Rivertown Races 10k Race Recap
Other than pacing my niece during her first 5k last fall, I haven’t participated in a race since the 2017 River Bank Run 25k! I registered fairly last minute for the 10k distance at this year’s Rivertown Races in Grandville, Michigan. I earned my 5k PR at this race and it was one of my earliest half marathons, so it’s an event that holds a special place in my heart and I was excited to round out the trifecta.
The forecast for the morning was not optimal with temperatures in the low 30s and some wind. Thankfully, there was no precipitation! I find the 30s to be a hard temperature to dress for outdoor running. It’s not cold enough for my winter running gear, but it’s not warm enough for anything else. When I picked out my outfit the night before, I opted for running tights and a long sleeve wicking top. In the morning, I added a short sleeve wicking shirt, a headband, and fingerless gloves. I was particularly grateful for the additions, especially waiting for the race to start!
Knowing I felt undertrained, I set an unspoken goal to finish in under 1:15:00. I wanted a slow but respectable pace, knowing I would need to walk parts of the race. While I had no basis for this goal, it felt doable. I usually have some strategy planned in advance, but I was definitely winging it this time. That is always a good approach for my Type A persona. It was hard to know how to approach the race other than just, well, run!
And, just run is exactly what I did! To start the race, I wanted to run as long as I could without walking. I think that ended up being something like two miles. For the rest of the race, I used my playlist as my guide. Every time a new song started, I started running and continued as long as I could and walked the remainder of that song. I repeated that pattern until the last mile when I started to really fade. It worked well! During a couple songs, I didn’t stop to walk at all.
I felt thrilled to finish a few minutes under my goal with a chip time of 1:11:54 (pace: 11:36). I was 61 of 72 overall, and 7 of 8 in my age group. For having zero expectations, I consider this a triumphant return to the racing scene. As I am just getting back to consistent running, I can’t wait to see what happens in the weeks and months ahead. I am determined to get back to a place where I can run a sub-60 minute 10k. But, if I don’t? Well, that’s okay, too.
Photo credit: Mateusz Dach