Saturday, April 24, 2010

Get in Gear 10k Race

Get in Gear 10k Race. They bill the Get in Gear 10k as an "annual rite of spring," and today we saw one of the less-agreeable faces of spring. Moderate rain fell before, during, and after the race, with a temperature of about 50 degrees. Some people wore just their shorts and singlets, while others had tights and rain jackets. I was comfortable in shorts and a long-sleeved shirt, just what I might wear on any other day at 50 degrees.

The rain was the topic at the tip of everyone’s tongue, but I actually don’t mind running in the rain. I think it slows me up a little, somehow, but there was no risk of getting overheated or, today, overcooled. We got home and threw all of our shoes in the washer, so they are cleaned up and drying out for the next run.

The really good news, of course, is that April showers DO bring May flowers. We needed the rain, and need more yet.

Sunshine has some good photos of the event on her blog. It looks like a dreary day, but people were smiling and in good cheer.

I ran an OK race, not one of my best. Time for the 10k was 54:13, pace 8:45, 10th of 26 in the 65-69 age group, and in the 69th percentile of all 3658 runners. I ran an 8:21 pace in the recent Human Race 8k, so this is just so-so, but I have plenty of excuses (recent marathon, rain, low motivation...) and it will do. No pains, no problems. I can do better and I will.

Next year I’m 70, and if I’m still running, the motivation will be a little higher. I never ran faster than when chased by (or chasing) an age group leader. Come back again, Lee, I’m not making PR’s any more.

Interesting to be in the 69th percentile overall, but only the 61st percentile in my own age group, old farts aged 65-69. That’s because the "big guns" really do show up for this race, and so do many younger but less-addicted runners for whom 10k is a long run.

Splits: 8:26, 8:14, 9:02, 8:53, 8:47, 9:06, 1:45 (0.2 mi), total 54:13, pace 8:45.

News flash: ChampionChip Minnesota used a new disposable-chip technology for this race, one that I had not seen before (and we run a lot of races). The chip is glued solidly to the back of the bib, which can be worn at chest height. No fussing with shoe laces, no need to turn the chip back in. It seemed to work just fine, even at the start, with dozens of runners crossing every second. I think the mats were wider, too, which would allow more runners to cross at once.

Back of bib. The white plastic-foam frame around and behind the shiny tag is also glued firmly - it stands up almost 1/4 inch. I suppose its purpose is to protect the tag and also to separate it from radio-signal-sucking wet clothing and the human body behind that. Just a guess.
RF Tag
I'm a radio guy - I love this stuff. Wish I worked for them :-)


Rocco said...

Hi Don-

Nice race report and good insight re: age groups. I write a weekly round-up of race results and reports for the MDRA blog, I took the liberty of adding your race report to the collection. You can see your report there as well as catch up on other runners' reports.

Don said...

Cool - Thanks

Average A said...

Hey, Don!

Thank you so much for taking the time to explain the bike tangents and the additional .2 distance I ran today. My question who measured the race was purely hypothetical; I LOVE that I actually got a response! Too funny, and I totally trust the measurements.

It's only recently I started running with a Garmin -- it's a great reminder that I can't count on it for race distances, but instead the distance I cover.

It looks like you had a fantastic race this morning, too! Great job on the 10k. Despite what you say were uneven splits, you had an awesome overall time -- congrats!

And thanks for noticing my splits! I like to call myself the 'human metronome' ... but the weirdest thing is that I don't even try. I once ran a 15-mile run and all of my mile splits were within 2 seconds of each other. It really blows my mind sometimes ... if only I could get those splits to be faster. :)

Thanks again for your response about the USATF distance at today's race, and thank you for measuring it for everyone. It was a fun race despite the rain!

Happy running!

Julie said...

Hi Don,
Nice work on your 10K!! Wow, you are almost 70 years old and still kicking it:) Good for are such an inspiration!

I also ran the Get in Gear 10K...yes, it was wet and cold but we survived! We live in Minnesota and we run in any kind of weather Mother Nature sends our way!!

Rachel said...

Great job!! This was my first race in the rain and it actually went okay. Minus the fact that I was not as wise as you and opted for pants instead of shorts and was stuck with sopping wetness stuck to my legs!

amybee said...

YOU ARE AWESOME!!! I think you are a speedster and a superstar!

My husband and I did not brave the rain... (we are wimps).

I thought the chip was cool too, but, honestly, worry about the recycability of it. There was something to be said about the one you tied to your shoe and turned back in.