On Saturday, April 26 I ran my second Cleveland 10-Miler, an annual and very popular spring race in Cleveland, Ohio. My time was much slower than it was in 2012, I walked away with some very sore knees. But I was happy to finish in one piece and the weather turned out really well for this year’s event. Here’s a picture from before the race start:
Official Time: 2:06:26
Age Group Placing (F 25-29): 186 / 191
Overall Placing: 1663 / 1752
I brought up the rear on this one, as expected, but there were also more runners this year than in the past. In fact, it sold out. I went through the photos posted by race organizers and only found myself in one. There I am right in the middle of the pack. I was setting my watch so that it would start around the time I crossed the starting line.
Fortunately this race is chip-timed. There were so many runners that it took about a minute before I crossed the start. The beginning was very crowded. We were almost running slower than I wanted to, but once I reached the second half of the mile my pace was faster than I had hoped. My first mile clocked around 11:00.
Mile 1 – 2: These were warm-up miles for the most part. They were also the most exciting because I was in the middle of the crowd. It was actually before I hit mile 3 that I saw the top finishers on the turnaround. They were that fast!
Mile 3-4: I continued to see other runners on the turnaround and shout out to a few I knew. I really enjoy out and back courses like this one because I find watching and cheering on other runners helps pass the time. I was still feeling good, pulling my slow and steady pace.
Mile 5-6: I actually started to get hungry around this time which is really unusual. I think it was because I ate breakfast too early. I brought along a GU which I ate at this time. There were Honey Stinger Gels at Mile 6 and I grabbed one there, knowing I needed more than just my GU. By now the turnaround excitement was long gone. I also received peace of mind I was not in dead last. Phew.
Miles 7-8: The race began to really slow by now. Also the sun was really burning. When I ran this two years ago it was overcast and chilly. I never thought to wear sunglasses or sunscreen. I spent much of the race blindly running into the sun. I also realized around these miles that the course had been changed.
This was OK. It was obviously changed to add more scenic views of Edgewater Park and the city skyline. There was a hill close to Mile 8 that left me saying “Are you kidding me?!” out loud. I walked the hill, which was the only walking I did during the race outside of the water stops (I normally walk water stops during my longer races).
Due to the thinning out of runners, and the new and rather curvy second half of the race, a few other runners and I nearly went the wrong way right after the Mile 8 water stop! A volunteer notified us just in time. Sheesh! Around this time I also took the Honey Stinger Gel I grabbed previously.
Miles 9-10: By now my right IT band was really hurting. During training my left IT band was the issue. How strange. I literally just had to gut it out here. I was definitely slow coming into the final stretch. I managed to kick it a little bit at the end, which I always like to do.
Post-race there was some tasty breakfast casserole for runners, along with plenty of water. I appreciate there was plenty of food and drink on hand at this race, and gel for all runners. Unfortunately sometimes the slower runners get the short end of the stick when race organizers do not prepare enough portions for everyone. I was glad this was not the case.
There wasn’t a whole lot going on post-race. There was music and a windy beer garden but more than anything I wanted to celebrate quickly and get home to recover.
I loved the shirts this year. Mine fit perfectly and was obviously a women’s cut… not just a “smaller” mens’s shirt. I received a lot of compliments on the medal. It’s very big and I do like the Lake Erie scene. I wish it said the official race name “Cleveland 10-Miler” instead of just the generic “10 Miler”… which one? I also wish it had the year 2014 on it.
This year’s medal is part of a series. While I would like to get the full series, the partner race is on a Sunday. I rarely race on Sundays so I will have to think it over carefully before signing up.
**Read my 2012 race recap here.