Race: Marin Memorial Day 10K 2010

This was a spur of the moment thing. LMJS recently formed a womens’ USATF racing team, and this was their second event. I’m planning to get the ball rolling for a mens team, so I wanted to cheer the ladies on and get a taste of racing at a USATF event. Most of the well known Bay Area clubs seemed to be well represented.

The conditions were warm and unusually humid for the Bay Area, plus I had not tapered appreciably for this race, and had done a fairly hard 9 mile trail run just two days before. I was unsure how this would turn out. At the worst I could just cruise it, but my 10K PR was quite soft so perhaps I could beat that.

I hung back at the start in order not to get pulled out too fast. This tactic proved a little too effective, since I was repeatedly boxed in during the first mile and had to run around more people than I would have liked. 7:06 at the first mile marker. Hmm, pretty close to my half marathon PR pace. Feeling OK, but wondering if I could maintain this. The course made it’s way through shaded residential streets in Kentfield and Ross, A sprinkling of residents had come out to cheer us on. Mile 2: 7:07. OK, holding steady, were we going slightly uphill? I was gradually passing faders, but figured it was too early to try to pass everyone in sight, so would simply run behind someone who seemed to be going at the right pace. I can push myself quite nicely doing this, but each of my unwitting running partners were slowing and disappearing today. 7:05 for mile 3. Definitely getting hot now! Someone had set up a hosepipe to mist us. Welcome but brief. My pace fell off: 7:21 for mile 4. approaching marathon pace! I was following a young woman in an all-black outfit. She faltered. Darn it, there’s no one else but a guy in a white shirt and he’s 30-40 yards away!. I drew alongside her and she sped up again. Good. She did not hold if for long, and I passed her for good at the 5 mile marker. 7:27 – my slowest mile of the race. I got within about 30 yards of white shirt, who seemed to have accelerated slightly now that we were in the final mile.
We entered the College of Marin campus and passed the 6 mile marker (7:18). I was distracted for a moment by a volunteer calling “Turn left and follow the lane markers” while turning onto the running track, and a young woman in Impala colours zipped by on the inside. I applied myself and closed up behind her as we went down the back straight. A group of her team mates were there yelling encouragement and things like “He’s drafting you, kick, kick!” I smiled and waved at them and the tone became less aggressive. One of them laughed, and I resumed my close up study of her shoulder blades. We caught white shirt going into the final turn. Impala-girl somehow slipped inside him and I went outside, thus losing close contact. Just as we approached the line, I heard heavy breathing off my shoulder. White shirt had been stung into action and produced a nice sprint for the last 50 yards. I think he beat me to the line, but the three of us finished in the same second and I beat both of them on chip time. 44:48. A PR. I covered the last 0.2 at 6:54 pace.
I should really be able to run this distance about two minutes faster with the right preparation. Simply avoiding that fade in miles 4 and 5 would help quite a bit. That tends to happen to me in 10Ks and it’s a between-the-ears problem. I’ll try again soon.

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3 Responses to “Race: Marin Memorial Day 10K 2010”


  1. 1 Flo June 4, 2010 at 8:50 am

    Those blasted “behind the ears” problems, they really are annoying, but I’m sure the next one will be closer to your target. Doesn’t help that you were boxed in at the start, either. Congrats on getting another one under your belt and a PR, too! (time for a race PRs blog widget update)

  2. 2 jime2 June 4, 2010 at 9:22 am

    Oops. Good Catch, Flo.

  3. 3 Ewen June 4, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    I enjoyed your description of the final stages Jim. I know you weren’t drafting Impala-girl (or trying to beat her), just racing white shirt.

    Yes, still a little softness in the 10k PB compared to your 5k and 1/2 times. I think you’re looking at sub-43 for the next one.


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Race PRs

5K20:43 (LMJS 6/28/09
10K43:44
12K54:36 (Across Bay 3/21/10)
15K1:09:51 (LMJS 19/27/09)
Half1:31:28 (Kaiser 2012
Marathon 3;13:14 (CIM '11)

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