Saturday, March 24, 2012

Race Day at McKendree: Ramble Into Spring 10 Miler, Lebanon, IL

Today I ran the McKendree University Ramble Into Spring 10 Mile Race. I finished at approximately 1 hour, 34 mins (official race times to be posted). Here are my observations for the day.

1) Don't underestimate a 10 miler. If you do a lot of half-marathons (13.1), you might fall into the trap of underestimating races that are slightly shorter (like 10 milers and 15Ks). I did not underestimate this race located on the campus of McKendree University, a liberal arts school about an hour and 45 minutes from where I live. The reason? I ran the Harvest Challenge Half Marathon at McKendree back in the fall, and I knew the course would have hills. The half-marathon was challenging; there was no reason to believe that the 10 miler would not be as well.

2) A bunch of races: Actually, there were three races this morning: a 5K run/walk, a 10K, and the ten miler. They all had the same 8 am start time, and they shared the first 2 miles. Despite this, all the various courses were clearly marked and there was no confusion.

3) For cheapskates like me: The price tag of this race appealed to my cheap side: $13 if you registered beforehand, $18 on race day. For your $13, you got a t-shirt, a car decal, and some flyers for upcoming races in the area. Medals and trophies did go to overall and age group winners, however.

4) A friendly group of volunteers, students, faculty and staff: This is not one of those big city races where there are bands and music and a lot of distractions. There were however friendly folks at each water stop--I never had to fight to get a drink. In addition to water, the five-mile stop had GU (Tri-Berry flavor), and several stops had Gatorade. I used some of the Tri-Berry packet, but before I got most of it down, I dropped it at one of the water stops. Immediately one of the student volunteers said, "Don't worry, we'll get it." So even though there were not a lot of cheering onlookers, I appreciated the work of all these volunteers.

5) Hills, hills, hills: This was not as hilly as the Harvest Challenge, where there's a section dubbed "Hill Country." But there were quite a few rolling hills, especially out on the country roads. Because we were running on one-lane country roads, the race director cautioned us at the pre-race briefing about listening to headphones. I did not listen to music during this race, and it's a good thing I didn't, because I was the one yelling "Car!!" when cars would come up behind us. A girl running in front of me was so into her music that she didn't hear me, so I kept yelling "Car!!" until she moved out of the way of the oncoming vehicle. No, she did not "Thank Me Later."

6) I was overdressed, I admit. I am constitutionally cold, so I had on more clothes at the race start than I probably needed. I was in a pink jacket, pink long-sleeved wicking shirt, long compression pants with compression socks underneath. and a sturdy pair of Asics. As the day warmed up, I slightly regretted my choice to wear the jacket, but I didn't take it off and tie it around my waist (too much time would be wasted by that).

7) I want to thank Jon, my husband and runner support, for getting me to this race. Jon has not been feeling great lately, so he didn't get a finish line pic of me. No problem though, this race was chip timed (the disposable kind that you tie on your laces), so the results will soon be posted at
Race Day at McKendree. If you are in the Saint Louis/southern Illinois area and you are interested in the races at McKendree, visit that link.

Update 9:03 pm: race finish times now available

finish time (chip): 1:34.05
overall finish position: 94 out of 178 10 mile runners
age group (F, 30-49): 26 out of 62
average pace: 9:25/M


  1. Really interesting for this late in life runner -- I know what you mean about thinking a race a little shorter than a half will be a piece of cake: wrong! The 15k I run each year always turns out to be way more of a beast than I think it will.

  2. the only race I have DNF-ed was a 15K. It's an odd length. For some reason, the 10 milers are way easier.