Today we (myself, wife & daughter) ran the Towpath 1/2 Marathon and 10K.
This is the longest-running race for me. I started in 2002 with my first 5K. In 2003 I did a relay Marathon (there was no half). In 2004 I ran my first marathon (3:55) and repeated this for 2005 (3:45), 2006 (3:36), 2007 (3:42), 2008 (3:37). Last year I ran the half (1:32:16).
This year I also ran the half, in preparation for the Athens Marathon in 3 weeks. Liz decided to run the 10K in preparation for her Athens 10K. Lea thought it would be a good idea to run a 10K on 10/10/10. Here is Liz eager to go at the start line:
The race is point to point, starts downhill and then, after mile 3, it enters the Towpath. The surface of the Towpath is crushed limestone. This for me is slower than running in roads because of less friction, even though it is totally flat. Here is a picture from the Towpath section:
Mile splits: 6:39, 6:52, 6:54 6:59, 7:02, 7:06, 7:05. 7:05, 7:14, 7:17, 7:27, 7:29, 7:19, 6:30 (last .18 according to my Garmin). Looks like I slowed down progressively. I remember my legs hurting (quads) and struggling to keep a fast pace.
This is a minute and a half slower than last year. I compared the times and the difference in time is due to miles 9-13 where this year I slowed down to almost 7:30 min/mile, while last year I had kept a pace closer to 7:05-7:10.
The good news is that, like last year, I won first place in my age group! Here I am picking up my award (a nice framed print of the Towpath in Fall colors):
Liz (running the 10K) was also slower, compared to last year, 54:46 (last year she had 52:10, a PR that still stands). Unfortunately, she finished 4th in her age group (last year was first).
Lea ran the 10K in 1:02. This was a very good time for her, faster than the sum of her last two 5Ks. She said "I found out that I do better if I don't run at all!" (she is too busy with school to run during the week).
Anyway, the weather was nearly perfect (started at 50F and then warmed up nicely 70F) and we all had a good time. Liz is considering making this race her first Marathon in 2011. Here is a picture of the first place finisher of the Marathon, just before turning to the finish: