32nd Annual Pride Run 10K

My Life as a Runner > races > 32nd Annual Pride Run 10K
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running appsPride Run is a local race that is hosted by San Francisco Front Runners, of which I am a member. This year was its 32nd Pride Run and many happy people came to run, volunteer and watch the race. I saw some folks from New York Front Runners, who looked very happy about the news that came out the night before about the passage of the same-sex marriage bill. What a great way to start the Pride weekend! While the weather could have been (much) better from the celebration point of view, it was actually a good running condition.

As I wrote in my earlier post, my target was 39:00 and was going to pace at 6:15/mile. If that was too much, I still wanted a PR. None of these happened! Sigh… My official time was 40:56, but I had trouble getting my time recorded, because I did not see where the finish line was. According to my GPS, which I don’t trust, shows I stopped running at 39:54. So my actual time must be somewhere around that.

I must admit I was underestimating the course, which was not hilly but not 100% flat, either. Also, the gravel path is not my favorite surface and I found it hard to race. I did not warm up enough, either; I ran around Polo field once, maybe half of a mile. But the most frustrating thing was my Timex GPS continues to disappoint me. Its pace display was all-over the map (miracle that I had GPS locked on), and pace/mile and distance alerts were not displayed, so I would have had to do a math myself and I didn’t. So those are excuses and learning items for the next 10K race in Vancouver.

I clocked 6:00 in the first mile. 15 seconds faster than my target. I slowed down a bit after that, though. There was a small incline to get to Traverse Dr and MLK Jr Dr. Since my watch was not alerting anything, I did not check my watch and bother trying to figure out how I was doing. That sucked. I even did not check 5K time (must have been 19:30 or so from the 5K results). So I just ran based on my trained pace.

There were a few people running ahead of me from where I could see. But they were all 5K runners. After their 5K, I was running pretty much solo, which, I think, makes it hard to race. I did not look back to see if there were anybody behind, so not sure if someone was following me in a distance. When I ran 10K in Köln last year, there were a few people ahead of and I was able to focus on following and keeping up with them. I suppose this is one of the characteristics of small local races.

The finish line and last 50m or so getting to the finish line was rather strange. They made us run into this U shaped curve and run around a cone and then finish. I think that makes it hard to time/count runners for the officials and also makes it hard for the runners to finish. Some runners do sprint in the last stretch. Something I want to ask the guys why the finish was laid out that way.

Without knowing my exact time, I cannot say I am OK, happy or disappointed with the time. But from the fact that I did not hit the target, the race was not successful. I need to either correct the target or run better/smarter next time. The next race is a 5K at Track and Field World Masters Championship. This is totally a different game, so the learning from this 10K won’t apply, except setting an achieve-able target. I need to formulate a strategy for the 5K race and should set a reasonable target! Otherwise, I am going to repeat the same mistake.

Pride Run 2011Despite the unsuccessful race personally, it was fun volunteering before and after the race. I met new people, runners or not. The planning committee did a great job and there were no bad incidents or complaints that I heard of. And apparently, I was second in my age group (7th overall), so I have a medal waiting for me.

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