Reedy River Run 10k #3
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. It is always so satisfying to cap a training week with a fabulous race performance. Although it wasn’t a PR by any means, I am still very satisfied with my performance and eager to continue building my base and racing along the way.
Mom and I used the walk up to the race start as our warm up. We had to park on a side street down by the Fluor Field because all the streets that we tried to use to turn and access Richardson Street Garage were blocked. After running the race, I know that many of those streets were used for the course. However, it did make parking difficult (by blocking off both the Richardson Street Garage and the parking area on top of the Greyhound station) and it’s already a bit difficult in downtown Greenville.
We made it to the start with just the right amount of time before the race start. I appreciated the specific mention of the elites running the race.
Since I wasn’t running for time I let Mom set the pace. It ended up being faster than I had planned. She definitely felt this later but we’ve already made a plan for her to start incorporating some things like speedwork and hill repeats into her training to help with this.
The first two miles were tough. Running through downtown Greenville means running up and down some fairly significant hills. Just as soon as we crested one and enjoyed the downhill on the other side, we headed right back up another. Mom kept plugging away and I had to push hard to keep up with her!
Ellis was perfectly positioned to catch us coming up what I affectionally call the “hill of death” owing to its significant incline and position in the course for the Greenville News Downtown 5k (right before the turn to head downhill to the finish.) Though the hill was still hard, I can tell that the regular strength training is helping me become stronger on hills and I love it!
It was some time in this portion that I decided that the crazy hills made this the perfect course on which to challenge myself to go for a PR. Yes, I am a crazy runner person.
Mile 1: 8:25
Mile 2: 8:31
Mom started to feel the pace and the hills towards the beginning of mile 3. She slowed to a walk for a few seconds to catch her breath. I slowed my jog but kept going. Then in the second half of the mile we started to head downhill and into the much easier half of the course. We headed down a wonderfully steep down hill just by Cleveland Park (I’ve lived in Greenville all my life and I have no idea what the name of the street is) and into the park. I was very thankful that we got to run down that hill and not up like I did several years ago in Run with the Stoix.
This turn into the park also brought with it shade, a breeze and a couple degrees cooler feels-like temps. The open road and lack of shade made me wish I had worn sleeveless and shorts. I definitely breathed a sigh of relief when we got into the park.
Mile 3: 8:09
Once we got into the park the course flattened out a bit. (There were still tiny hills here and there. It is Greenville after all.) I felt strong and really dialed into the pace. Mom definitely started to feel the faster pace she pushed us to earlier.
Mile 4: 8:26
I don’t actually remember much about mile 5 specifically. As we got towards the second half of the mile and into the last mile, Mom had to walk a couple times. Each time I kept jogging, but slowly. I tried to be as encouraging as I could. Each time she stopped it was just for a few seconds to catch her breath. As we approached the last half mile, Mom had to stop one last time. I wanted to stay with her but I felt so strong and really wanted to keep pushing. I hung back for a few steps but then decided to break away. I called back over my shoulder and said that I was going to keep pushing. Mom must have pushed hard in that last half mile too because she finished only 23 seconds behind me!
That last half mile had one last uphill, a turn and then a final turn onto main street and the downhill. Once I got onto Main Street I started sprinting
I’ve been working hard on my form but not hard enough apparently. There’s way too much twisting going on there in my sprint.
I kept sprinting as hard as I could and even passed a couple people in the final tenth. I would hope so since my pace for the last .2 was 6:30!
Mile 6: 9:00
.2 nubbin: 1:07
Final time: 52:10
That puts this 10k right smack in the center of all my 10k times at 4 of 8. I’m very pleased with that time especially since I have not been working on anything remotely approaching short distance speed for quite some time.
Mom came in at 52:33, good enough for her second fastest 10k time and 2nd in her age group! This is in a race of 1k+ runners.
Now to the review portion of the recap:
Registration and packet/bib pick up:
Palmetto Timing (formerly go-greenevents) has always had user friendly registration. Mom picked up our packets from TD Bank yesterday. She told me that parking was a challenge, but that’s downtown Greenville for you. She made a point to tell me that the volunteers directing traffic and helping with bib and shirt handout were very knowledgable and went out of their way to make sure that we were completely satisfied with everything.
Race shirt: I am absolutely thrilled that they did not use Leslie Jordan for the shirts. I think it might actually make it into my workout rotation although not for the summer since it’s black and we live in the south.
Pre-Race/Race Morning amenities: Parking was a bit of a challenge but other than that, everything seemed to go off without a hitch.
Course This course was crazy hard and amazing. Whoever designed it did a great job showcasing a lot of downtown Greenville from the streets to the park. I loved this course.
Course support (this includes water stops and course monitors) Unfortunately, the weather took a turn for the hot side today. This kind of weather would have been best helped with many more water stops but that’s something that no race director can predict. I do like the fact that one of the stops had tables on both sides. That’s definitely needed in a race of this size. I ran with my handheld so I didn’t actually take any of the water.
Finish line and post-race amenities I have to admit that we didn’t stay long at the finish. That being said, I did not see where we would have picked up the PR medals had either of us achieved a PR. I also saw nothing post race beyond the small water bottles handed out immediately after the finish line. We didn’t look too hard since we were heading over to Starbucks.
*Edited to add* I found out from a couple other people that the post-race amenities were all down in Falls Park where the race website stated that the awards ceremony would be held. We would have discovered this if we had stayed for the awards. Additionally, all participants who ran a sub 65 minute time for the 10k earned a poster. (I wondered why finish line volunteers were handing out business cards that stated “I ran sub 65 minutes” or something like that.) The PR medals were distributed after all age group awards had been distributed. According to a race participant who stayed because her son won the 14 and under age group, the awards ceremony lasted until 11:15, 75 minutes total. This is unfortunate. The concept of a PR medal is awesome! I loved it two years ago when both Mom and I were able to head over to the tent just beyond the finish line where they were handing out the PR medals and get one.
Race photography I could find nothing about official race photography. I asked on both the Greenville Track Club page and the page for the Reedy River Run specifically and have yet to get an answer. For a race that has over 2k participants this seems inadequate.
*Edited to add* Later in the afternoon both the GTC page and the Reedy River page responded and said that the pictures were coming. Pace Magazine took pictures at the start and finish lines and posted those pictures this afternoon. I love the fact that Pace has provided free race pictures for almost every single Greenville (and Upstate) race. That being said, I do wish that for the marquee races like Reedy and Spinx, GTC would pay for a race photography that would station photographers at a couple different points in the course. In this race, there were a couple positions where a photographer could have been stationed that would have given him the opportunity to take photographs at two different points without having to move much. This is definitely not a requirement, just something I think would make the race that much better.
*Edited to add* While I stand by my thoughts on having an official race photographer, I need to add that I discovered Sunday morning that there was an official photographer for the race that took pictures at the finish (a few at the start) and at the awards ceremony of the winners.
Social media Pre-race…this was awesome. The GTC posted frequently and shared all sorts of cool facts. Unfortunately, the last official post on both the GTC page and the Reedy River Run page was from the 21st, Thursday. I think that the next step to take to make sure that social media engagement is top notch would be to have someone take over the page for race day and make at least a few posts on the day of. Tobacco Road did this and I was very impressed.
*Edited to add* Just after I published this post I went back to the page and saw one post on the GTC page thanking participants and volunteers and promoting the results page. Later in the day they also added a few more posts including a link to pictures.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this race and can’t wait to run again next year.