I love 10Ks. Back in the 80s, during my first running life, that's about all there was. Yes, there were a few 5Ks, and a few marathons (for the crazies), but the typical race, that you could find every weekend, was the 10K - 6.2 miles. It's a nice race distance. It deserves some respect. Go out too fast, and you'll die before the finish. But you can run a great 10K and be refreshed and ready to run a good, hard training run in only a few days. I ran 42 10K races back in the 80s, but this was my first since returning to consistent running a couple years ago.
The Fall Frolic helps support the Montessori school at South Bend's homeless shelter. The race is sponsored by and is run from The Montessori Academy at Edison Lakes - an office park on the north side of Mishawaka, IN (South Bend's sister city.)
Conditions this morning were perfect! It was about 58, cloudy, and no wind. Back in the 80's I ran most of my 10Ks around 45 minutes or so. Today, 20 years older, I was only hoping to break 50 minutes.
This wasn't a real big race. The Fall Frolic in past years has been only a 5K. The 10K was an added event this year. At the starting gun we started off from the Montessori school and headed into the neighboring office park. After 7 minutes I started looking for the 1st mile marker. There was none (at least I never saw it). I decided to just keep going and try to maintain the pace I was running.
I was able to enjoy conversing with other runners during this race. Although we were running a tough pace for me, the mood for this race was so low key that it just seemed right to chat and joke with other runners. After a couple miles, the group I was in was actually passed by a lady pushing a baby in a jogging stroller. She was one fast mom! We joked about the humiliation of being passed by a lady pushing a baby stroller, but kept pushing anyway.
I finally caught a mile marker at the 3 mile mark and was pleasantly surprised to find that I was managing a sub 8 minute pace. Since I was really feeling pretty good, I pushed the pace a bit and moved past the group I was with. The 2 guys in front of me looked too close to my age to not worry about so I thought I'd see if they could keep up.
The course left the office park, moved into some condo complexes and then headed into Winding Brook Park - a nice wooded subdivision that neighbors the Montessori School.
Trying to maintain a strong pace, I rounded the final corner, found my finishing sprint to pass the runner ahead of me, and finished in an unbelievable (to me) 47:49!
Wow! The conversion programs say that this pace converts to a 3:44 marathon. I'm feeling a lot better about my sub-4 hour marathon goal on October 10th.
After the race, the Montessori School's Spanish teacher led anyone who was willing to participate in some Latin dancing in front of the school. I wasn't brave enough to join in, but it sure was fun to watch!
This was far from your typical race, but I loved it! The cause, the course, and all the great volunteers, added up to a great running experience. I'll be back!