I fueled up with some water and a Corner Bakery doughnut before heading under the new Run for the Animals 10K arch to begin a 6.2-mile journey in Onancock, Virginia.
It was a journey I was hoping might be in the 55-something range or faster. I’ve been trying to break my age group course record at this race for the 10K since 2016 — after I realized it was a reasonable goal. The April 15 race was my fourth year participating in the event; the first year I ran, I ran the half marathon.
Unfortunately for me, I’m now going to have to wait until a future age group to have a shot at breaking the record, as this year’s overall winner brought my age group course record to 43:10. That is an amazing time — but it is not a fathomable time for me personally.
Even though I ended up with a time of 58:46 — slightly under a 9:30/mile pace — at Sunday’s race, I had a lot of fun and got to eat a lot of great food. Particularly because of the heat, I certainly was not unhappy with the time.
The previous course record for my age group, female 25-29, had been 53-something. Even though I figured it was unlikely that I’d be that fast, I figured I would see what I could do. It worked for the first mile — I ran an 8:30. However, after that, I couldn’t keep up that pace.
I’d run a test 5K on my own recently and done that at an 8:46 average pace, but it wasn’t as hot for that as it was Sunday.
Pretty much immediately, it felt hot, particularly in the in-town sections. There is an out-and-back on a road that seemed a little less hot, probably because of the shade. I made stops for water and I knew the heat would affect my pace.
I ran the first three miles in barely under 27 minutes, but my next two miles were in the 10s because of my water stops and brief walks. Once I got closer to the end of the race, I picked it up, running a 9:09 as my last full mile. There was someone in my age group ahead of me, but I didn’t have the energy to catch her. I was near a man at the end — and even though he was clearly not in my age group since age groups are separated between men and women — I think we helped get each other going a little faster at the end; I know he helped me.
I ended up getting second in my age group (the overall winner was in my age group, but she was excluded from the age group results) and received a unique trophy. Finishers also received a medal.
Other swag included a blue tech shirt and a mug. I particularly love the mug — unique swag is great! There were so many color choices for the mugs that my friends and I had trouble picking which one to get. I decided to choose a pink one.
After the race, I enjoyed spending time with my friends, Veronica and Lynn, and eating, including more doughnuts (if you haven’t had Corner Bakery doughnuts, you need to) and fried chicken. There’s a large spread of food at this race that also includes various types of breads, chips, pasta salad, beer and more.
The race is also affordable; the earlier rate is $40 for any distance. Plus, runners get to aid Eastern Shore of Virginia animals through their race entries and optional fundraising.
It’s not often that I go to the Eastern Shore of Virginia, but I really enjoy making the trip for this race.
Mile 1: 8:30
Mile 2: 9:10
Mile 3: 9:16
Mile 4: 10:19
Mile 5: 10:13
Mile 6: 9:09
Last part (watch had .26): 2:07
Total time: 58:46 (watch had 58:47)