On the first day of May, I headed south to Wachapreague, Virginia, for the Run for the Animals 10K. This small-town race that I’ve run several times offers both a half marathon and 10K, along with a noncompetitive 5K, and I decided to run the 10K to test my speed.
I have gotten much slower than I used to be over the years, and I had a particularly hard start to 2022 with my running, running some of my slowest races. I wanted to see if I could run a faster 10K than I did in 2020 or 2021. One of my running goals for 2022 is to beat my 2020 and 2021 times at two standard distances.
The time to beat was 1:04 and some change. I hoped to run sub-1:04. I’ve been working on my speed by running with the 11:30 Club and also doing a decent amount of additional running and yoga.
When I got to the carnival grounds where race festivities were held, I saw the Corner Bakery doughnuts. These are my favorite doughnuts, so even though I usually wouldn’t eat a doughnut before a race, I have done this before at this race and I was fine, so I did have one (a good choice, because most of them, including the kind I got, was gone afterward).
The course is rural, flat, and mostly an out-and-back except for the very end. I was happy to be able to keep up a consistent pace over the 6.2 miles. I’d tried run-walk intervals at the Salisbury Half Marathon, but for this shorter race, I kept up a consistent run and only walked a little bit when I got water at the water stop that was at the turnaround point.
It was a beautiful day for a run, and I felt good.
I mostly tried not to look at my watch and just checked at each mile, aside from toward the end, when I checked it a little more. I thought I was on pace, but then I saw the “Mile 12” marker for the half marathon later than expected — the two races had the same finish line. However, I ended up running through the finish arch with slightly under 6.2 miles on my watch.
I kept running to hit 6.2 on my watch and finished my run with a time of 1:03:35. I’d met my goal of beating my 10K times from 2020 and 2021. I’m still several minutes away from my times from 2019 and before, but it’s a step in the right direction.
After finishing the race, I hung out at the post-race party and enjoyed a full plate of food — a hot dog, chips, and pasta salad — along with ice cream from Island Creamery. The age group awards were metal awards featuring two cats. I love cats, and even though I knew I had not been super fast, I figured I’d wait around to see if I earned one of them. I didn’t, and that’s OK. I finished fourth of five people in the female 30-34 age group and 34th of 62 finishers in the 10K, according to the results.
Race swag included a green tech shirt and a beer tasting glass with the race logo on it.
This race is always a lot of fun, and it benefits animal welfare organizations serving the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Animal shelter supplies are also collected at the event. Learn more here.
Mile 1: 10:14
Mile 2: 10:22
Mile 3: 10:35
Mile 4: 10:14
Mile 5: 10:08
Mile 6: 10:03
Last part (.2): 1:57 (9:24 pace)
Time on watch: 1:03:35 / Time on results: 1:03:06