Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Race Report: ALARC Legends 10K

On Friday evening, I received an e-mail from Kris, the race director of the ALARC Legends 10K/5K:

Hi Richelle!
Steve Stenzel gave me your email and said you may be interested in running in our race tomorrow. I know it's late notice but someone that won a free entry from Steve's giveaway is now injured and can't run. Email me back or simply ask for myself or my husband Mark if you arrive tomorrow so we can get your entry comped.

After discussing with future hubs the pros and cons of doing the race, along with figuring out how I'd incorporate the race into my long run, I decided to do it and e-mailed Kris.

Mark picked me up at 6:30 Saturday morning and we headed over to Deephaven Elementary School, where the race started.

The ALARC Wall is a staple at the Twin Cities Marathon.  It served as our finish line.
The Wall and results tent
In case you want to know what ALARC means...
I asked for Kris at the registration table and a volunteer found her for me.  Kris got me signed up for the race and gave me my goodie bag.

I was really happy that race participants received a Headsweats visor instead of a race shirt.  I have way too many race shirts at home, and I really liked the visor.  Also included in the goodie bag were coupons and a pair of Fitsok.  Love those socks!

The rising sun and clear skies made the temps warm up fast, so I ditched the arm sleeves I was planning to wear and also changed into a pair of Mizuno running shorts.

Pinning on my bib number before ditching the sleeves... strange expression on my face!
I went for a 1.1-mile run at an easy pace to warm up my legs and also to start getting in my eight planned miles for the day.

After listening to announcements, the 10K runners started.

"Ready... Go!"

Starting out all smiles!
It was a small race, so I reached my desired pace in a few minutes.  The 5K runners started after we did.

Most racers opted for the 10K
About one mile in, we were running on a gravel trail that was part of the Minnetonka Trail system.  For some reason, I felt like the trail was slowing me down, but when I looked at The Red Dragon, I saw that I still had a good pace going.  Hmm… must have been my imagination.  The best part of the race was the scenery.  The course was beautiful and mostly flat.  The trail system ran along a portion of Lake Minnetonka, and we also ran through some tree-lined neighborhoods housing multi-million dollar homes.

I was treating this race as a glorified training run, not a PR race, but I did want to keep a faster-than-8:30-per-mile pace going.  However, it seemed like I was putting in a lot of effort to keep that pace going.  My legs didn’t seem rested enough from Wednesday’s hill workout or the cumulative effects of my strength-training workouts that week.  Oh well.

Sometime after mile 3, I came across a guy wearing VFF Bikilas.  He had passed me early on in the race and was looking strong, but now he was struggling.  I asked him how his feet felt, and he said they were sore.  He said it had been awhile since he’d run a longer distance race in his Vibrams, and his calves really hurt.  Poor guy!  I wished him good luck and continued on.

Future hubs was at the finish cheering on the runners that were completing their races.

First 10K finisher
This little guy just finished the 5K
His sister was hot on his trail!
At mile 4 of the race (mile 5.1 at that point in the morning for me), I opened up my strawberry-banana Gu (thanks, Marlene!).  I really liked that flavor.  I consumed it slowly, taking a little bit at a time.  Unfortunately, there were no water stops for the second half of the race to wash down the Gu.  There was one water stop during the first half, and it was during the out-and-back portion, so the 10K runners hit it twice.  I stopped both times, but I wish there would have been a water stop later in the course.

My 1.1-mile warmup had been on the last portion of the course, so once I reached a particular bridge, I knew that I didn’t have that much farther to go.  I focused on keeping the pace and maintaining good form, which I had been focusing on throughout the race this time, not like Stillwater.

I had been trailing two of the older guys you see in the pictures above (the yellow singlet and the guy wearing the white hat) the second half of the course.  It was good mentally for me to chase them, even though I didn’t pass them.  I don’t think they would have let a young whipper-snapper like me chick them!

Soon, the finish was in sight.  Stay strong, Richelle!

