Marin Memorial Day 10K 2011

Here’s another race that I also ran last year. In fact it’s my current 10K PR, so that would be a nice goal to try and beat. But really I wanted confirmation that the slump that hit me at Kaiser and Napa was truly gone.

I carpooled up with Debra, Suzette and Karen of the LMJS Womens team. Chatting with the ladies turned out to be a nice low-stress way to approach a race rather than driving solo.  After the usual preliminaries – bathroom, warmup, strides, we lined up in the start area. Since this is a USATF event it was a very strong field, and I took care not to line up too far forward and get sucked out too fast. I had set my Garmin to metric again, with auto-laps at 1km intervals. Target pace would be sub 4:20 minutes/km which if maintained would get me a narrow PR. There were no km markers, but the splits here have been corrected for GPS variance.

The line was crowded, and we were a little sluggish getting away, but once up to speed things were fine. The runners around me were mostly going at the right speed, and the few who were easing up after a too-fast start were soon left astern. Here was Debra, who beat me at Tilden, although I have an edge on her on flat roads like this. I eased ahead and didn’t look round, assuming she would be staying fairly close. She later told me that she did stay in contact for a while before deciding she was not comfortable at that pace and dropping back.  There was a headwind in the early stages, but the trees and houses sheltered us from the worst of it. First three km: 4:21, 4:26, 4:27. This looks a bit slow now, but the numbers I was seeing at the time were about 4 seconds faster.  I must remember to aim a few seconds high when using the Garmin as a pacing tool.

On the return section of the loop I went a little faster, probably aided by the tailwind, and was already passing people. This was not great, since there was no one to latch on to get ‘pulled’ along. I just had to keep passing people and glancing at the Garmin to confirm that I was on pace. 4:18, 4:19, 4:21 for these three km. Very nice pacing, though I say so myself.

As we threaded through the Marin College campus for the first time I head a pair of male voices behind. Who the heck chats in the second half of a 10K? Ultra runners? The subject matter confirmed it: “I saw so-and-so last weekend. We ran 30 miles together.” Yup, ultra guys, and they were about to pass me. When they did, I was surprised to recognize Dean Karnazes. Yup, that guy. What was he doing running a 43-minute 10K? Then I realized that he probably ran upteen miles to get here and would probably run home again too.  This little distraction, along with the twists and turns, had slowed my pace a bit, so I determined to stay within striking distance of Dean and friend, running about 50 yards behind.  Splits: 4:26, 4:25, 4:25.

We went across a bridge and turned back towards the campus. There was a fierce headwind. I had closed a bit on Dean’s group, which had grown to four.  Two runners that they had passed were hanging on grimly in order to draft them. I was fully exposed about 30 yards back and getting killed by the wind. I managed to surge and catch them up, but it was an expensive move. There was little relief once I had caught then since they were now speeding up for that last half mile to the finish.  Urrgh!

We entered the campus once again and the course marshals recognized Dean, grinning as they pointed the way with orange flags. We were out of the wind now, and I started to sag off the back of the group as we entered the running track. My kick was gone thanks to that surge, but it was the right move.  I crossed the line 13 seconds behind Dean, but just 2 seconds adrift on the chip.  That last kilometer took 4:12, for an overall time of 43:44.

A 5 second PR! Thanks DK. I did not place in my age group, but some of the LMJS ladies did, (Laurie, Suzette, and Kate) Much fun all round.

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3 Responses to “Marin Memorial Day 10K 2011”


  1. 1 Flo June 5, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    Glad you’ve caught up with your reports and again, Congratulations for this race! You’re definitely progressing. The Slump, she is history.

    Lol, who the heck chats…Ultra runners? Hilarious. Pretty cool that you drafted off him, even if he is an annoying figure to much of the running world. 😉

  2. 2 Ewen June 7, 2011 at 12:50 am

    Nice going Jim. It says on the sidebar your PR is 44:49, so that’s a 65 second PR 😉 Anyway, 43:44 is a dream time to me. Good to see km splits too instead of mile splits.

  3. 3 Loraine June 8, 2011 at 8:38 pm

    See Jim, I told you you had short-changed yourself on the 5 second PR thing – that confused me when we spoke about it. Yes, other peoples’ PRs are way more satisfying to study than my own. Nice racing & congrats!


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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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