Runners Forum - Kick Runners banner
1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,885 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
On Sunday March 9, I ran the Newark Distance classic 20k. It was my 5th time racing this distance; the previous four were all at the New Haven 20k, which I've run on Labor Day each of the last four years. My best time was this past year when I ran 1:42:22. I knew I could do better than that, especially since I had run the first 20k of the Philadelphia Marathon in less time than that. But I wasn't banking on a new PR here. I knew almost nothing about the course since I could find very little information about it online. But someone had told me it was somewhat hilly. Plus, it was a chilly day (about 30 degrees) and very windy. Plus, I was really just using this in place of a training run on my marathon training schedule, so I wasn't going to knock myself out.<br><br>
You'll have to forgive me for a lack of BobCam shots from this race. I brought my phone/camera, but my fingers were just too cold to operate it.<br><br>
Things got off to an interesting start the night before the race. We had a pretty nasty storm on Saturday night, and we eventaully lost power. Normally this wouldn't be more than a minor annoyance. But the impending time change caused a quandry. I noticed that the only alarm clock we have that's not run on electric power is on my cell phone. And I didn't remember if that would automatically re-set itself to the correct time overnight. (The answer: no). But the good news is that the race had a fairly late start time (9:30am) and it was only 20 miles from home. Plus, since we had no power Saturday night, there was nothing else for me to do, so I just went to bed really early. (Don't really even know what time, exactly). The power came back on sometime overnight, and I woke up on my own Sunday morning with plenty of time to spare.<br><br>
From the outset, I could tell that there wasn't going to be much to this race once I arrived in Newark. The only race schwag was an undated cotton long-sleeve T-shirt. Then moseying out to the start/finish area, I see that there's no start line banner or finish line banner. While those banners certainly aren't necessary, they do just give the appearance that you're running a real race, not just something thrown together at the last minute.<br><br>
There's a 5k and a 20k race, which both start at the same place and same time. The 5k is an out-and-back thru the city streets of beautiful Newark, New Jersey. (Please note sarcasm). The 20k runs along the 5k course the entire way, which means we passed the start/finish line after about 3 miles. I had initally planned to run the first mile around 8:30, and then speed up from there. Instead, the first mile was 8:03. Oops. Well, I think the planned 8:30 was a little too conservative anyway, so I wasn't too upset. I slowed down a wee bit for the next two miles (8:15 and 8:11) as we passed back by the start/finish. These first few miles also featured a rather nasty cross-wind, and I thought I was going to lose my hat on more than one occasion.<br><br>
After the 5k'ers were done, we continued on, and went up a nasty hill. But heck, I'm <a href="http://mysite.verizon.net/bobmann/mercedes2008.html" target="_blank">used to hills by now</a>, right? Mile 4 was my slowest of the day (8:25), but I'll take it. We soon entered Branch Brook park, and I must say this was a very plesant place to run. It would have been more pleasant if it weren't so windy, but it wasn't too bad. Whereas the first portion of the course was a 5k out-and-back, the rest was basically a 15k out-and-back. There were some rolling hills thru the park, but nothing too scary. I was cruising along nicely. Miles 5-8 were in 8:03, 8:07, 8:02 and 8:08. Mile 9 had the most uphill portion of the rolling hills, and that slowed me to 8:23.<br><br>
The best news was that since this is an out-and-back, it meant that the nasty uphill after Mile 3 would be a nice downhill to the finish line. I ran thru Mile 10 and 11 at 8:01 and 8:12. I turned up the juice a little, and ran thru Mile 12 in 7:45, thanks in part to the beginning of the downhill. I covered the last .4 to the finish at a pace of 6:53. Wow! At least that's what the Garmin said. Could it be wrong? That would be faster than my 5k race pace. That must've been one doozy of a hill!<br><br>
Bottom line: I crossed the finish line at 1:41:28. That means a new PR by almost a minute. I will happily take it.<br><br>
This was easily the lowest-budget race I've run of more than 5k. The aid stations had nothing but water. There was no chip mat at the start, only at the halfway mark and the finish. The food at the finish consisted of old soft bananas, water, and juice. So when you factor in the cold and the wind, there really wasn't much to be thrilled with at this race. Except that I did get a PR... <img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif">
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,954 Posts
Awesome race, <b>Bob</b>! It sounds like it went much faster than you had planned. Great job on the PR!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,855 Posts
<b>Bob</b> - If we go by the bare basics theme of the race, bottom line is you got a PR, which shows the progress you've been making lately. Nice job & congrats!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,709 Posts
Congratulations on the PR, <b>Bob</b>! <img alt="icon_cheers.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/icon_cheers.gif">
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
497 Posts
Glad you made a PR. Real basic races like that are few and far between. I don't know what your race fees were but the State Parks tour in TN are pretty much like your race except no mats. $5 entry fee and if you want a shirt add in another $7. Race day entry is $10.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,701 Posts
Nice work Bob, congratulations on the PR!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,885 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks, everyone. Results are in <a href="http://www.compuscore.com/cs2008/janfeb/newk20k1.htm" target="_blank"><span style="color:#0000FF;">here</span></a>. Sheesh, I came in 32 out of 40 in my age group, and 127 out of 200 males. Just a month ago <a href="http://www.mercedesmarathon.com/results/08/fullchip08.txt" target="_blank"><span style="color:#0000FF;">in the Mercedes Marathon</span></a>, I was 26 out of 103 in my AG, and 185 out of 795 males. Did I really run that much worse of a race today? <img alt="sad.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/sad.gif"> Shoot, I felt like a ran a pretty good race. Was I just up against a really fast crowd today? Heck, I finished 54 seconds behind a 72 year old guy... <img alt="huh.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/huh.gif"><br><br>
This is New Jersey. There's no such thing as a $5 race. This one cost me $20. Price was $25 on race day. Yeah, this wasn't exactly the best bargain...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
143 Posts
Congrats on the PR, especially in the kind of conditions we in the NE had today! I ran a half marathon that featured that wind and a hilly course--and the storms the night before, and I was glad to squeak in just over 10mpm, so I'm really impressed by your speed--and getting a PR, wow!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,005 Posts
congrats on the PR! As for it being a fast group, given the cold weather, maybe some of the more casual runners stayed home for this one?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,750 Posts
Great job <b>boB</b> congrats on the PR! I was laughing when you said "thru the city streets of beautiful Newark, New Jersey." What a cluster of events pre-race and the set up of it all!
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top