This morning was the Charlottesville Fall Classic 10k, a race run by the Charlottesville Running Company. I went into the race with a primary goal of beating my previous 10k best – 1:00:01 at Zooma Annapolis – and a secondary goal of sub-57:00. I planned to run 9:30 min/miles and then go all out the last 1.2 miles.
Despite the fact that weather.com was calling for rain, we got only a light drizzle before the start time. Though there were puddles along the course, we stayed dry through the finish, and I was able to walk home after the race. Right now it’s pouring — thank you, running gods, for keeping us dry during the race. We appreciate it.
The course is fairly flat, with rolling hills on Market Street, then a flat section in Riverview Park along the river, and then hills again on Locust as you return to the Downtown Mall. The park was beautiful, and the hills were just right – not so steep that I couldn’t make it to the top, but steep enough that it felt like an accomplishment to run all the way up them without stopping to walk. Finishing on the Downtown Mall was a great idea, as it’s downhill to the finish and the mall is a great place for spectators to cheer on the finishers.
My splits were 8:43/9:05/9:04/9:12/9:21/8:31 and 1:27 for the last .2 (7:36 pace)
I finished in 55:25 (by my Garmin, results not published yet), average pace of 8:57. Garmin data here.
As far as race management, I thought the race was well-organized on the whole. There were enough policeman to make sure that road crossings were safe, and the route was well-marked. Water stops did not get congested and there were enough porta-potties at the start to make sure that no one had to wait long. The race started on-time despite the weather (a little wet, but no rain during the race) and the finisher’s area was arranged nicely, although they only offered water at the finish. The few things I didn’t like were the fact that the course was open to traffic (which was only a problem on Locust as we headed back) and that it wasn’t timed by chips. A woman ended up “leapfrogging” me after the finish – I finished first but she skipped me in line as we turned in our bib tickets. :\ This is why I prefer chip timing.
All in all it was a great race and I’m very pleased with my time. I’m going to Walnut Creek tomorrow with the Charlottesville Trail Running Club, which will be awesome. I’m doing a trail race there (a half marathon) on Nov 14th, so it will be good to get a look at the course. I don’t plan to run the half as a race, I really just want to finish and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
I’m still finalizing my training schedule for the marathon – I’m so excited!