Meteor 10K

Despite a much less than ideal warm up due to some unforeseen construction delays on the way to the race, I managed to run a really good 10K this weekend. My buddy Stephen, who I was staying with in Ann Arbor, was kind enough to drive me to the race and cheer me on and played superhero duty by dropping me off just in time so I could pick up my number and get in a few minutes of easy jogging before meeting him to hand off my sweats just before the race started. Knowing that I wasn't as warmed up as usual my plan was to be very conservative early on until I felt properly warmed up. I cruised the first mile in 6:00 doing the usual weave around all the people who went out to hard (it didn't help that the 5K and 10K started together). I picked it up slightly after that and rolled into the 2 mile mark at 11:54. Ideally I would have wanted to be more like 11:40 (as my pre-race goal was 36:00) but I didn't panic. I pushed it a little more the next 2 miles while holding back enough to blast the last 2 miles. That plan worked well as I hit the 4 mile mark in 23:38 before doing the last miles in 11:20. While I didn't quite hit 36:00, I ended up with 36:14, which I was extremely happy with.

While I was satisfied with my race performance, I wasn't satisfied at all by the race organization. When a major four lane road is under construction only a few miles from the race course, reducing traffic to one lane, shouldn't that be mentioned on the race website? Michigan Avenue was a zoo. Some of the people in the marathon and half-marathon ended up starting up to 15 minutes late (thank God for chip timing). Last year the 5K and 10K were on Saturday and the half-marathon and marathon were on Sunday. This year all 4 races were on the same day. There is not enough public parking in Dearborn to accommodate that and they certainly didn't rent more Porta Potties - a lot of guys were peeing in very public places!

Equally screwed up are the results. While the times are correct, currently there are a bunch of slower 5K finishers times mistakenly listed in the 10K results so while I think I know my age group result, the overall place is wrong. As of now, nationally ranked masters champions like Sam Torres (50-59 age group) and Doug Goodhue (60-69 age group) are listed as not winning their age groups on Saturday. I checked the names of some of the people ahead of them (the race website lists what races individuals registered for) and they were all 5K runners whose times got mixed into the 10K results! They did this last year too and it took a while for the results to get sorted out. Hopefully everything gets smoothed out.

A good idea might be to start the 5K at a different time and have it finish in a different location so that the overall results don't get so jumbled. Speaking of that the finish was kind of a zoo as the faster 10K runners had to weave around slow walkers. This isn't meant to be an elitist rant. I don't have any problem with anyone doing a race, but make it easy for everyone by not having finishers of one race get mixed in with people in another race. I felt like the race organizers were being greedy by trying to cram too many runners in too many races in an area that couldn't hold that many runners. At $31 for the 10K and much more for the marathon and half-marathon, I felt the runners deserved better.

On a positive closing note, the 10K course is awesome. It's scenic, virtually flat, and USATF certified. That's why I made the trip to do it. If the race organizers plan to do the four races in one day approach next year, I'll definitely give it a pass.

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