Monday, September 27, 2010

Distance Running Tip- Races Sometimes Exceed Expecations

Sunday was one of those days I realized why I do all the training. Running a 9.something kilometer race in Seoul, I knew right away that it was going to be a good day. The only bad news was that as I crossed the start mat and punched the start button on my Garmin 205, I heard 2 beeps, meaning it was probably stopped.

Staying out of trouble in a crowded start while screwing around with your GPS is not a good idea, but it took me a good 20-30 seconds to confirm that yes the thing was on. So much for measuring the course, but at least I could get my ave. pace.

Running in cool, overcast conditions I felt great the entire way- hitting the 5k with 6:03 showing on the ave. min per mile pace, finishing strong with a 6:08 average- that's 38 flat for 10K and trust me when I say that I was not slowing down. This course dipped down from the main road to follow a bike path along a river going out, which meant of course we had a hill to negociate on the return trip, hence the slow down. We also had a very slight headwind coming back, adding a few but not a lot of precious seconds to the final time of 36:03.

I finished 8th overall on a course that a friend of mine clocked at 9.47 kilometers with his Garmin (I guess the Koreans are just as concerned about course accuracy as Americans over here). Rounding off slightly, this was 500 meters short of 10K, so running 6:08 per mile (92 seconds per 400 meters), you could add 1:55 and come up with a tick under 38 for 10K.

That's a very good race for me, but the way I felt I am almost surprised that it wasn't a bit faster.

Another factoid about Korean races-other than the big races, they don't bother with age groups! Fine by me, unless they are giving out something worthwhile. The last thing I need is another certificate I can't read. I have enough of those from my years of racing on Okinawa.

(certificate above is from the DMZ 10K last month for finishing in the top 10)

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