Sunday, May 15, 2011

2011 TriCities 10K Run - Race Report

The 2011 TriCities 10K Run on May 14th benefited The Main Street Academy.  The course goes through College Park, East Point, and Hapeville, hence the name.  The 10K course is USAT certified, # GA10028WC.  There is also a 5K Run/Walk.

Jim and I headed north from Lake Spivey to College Park for the 2nd annual TriCities 10K.  We left my house at 6:50am to give ourselves plenty of time to park, pick up our race numbers, and get to the starting line by the scheduled 8:00am start time.

The race had a joint 5K and 10K start at about 8:10am. There was a light mist in the air at the time but it wasn’t cold. The rain that had threatened never materialized.  I started the race drafting behind another runner.  He was about 25 years my junior so I didn’t press the matter.  I stayed close behind him for about 1.5 miles.  At that point he was in 1st place and I was in 2nd. Our first mile was sub-6 minutes.  At around the 2 mile point we were both passed.  Now I was in 3rd place. My temporary running partner soon put some distance between he and I as well.  At the 3 mile point there is a turn-around, and water station.  I took the opportunity to check my position in the race.  A group of several runners were a few hundred yards behind me.  I tried to keep up the pace as the runners in 1st and 2nd place continued to add distance between me and them.  I was running positive split (getting slower each mile).  At what I believe was the second water station somewhere passed the 5 mile point I could see the 5K’ers re-entering the course.  They had taken a shortcut soon after the start.  All the 10K and 5K runners and walkers went south on College Street to Badgett Stadium.  At the stadium we proceeded counter-clockwise on the track to the finish line in front of the bleachers with 10K’ers on the right and 5K’ers on the left.  A volunteer pulled the tab off the race bibs.  I lowered my head trying to collect myself.  I had given all I had and ended up with 3rd place overall with a time of 41:57. The 10K race overall winner was the returning 2010 winner and finished in 38-something, I believe.

I got a bottle of water and waited in the bleachers for Jim to finish the race.  Jim soon arrived with a finish time of 78 minutes.  After he had a chance to rest and drank some water we walked back to the registration area to pickup our t-shirts and wait for the awards to be presented.

2011 Tricities 10K and 5K T-Shirt
The awards were plaques for the first 3 male and female finishers in each race and ribbons for the age groupers.  Since the race was organized as a school fund-raiser there were lots of kids.  The kids got really excited when one of them won a ribbon.  I got a plaque and Jim got nothing.  He really wanted one of the ribbons.  I think they reminded him of the awards from a 4-H cattle show.

3rd Place Male Overall Plaque for the 10K
Keeping in mind that this is only the 2nd annual TriCities Run, the pros and cons of the race are as follows.

The pros were the; enthusiastic volunteers, excellent police support, USATF certified 10K course, stadium finish, and course signage.  I had the opportunity to meet and talk with several people that I’ve raced with in the past, especially some fellow triathletes.

The cons were the; awards didn’t include a masters division or age groups beyond 60 and older, registration was a bit slow but organized, and the final finish line shoots were not marked.  A volunteer was there to direct runners to the correct shoot.  If they were marking it would have been clearer to the runners as they made their final sprint to the finish. The Styrofoam and plastic cups at the water stations don’t work well.  The water station cups should be paper so runners can fold them at the rim to drink and continue to run.  There was no Gatorade.

There are a few other points that may be of interest.  One, is that the course is in an urban area.  I thought it was much like the Atlanta Spring has Sprung 15K course.  Two, is that the race t-shirt was cotton.  I always like to know this when I pre-register so I can select the correct size.  My cotton shirt size is a large and my technical shirt is a medium.  Three, the post-race goodies included bagels with fixins and some bananas.

Overall, I think the folks at The Main Street Academy did a good job.

Later, I reviewed the 2010 results and found that the 1st place winner, Jason Hamlin (2010 stats: 36yo - 38:02) and 2nd place winner Jose Mendoza (2010 stats: 17yo - 38:06) were the same two runners that came in 1st and 2nd in 2011.