40th Running of the Columbus 10K

For Day Two of my recent two-race weekend, I ran the 40th Columbus 10K on Sunday. (I ran the Baltimore 10 Miler on Saturday; blog here.) I would have happily paid the registration fee for this one, but I didn't need to. Columbus Running Company was offering a free registration with a purchase of Hoka One One shoes, as Hoka was the main sponsor. I bought a pair of their ORA Recovery Slides, which are very comfy.

I got home on Saturday night from Baltimore/DC and didn't get a ton of sleep. I was happy that they had race-day packet pick-up, but that meant getting up even earlier to get a good parking space and my packet. The race started on Civic Center Drive on the Scioto Mile. I found great parking just a couple blocks away. Packet pick-up was quick and easy and I had time to scope out the start/finish area while waiting for the Columbus Westside Running Club (CWRC) photo meet-up.

Some of the CWRC members pre-race at the big gavel
And gavel selfie

The weather was a little humid and after eating an apple I felt a touch of nausea. I don't know what my body was trying to tell me, but I felt better before start time. I lined up near the 10:00 min/mile pacer even though I wasn't planning to go quite that fast. I figured I'd start out a little faster than I'd finish as the temperature got a little hotter and I started feeling my hilly 10 miler from the day before.

Start corral
Just starting out

The course was a single loop and took us from downtown Columbus to Victorian Village to the Scioto Trail and then back into the downtown area. It was a good course and didn't have the hills of Baltimore, but it wasn't entirely flat. There were three aid stations, which I thought was appropriate for a summertime 10K. Each one had water and an energy drink called Sword, which I'd never heard of. There were some spectators, but not a lot.

Somewhere mid-race
Heading back downtown

I ran my run/walk intervals and enjoyed the neighborhoods. I was leap-frogging with a lot of the same runners as we ticked off the miles. I had no real goal for this race, as I'm not ready to PR in the 10K just yet. I simply wanted to finish feeling good, as in Baltimore. In the last couple miles the 10:00 pacer finally passed me. That was fine. Shortly after that I saw the city skyline and knew that I was nearly done. But not without some hills on the Scioto Mile.

Along the river I saw Tracy from CWRC. She wasn't running, but she came out to cheer on friends and club members. Shortly after that I saw Becca and Carl, who had already finished their races. I loved knowing people at the race and being cheered on by name. But I wasn't finished yet. There was one more steep hill to get from the river back up to street level. I ran through a tunnel of cheerleaders on the way up that hill. Then I made my last turn onto the finish stretch. I didn't finish in 10 minute miles, but I was pretty close at 1:05:38, which was my second best 10K. I'll be ready for a new PR in the fall.

Tracy's pic of me by the river
Carl's pic of me by the river

I received my finisher medal, a great design with the Columbus skyline inside the shape of Ohio. Immediately after the finish there was water, probably Sword again (not sure) and bananas. In the festival area there were pancakes and sausage, and Skyline Chili had chili dogs. Of that food, the only thing vegetarian were the pancakes, and they just sounded too heavy to me, so I ate nothing.

I walked over to the river to reconnect with CWRC members. We cheered in the remaining runners and walkers, and stuck around for the awards ceremony. Two of our club members (Patti and Karen) placed in their age group. Other club members earned PRs. As for me, I was thrilled with my time, knowing that I didn't even work very hard for it. A year ago I was running a 1:12 10K, so this is great progress.

Cute pic with Becca
Some of the CWRC members post-race

Some of us walked over to Land Grant Brewing after the awards were presented. Land Grant was offering $1 off most brews. Of course the one I wanted was a newly released seasonal and not discounted (that's OK...I enjoyed my Ra Blonde Ale). On the Land Grant patio we were in prime viewing position of the Franklinton bike races which were happening that afternoon. We got to watch the small children's race, which was for one-speed bikes. They rode around the block as many times as they could/wanted to in the 20 minutes they were given. After one beer, we were done and went our separate ways.

A well-deserved pint from Land Grant
Carl, Ken and Becca representing CWRC on the deck at Land Grant

This was a fun 10K on a beautiful day. Some bonuses: nice course; the nice shirts and medals; free photos; free downtown street parking on a Sunday; a meet-up with former Olympians; a kids' race; the food selection, if that's your thing; the Land Grant after-party. One drawback: no bag check except for some VIPs. I wish more race directors acknowledged that not everyone drives to a race and has the ability to keep things in a car. Some are dropped off, some ride bikes, etc. But, I had a good time and I'd definitely run this one again.

I tried to line up the medal pic with the buildings represented on the medal itself

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