There were no timing chips, just an old-school finish chute where volunteers ripped off the bottom tag from the bib numbers.  Even though Mark’s photos showed that I had finished just under 51 minutes, a few more seconds were added to my time, probably because they waited until I was completely through the chute.  I would have been upset if I were going for a PR, but I wasn’t so I didn’t really care.

Official finish time: 51:12
Average pace: 8:14/mile
Overall place: 38/87
Gender place: 8/38
Division place: 2/12 (20-29 age group)

After finishing the race, I gulped down some water, then went for my 1.1-mile cool-down run.  Gosh, my legs felt tired!  Once I returned, Mark and I headed into the cafeteria where volunteers were serving a pancake breakfast for the runners.

I'm not immediately hungry after a race, so I'm glad the pancakes were small.
We sat through a presentation honoring two new inductees into the Legends Hall of Fame, then it was time for awards.  I won a certificate for finishing in second place in my age group… sweet!  I’ve won a few 5K age group awards, but never a 10K award.  I was excited!

Me holding my age group certificate and door prize
Receiving my door prize.  Mark didn't take a picture of me receiving my certificate.
 They had a pretty interesting way of choosing the winner of the grand door prize.

Heads or tails?
This was a fun race and I’m thankful for the opportunity to have participated in it.  I hope to do it again next year.

The swag: lots of coupons, along with the visor and running socks
Don’t forget about my giveaway!

Future hubs is training for his first duathlon in August.  He would appreciate any advice you have to give.  Check out his blog HERE.


  1. yay, Richelle!! congrats on the AG award!! Looks like a great race. I too, always feel like gravel slows me down but when in reality it isn't! way to tough it out girl on tired legs!! congrats.

  2. 2nd place - and such a FAST time -I'm in such awe of your awesome running-ness (yeah, I can make up words just like that). You're just so upbeat and you just seem so happy. I'm thrilled for your AG award and your wonderful performance in the race. Nice swag indeed!!! Great job!!!!!

  3. I love that you seized the opportunity to race on such short notice! Plus you did so well! Congrats on the AG place!

  4. I love that you seized the opportunity to race on such short notice. Congrats on the AG place!

  5. "Heads" or "tails" - that's cute!

    You ran such a strong race! Congrats on the AG placement too!

    Glad the Gu came in handy, but I would have been suffering with no water in the second half. Yikes!

  6. Congrats on your age group finish! I like Strawberry Banana GU a lot, mostly because it doesn't have caffeine.

    To answer your question, I have read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. I didn't like it. The premise was fine and it started out funny, but I thought it was basically the same joke over and over and that the author didn't have the writing skills to back up the idea through an entire book. Also, I'm not a Jane Austen purist, but I'll admit that the idea of Elizabeth Bennet biting the head off a zombie off (or whatever it is she does) did get to me a bit. I've heard there's a movie in the works and I think it has the potential to be one of the rare cases in which the film is better than the book. If done well, of course. Oddly enough, I felt that way about The Jane Austen Book Club--much better as a movie.

  7. You did great overall and in age group! I would love socks in a goodie bag. Yeah, I also have way too many race shirts. I am actually keeping them in a bag now until I have enough for all the kids in my class.

  8. You are on the podium: 2nd!!! And a with very good finishing time.
    You look very fast, in the second pic both the feet are off the ground.
    Fortunately now the race shirts are technical, so we can use them for our workouts.

  9. Hey!! You won in my "Whats in a Name" contest/giveaway!!

    Please email me sariah8 at gmail dot com so I can send you your socks!!!


  10. I like the idea of the visor and the socks. I ran a race where I thought we were only getting a shirt, but then they handed us backpacks and inside of that we found water bottles and socks! Sweet! (I really hate paying for good socks, so I love a chance at free ones!)

    Congrats on a great race! I can't even run 5 miles in the time it took you to do your 10K. A nice job on your award. Yippee!