful thermos still had warm tea in it. Ahh!! Michelle followed me home for a shower and waffles by Don.

My chip time was 1:59:04 -- under a 12-minute overall pace! Once you factor in the extra .25 of a mile worth of weaving I did to stay out of people's way during the walking portion of my intervals, it worked out to an 11:41 pace. I believe that is the best I have ever done in a race longer than 5K. Best of all, my miles were fairly consistent. I did walk mile 8, which gave me a 13 minute pace, but not bad. 
Afterwards I tried to explain to Ashley why I love a women's only race. I came up with how supportive everyone is with each other, as well as being super encouraging. I felt more women were running intervals than I see at co-ed races. Overall there is a general sense of Girl Power! We are in it together, and having fun together.

The best reason to do a women's only race -- the swag fits!

At first I was thinking I wouldn't do the race again next year because it falls during Columbus Day weekend - which is a nice time of year to go away. I learned next year's race is October 26. Sounds perfect to me!

No comments:

Post a Comment