Wednesday, September 28, 2016

PRR Perfect 10k

Last weekend, I did the Potomac River Running Perfect 10k.  PRR is a local running store and they put on a lot of races through the year.  This one offers a 10k option and a 10 mile option.  We're doing the Army 10 miler next week and so opted for the 10k.  PRR races tend to be really well organized and this one was no different.

There was plenty of pre-race communication.  The only confusing part is that the early communication said there would be plenty of parking but then the last email before the race said parking would be limited.  That confused me a bit but I was planning to get there early any way for pre-race packet pick up.

So I got there at 7am for an 8am race start.  There was plenty of parking available at the time I got there.  Packet pick up was a breeze with only one person in line in front of me when I got there.  Race morning was a bit chilly (which I loved!) so I walked back to the car, put away the shirt and pinned on my bib, and then sat in the car with the heater on until 7:30.

The line goes all the way back from the portapotties on the left to the building on the right.

We then walked back to where the registration was as I assumed the start was down there too.  We stopped at the portapotties on the way.  A long line had developed by that point by there were a lot of portapotties so the line moved really fast.  And then we followed the signs toward the start line, which ended up being right back near where we had parked.  Oops.

Anyway, there were signs with paces listed so you kind of had an idea of where to line up.  The 10k and 10miler started together and ran together for most of the race so it was a bit crowded, especially at the beginning of the course.  The roads were not completely closed.  In some places, we had a lane and in some places we only had the bike lane.  I feel like it was crowded for at least the first mile, and that was in the back of the pack!  I can't imagine how crowded the middle of the pack must have been.

The course was pretty and shaded at the beginning as we went through more of a neighborhood type area.  The last half of the course was on the side of a busy road and had a lot of sun.  It was also a hilly course.  I knew it had a reputation for hills and thought I was prepared.  I even remember thinking around mile 2 how it wasn't too bad.  Big mistake.  There was a big uphill right before the mile 3 marker and then another one after the mile 3 marker.  I know it's not true but it seemed like the uphills just kept coming after that. However, it ended with some nice downhill running.

I had no time goal for this race.  I officially ended in 1:19:09  which is an average pace of 12:46.  So pretty close to my Garmin time below  I'm pretty happy with that given the hills and the sun during the later half of the race.

The race ended on the track at the high school, which was kind of cool.  I really liked the finish and I liked the spinner medal.  One side says 10k and the other says 10 miles.

We stretched in the middle of the track after we were done.  It was nice, a lot of people seemed to be mingling and hanging out in that center section.  We grabbed bananas on our way out and then headed off to breakfast.

Overall, I enjoyed this race.  The only negative I had was the narrowness of the course in places which made it feel really congested at times.  There were plenty of pros including the cost (I paid $35 I think), the great organization, and free photos.  A portion of the proceeds go to the school's track team so also a good cause.  The course was hilly but that's not necessarily a bad thing.  I keep telling myself the hill training will pay off on my flat Fall races :)