Nothing like a 10K to get the year off to a great start!
I’ve run the Hangover Classic seven times now?
It’s been much colder and much warmer, but this year was pretty good. Temps were in the 30’s and there wasn’t too much wind. The sky was clear so when we had sun and no wind it was quite nice.
This race is so flat that my Garmin didn’t register any elevation gain at all! I know there were a few rises in the road. One time I could hear the guy behind me groan as the road rose to meet our feet. It was almost funny.
2020 Hangover Classic 10K Exactly
Have you ever run an exact distance for a race?
I’ve run a few that were short, including a 5K that was 2.8 miles. I won’t mention any names but the management company has been in the game for years.
I’ve also run a few races that were long. The Bill Rodgers Jingle Bell Run was 3.4 miles and they posted it as such. They had to re-route the race due to construction in Somerville.
It’s easy to over run a marathon and I usually come in around 26.5 or so. Over 26.2 miles, that’s not too bad.
It’s never exact, but sometimes…
My distance for the Hangover Classic was exactly 6.2 miles! I’ve never run the distance exactly.
I started my watch right on the line and stopped it just a few feet after crossing.
So they measured exactly and placed the start/finish exactly where it needed to be. A perfect execution.
I can’t take too much credit for running the correct distance. There aren’t too many opportunities to get lost and few turns to take long.
Except for the first mile and the turn around at mile three, all you had to do was run strait down the road. Piece cake. Cake by the Ocean!
While the race was uneventful I did run a first, the exact race distance.
Running the Hangover Classic
I got to the race nice and early and had a chance to talk to the timing folks. We had a few laughs and then I had to let them get back to work.
The sun kept my car warm and I read a newspaper. I enjoy reading words on paper, but never seem to have the time anymore.
Since I was 100 yards from the start I waited until 11:20 to head for the start.
The Atlantic wind blew down Broadway and made me anxious to start running.
As I looked around, the crowd looked a little thin. Maybe it was my imagination, but there seemed to be more runners in previous years.
We started on time and I was in the first third of the crowd. I found it easy to navigate the few turns and quickly got up to speed.
By the time we wound through the neighborhood and hit mile one I had an 8:06 mile under my belt.
I hadn’t run in a week and was only shooting for 9 minute miles. I told myself that the first mile is the easy one and the last one can be a bitch.
As we headed out onto Route 1A I consciously tried to slow. I’d get behind someone and try to stay a few feet behind them.
But, inevitably I would end up passing. My legs were just surging and at times it felt like the wind was pushing me along.
We’re not talking blazing speed here, but my goal was nine-minute miles. Mile two came in at 8:17.
By this point in the race my legs were stretched out and I just had to decide what I wanted to do.
Around 2.4 miles the leaders started passing us on their way back to the finish. The first five were close but there was a gap between them and the next runners.
I started counting runners and the first woman was 20th at this point.
Just before mile three we took a right to loop through a neighborhood for the turn. We hit mile 3 on the loop and my mile was 8:24. Getting closer!
As we made the turn I thanked the volunteers at both corners. They must have been a little chilly.
Now we had the long slog back to the finish. Most of it was right down Route 1A and I settled in.
There were a few walkers in both directions.
I had been counting runners since the leaders passed us. I had estimated that there were at least 100 in front of me and probably 150 behind me.
As people passed me I had to do a little math.
Mile 4: 8:13, Mile 5: 8:24, Mile 6: 8:31
I didn’t really plan to kick and kind of felt I had left it all out there. This is the end of lazy season after all.
When I saw the six-mile sign on the ground I knew I had 0.2 to go and kicked it in. When I saw the three-mile sign I knew I had 0.1 to go.
As we made the turn and approached the finish I could not believe that the clock said 51:30, tick tock. I kicked in what I had left and managed an official finish of 51:28.1.
Not a blazing time, but not bad for a guy who’s spent most of the past ten days with a beer in one hand and a remote in the other!
I came in 108 out of 288 10K runners, so my estimates were pretty close. They had 10-year age brackets and I came in 24 out of 52.
2020 is off to a good start and I’m really looking forward to a great year of running and of life!
Run well my Friends and Happy New Year!