Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the Tim Kennard River Run through the Eastern Shore Running Club’s sponsorship of the event.
I always look forward to the Tim Kennard River Run, and as always, it was a great race. This was my seventh year running it, and I actually had my slowest time — six years I have run the 10-mile race and one year I ran the 5K. However, it’s always fun to run this race, which is usually my first of the year (it wasn’t this year), and see a bunch of friends. It’s held in the city where I live, Salisbury, and I’m also friends with the race directors.
Race weekend started on Saturday, March 4, when I was at the Eastern Shore Running Club table at Evolution Craft Brewing Company for the packet pickup. I’m the club secretary, and it was fun to sign new members up, sell club shirts and chat. I also picked up my bib and the race shirt, which I really like. The time went by quickly.
I knew going into the race that there was no chance of a personal record (I wonder if my 2012 time of 1:19:42 may hold as a PR for life, but I’m not giving up yet!), but I still wanted to see what kind of time I could run. I had hopes for possibly finishing under an hour and 30 minutes, but after doing two miles recently trying to be fast — in a 9:10 pace — I figured it wouldn’t be possible to hold a faster pace than that for 10 miles.
It was a cold morning. I’m not sure of the precise temperature, but it was about mid-20s at the start. I wore my Baltimore 10-Miler jacket over a long-sleeve tech shirt, along with running tights and gloves. I also wore a head wrap and the XX2i Optics France2 sunglasses I’ve been testing for BibRave. They are great, but I think between the head wrap and sunglasses, not everyone recognized me on the course!
We started the race at 9 a.m. Sunday, March 5, and my first mile would turn out to be my fastest: 9:21, according to my watch. I had a feeling during the race that I’ve had before — I didn’t really feel like I could go much faster, but I also didn’t feel exhausted.
Although it was one of my slower 10-mile races, it seemed to go by quickly — something I’ve noticed. It seems that the slower I go in a race, the faster it seems to go by. Maybe it’s because I’m not focusing on beating a goal, or speed, or pain. An exception would be the Algonquin 50K, because that certainly felt long, but that was nearly eight hours of running and walking.
This 10-miler wasn’t my slowest — that was the extremely hot Bottle & Cork 10 Miler last year. It was just a few seconds per mile slower than my run at the Rehoboth Seashore Half Marathon in December.
This one was cold, but certainly not unbearable. I actually took my gloves off at about mile 1.5 because I was starting to feel warm, and I left them off for the rest of the race.
I made my way through the familiar course, stopping and walking at the water stops but not having to stop to walk at any other times. For some reason, I felt like I noticed every small hill. It’s really not a hilly course — this is Salisbury — but it felt somewhat hilly to me, and I’ve run these roads many times.
As I ran, I kept track of my watch, and I continued to be under a 10-minute mile average, something that’s easy to track because of the round number. That kept me motivated to keep up my speed. I was pleasantly surprised to see how consistent I was throughout the race. According to the Chronotrack results, my average pace was 9:47 for the first half and 9:48 for the full race. I don’t recall a race in which I’ve ever been so consistent.
The course was well-marked and easy to follow. From the start line at Salisbury University, runners head into neighborhoods before heading down Riverside Drive to downtown Salisbury and back up Riverside to the university. The roads and course are very familiar to me, as I mentioned, and I knew about when to expect the mile markers.
There was also a good amount of music throughout the course, which was fun.
I had brought some Clif Shot Bloks with me, and I decided that I’d eat a few of them at the water stop that was near Mile 6. I didn’t anticipate them being almost as hard as rocks. It took some real effort to chew them, and I walked rather than ran as I ate them.
I tried to pick up the pace toward the end, and my last mile was my second-fastest, at 9:29. As I was about to cross the finish line, I heard the announcer say my name and hometown, which was cool.
My finish time was 1:37:56, a 9:48 pace.
I met up with my friends Veronica and Taylor at the finish and Veronica and I continued into Maggs Physical Activities Center on the Salisbury University campus for post-race festivities. There were plenty of food options, and I picked up some chili, half a bagel with cream cheese, a banana, a Rice Krispies treat and a bottle of water. We were able to meet up with some other friends and my boyfriend Mike inside.
I usually end up winning something in my age group, but as always, it depends who shows up. I thought the women’s prizes of engraved bracelets were cool, but I wasn’t fast enough to win one. Although I didn’t expect to win something, my age group was especially fast this year. Third place in my age group got 1:17:10. (Last year, I got second place in the female 25-29 age group with a time of 1:32:52.)
By no means is running for me all about speed, and I enjoyed being able to see so many of my friends and fellow Eastern Shore Running Club members out there on Sunday. However, it’s starting to annoy me a little bit that I’m not as fast as I used to be. In order to perform well at the Run for the Animals 10K and the Crystal City Twilighter 5K, which I’ll be running for BibRave, I know I need to work on my speed work.
Learn more about the race and the causes it supports at www.TimKennard.org.
Mile 1: 9:21
Mile 2: 9:28
Mile 3: 9:41
Mile 4: 9:44
Mile 5: 10:11
Mile 6: 10:30
Mile 7: 9:42
Mile 8: 9:53
Mile 9: 9:57
Mile 10: 9:29
9:48 pace/10.00 miles
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Updated 3/9: Check out my BibRave review for this race here. (I also made some other small changes to this blog post after its original posting.)