Bringing home the crab at the Mike Sterling 10K

Here I am with my crab meat door prize and the man the race is named after, Mike Sterling, on Saturday, Sept. 2, the day of the Mike Sterling Crab Derby 10K in Crisfield.

I didn’t go home with one of the cool crab pot awards this year at the Mike Sterling 10K, but I did win a pound of crab meat as a door prize — which is pretty amazing.

The Mike Sterling 10K, held during National Hard Crab Derby weekend in Crisfield, is a race I return to year after year. This is the 38th year of the race, and my sixth year participating (I think I can be excused for not participating since the first year 😉 ). It has grown over the years, and this year, I saw on Facebook that there was the largest turnout ever, with more than 100 participants between the run and the 5K walk.

I was just looking at the results from the race, which started at 7:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 2, and I was thinking I am glad I was able to take home the title of first female before the times got too speedy. This year, the first female had a time of 39:48. When I was the first female in 2013, my time was 51:11 (I think — that time is from memory, but I’m pretty good at remembering my times). 


While working at the first water stop (at about Mile 1.5 or so), Trent Swanson got this photo of me at a turnaround point.

This year, my time was 55:55 — faster than last year and a time I feel good about. My watch showed a 9:01 average pace.

Of the six years I have participated in this race, this year had by far the best running weather. It was cooler than the average summer day. Last year, there was a hurricane, and all of the other years have been very hot. As I’ve noted before, I always hold a special place in my heart for this race because I suffered heatstroke the first time I ran in this event, and the community has always been so awesome.

Although I believe there was some humidity on Saturday, the weather felt great compared to what we’ve been experiencing.

The first mile was fast. It seemed like the race got off to a fast start in general, and it certainly did for me: I ran the first mile in 8:33.

Although that mile was a little out of the ordinary, I was able to keep up a pretty consistent pace. I like the course, and it felt like it went by quickly for me. Runners start out near waterfront views, continue into neighborhoods and finish on the main strip, finishing through a crab pot arch.

The race is also extremely flat — my watch logged literally 0 feet of elevation gain.

Here’s the race shirt and my bib from this year’s Mike Sterling Crab Derby 10K. (Vanessa Junkin photo)

Since I’ve done this course several times, I’ve certainly gotten used to judging how far I have to go and things like that. I like the straightaway at the end, and I still had a good amount of power in that last mile. The last mile was my second-fastest of the race, at 8:47.

There were three water stops on the course, which I think is great for a time of year that’s usually very hot. Being extra cautious, I got water at two of the stops.

There were tons of door prizes that were given out. Among the other door prizes were a Smith Island Cake and a pair of running shoes from VP Shoes. I am friends with the race organizers, John and Kristy, and they do a great job.

At $25, this 10K is also a steal. There was also a deal this year where if you had five people sign up through a referral link, you could earn $20 back. I guess I didn’t get five people this year, but stay tuned, and I’ll let you know if I have a referral link next year!

It was also awesome to have so many members of the Eastern Shore Running Club out there! Several of us arranged to match in our club shirts for the race.


Here I am posing with fellow members of the Eastern Shore Running Club before the race start.

Crisfield is a great community for a race. I always feel welcome there!

Splits, according to watch: 

Mile 1: 8:33

Mile 2: 9:01

Mile 3: 9:19

Mile 4: 9:21

Mile 5: 9:18

Mile 6: 8:47

Last part (watch had .21): 1:40

Final Time: 55:55.9 (according to results – watch had 55:58).

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