Saturday, July 28, 2007

Iron Girl 10K

If you ever need an example of how to run an event, then you should attend one of the Iron Girl races. I've been to Junior League Balls that weren't as polished and organized. At the start the event organizers spoke and said that since this was the inaugural event they hoped for 500-600 participants. Instead they had 1300. When your event more than doubles in size lots of things can become problems, but there wasn't any part of the event that was poorly done.

Race number pick up was quick; the start was organized; the course was well managed - those are the basics of any race. There were other things that made it exceptional. All the water was fresh bottled Arrowhead water - not the skunky water that sometimes shows up on courses. There were volunteers walking the course handing out Luna bars, band-aids and (thank you!) tissues. Every participant had her name printed in big letters on her race number - so as you looped past another racer you could call out support to them. I love cheering for people and I had a great time doing that.

The other thing that I really, really appreciated is that the entire course stayed open for all the participants. In a 5K/10K, most walkers pick the 5K option. That means, that when I'm finishing the 10K I'm near the end of the pack even if I'm walking a quick pace. Everything was still available - water stations, course munchies - everything. Lots of events start breaking down the aid stations well before the course time limit which leaves slower competitors/walkers without much support. There's nothing as disheartening as walking by an aid station that's already closed.

As I passed by someone on toward the end, I cheered her on a bit. She mumbled that this was her first ever finish. She looked tired - not as tired as I looked at the end of Rock and Roll Marathon mind you. As I walked by the last water station and the finish line, I told the volunteers that this was her first 10K finish. Those volunteers completely cheered her on. After the finish, I stopped to stretch and all of the finish line volunteers had made a tunnel for her to run through and get high fives. At the end of the race, there was a full catered breakfast from Elijah's. It was good stuff too: breakfast burritos, blintzes, pasteries, fresh fruit, yogurt, coffee and all types of juice. Plus, they had tables and chairs set up so you could enjoy the meal.

Before the race, I ran into some TNT Teammates from Rock-N-Roll marathon. They are taking this TNT session off, and it was nice to see them. They did the 5k, but waited to cheer for me on the 10K course. That was very, very sweet and I was so happy that they did that.

My knee wasn't entirely cooperative and it was an incredibly humid day, but I still felt that I had a good pace - 13:52/mile average and a faster pace for each mile. I'd like to be able to maintain about a 14 minute mile for the entire Nike Marathon event.

1 comment:

  1. wow - a 10k! I am so impressed. :) Sounds like it was realy fun.