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Tilden Tough Ten - Run10 Mile

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Berkeley, California
United States
Lake Merritt Joggers and Striders
Total Time = 1h 39m 35s
Overall Rank = 187/255
Age Group = 30-39
Age Group Rank = 21/31
Pre-race routine:

I signed up for this race on a bit of a whim. I'd done it in 2009 and had a terrible race, mostly because it was HOT that day (and the race organizers ran out of water, yeesh). So I wasn't too eager to do it again. But I needed to do a "long" run on Sunday and I had a lot of plans in the afternoon -- and I hate getting up early to run, especially on a weekend. So I was hoping the $35 entry fee and a race T-shirt would do the trick. It worked!

I woke up about 90 minutes before the start time and had a Kind bar and a cup of coffee. I got to the start at 7 a.m., and was pleased to find two friends there -- a current co-worker (whom I'd sort of talked into doing the race too) and a former co-worker (who, it turns out, signed up this year in part because he remembered me talking about it, heh).

My plan was to not *race* this race, but treat it like a training run. I figured even if I took it very easy I'd blow my previous time out of the water. I hung out with my friends until a few seconds before the start, then I moved to the back of the pack, where I knew I'd be running. This race draws out the super fasties (probably because the "normal" runners like me are all in San Francisco messing around with Bay to Breakers).
Event warmup:

Applied lots of sunblock.
  • 1h 39m 35s
  • 10.15 miles
  • 09m 49s  min/mile

I started nice and easy and felt fantastic for the first five miles at least. The race organizers seemed to have learned their lesson from the 2009 water debacle, because there were a total of six water stations (three stops that you hit on the out and the back), plus random bikers roaming the course with extra water in between stations. I made sure to drink at every single water station, plus I hit up one or two bikers -- I DID NOT want a repeat of 2009, when I felt miserable by the end.

Unfortunately, the race organizers found new and creative ways to screw up -- somehow they managed to not have any person or thing to mark the turnaround. Ha! I was far enough in the back (plus, I actually needed to run well over 10 miles for the day) that I found this more funny than problematic, but man, the front-runners were pissed, and I don't blame them. My coworker ran at least a mile over, and my other friend ran about half a mile over; my coworker's son, who should've finished top 10, got lost entirely with another group and ran at least two miles over. Yikes.

I found out about the mistake at about mile 4.5, when large groups of returning runners were yelling at those of us still heading out that there was no turnaround marked. By the time I got to what was roughly the halfway, someone had left an empty bottle to mark the spot, and a runner had generously stopped and was guiding everyone else. Nice guy! Although I think he was just having a rough race and looking for an excuse to rest.

The next mile was tough because it's lots of very, very steep uphills. I managed to "run" the worst hill, which I was very pleased about (I'd walked it in 2009, and I passed probably five or six walkers this time). From there, it was a pretty easy run the rest of the way back, although I'd forgotten that the return run is most uphill -- even when it looks flat, it isn't. But I ran all the rest of the hills no problem -- again, much better than 2009 -- and I had plenty left for a nice little kick to the finish.
What would you do differently?:

Race it. Although if I'd raced it, I would've been super pissed about the turnaround fiasco. Otherwise, nothing. I was 12 minutes faster this year than 2009, and while I'm sure the heat in 2009 was a huge factor, I'm still pleased.
Post race
Warm down:

I found my friends at the finish and let them fill me on the details about the turnaround screw up. I drank several cups of water and ate some orange wedges and half a banana. Then I went home and napped, and ate a lot, and went for a short run later that afternoon.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Not racing. Also, it was hot again, but not as hot as 2009.

Event comments:

I really want to give these guys a good review because I like the group and I think this is a fun race. But after running out of water in 2009 and then not marking the turnaround this year, I have to say, their track record kind of sucks.

Last updated: 2012-05-28 12:00 AM
01:39:35 | 10.15 miles | 09m 49s  min/mile
Age Group: 21/31
Overall: 187/255
Performance: Average
I don't normally include the "extra" mileage recorded by the GPS, but since the race organizers screwed up and didn't mark the turnaround, I figure my own data is worth noting this time.
Course: Hilly out-and-back -- about two-thirds on paved, vehicle-less roads and a third on dirt trails.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Just right
Organized? No
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? No
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 3

2012-05-28 8:00 PM

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Berkeley, Calif.
Subject: Tilden Tough Ten
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