Sunday, September 18, 2011

Orange County 10K - Recap... what $15 buys you in a race

I signed up for this race through Active Schwaggle - $15 10K? Yes, please. But I was pretty unimpressed with the lack of information and organization - the website was weird, I couldn't see a course map, whine whine. But for $15, chip timed, meh.

Conveniently.... this also coincided with Racing with Babe's 2nd Annual Rock Your Socks Off 5K/10K!

We got an email from the race director about a week prior, with directions to where the start line would be, the time, packet pick up etc. There was mandatory packet pick up at a local Road Runner Sports, which I found bizarre - there were no bibs, only chips, so I'm not sure why there wasn't day of pick up, but whatever.


For the first time, ever, The H was planning on running with me. He's been out for awhile with some achilles thing, but it was finally feeling better, so he decided to try to run. I assumed that he'd kill it, and be waiting at the finish line for me forEVER.

Saturday morning, 6:30, we show up in Huntington Beach at the location in the race director's email, and.... there are some people there, but certainly nothing that looks like a race. We eventually decide to walk down the boardwalk, about .25 mile, and.... oh, look. The race director gave out the wrong location. Oops, he says.

Right. $15.

Pretty small crowd, a lot of local runner clubs out...

...which was good, because the race was on a pretty narrow bike path, and the course was not closed. It was also a straight out and back, so.... there was some congestion once the leaders started reaching the turn around, since we were now sharing the path with all of the runners, plus bikes.

I posted last week that I was going to be trying out intervals while racing, just because... I planned for my speedwork to be during the race, and it worked okay. It was pretty tough to do 400's steady between people, but it wasn't that bad. It was kind of fun, and I suppose at the very least, I did get my intervals in.

There was one water station, at mile 2 (or 4 after the turn around), but they ran out of water early on. Thankfully, the weather was perfect - 65 and cloudy.

I had some GPS troubles right at the start, so it took about .25 for my location to be picked up, before I started my GPS at all..... But we hit the turn around point exactly at 3.13 on my GPS. I should have realized then that something was amiss in the measuring of the course, but at the time, I was super impressed with how accurate it was. Ha.


The course ran straight down the Huntington Beach boardwalk, turned up the Santa Ana River trail....


Then back down to the boardwalk...

Photobucket tangents, straight path aside from the one turn.So by the time I hit mile 5, I started to realize how far off the course measurement REALLY was.The course was marked with mile markers in chalk, and when I saw mile 5, my GPS was reading that we were at mile 5.25... and remember, I started my GPS late....Clock time when I finished was 1:07:xx. I don't even remember what it was, exactly, because I was pretty pissed about how LONG the course was. When I crossed the finish line, my GPS read 6.3.They were also out of water for the finishers. Pet peeve. HOW?Whatever, at least we got....


a ribbon?Oh, and a tree...


Right. I wonder how my apartment complex would feel about the addition of a Red Maple to their landscaping.

This is, apparently, what $15 buys you.

Anyway, according to my GPS, I finished the 10K in 1:03:xx. I'm pretty annoyed I don't have an official time, and results haven't been posted (shocking). When I got home, I mapped out the course, from where I know we started, to where my GPS shows we turned around, and the resulting mileage?6.61 miles. Longest 10K I've ever seen..... How you manage to mis-measure a straight out and back 10K with no tangents, I'm not really sure.

On the bright side, I did find that I really enjoyed the smaller race - if the organization had been better. I know I'm complaining a lot, particularly for a $15 race, but... IMO, when you put on a race, you have a responsibility to provide what you advertise. Namely, a legit course.

My pace, according to Daily Mile, was also significantly better than my previous 10K, so I'm really pleased with that... in 2 months, I went from a 10K pace of 10:30, to 10:12 yesterday.

I felt really good the last half, and tried to pace with the H, but.... in some strange turn of events, he was holding me back. I ended up around mile 5 taking off without him. That has never, ever, ever happened before (and in fairness to him, probably never will again :D).

I also ran my FASTEST mile ever... 8:38. In mile one. Because I don't know how to keep myself from going out too fast the first mile. Someday, I will learn. My last mile was my second fastest of the day, too, which felt pretty good.

So, final verdict: Despite the complaining, I might do this race again if it's offered next year. $15 for chip timing, I dig. And I know to just not count on it as a real 10K, but if it fits in my schedule, it might be fun as a training run. I live so close to the beach, but would never go and run the path, and this was a good kick in the pants to do it.

As an FYI, I believe the folks who put on this race, are also putting on the inaugural Hollywood Half next spring. I'd be wary of that race, after seeing how this one was managed.


  1. great job!!! Sorry about the cheap race. The long course would have annoyed me too! And way to finish strong!! :) (and to beat the hubby. My Amanda is 10 and all she cares about in each race I do is how many "boys I beat).

  2. No bib?! and a ribbon?! Super impressed about the fastest mile... I don't know if I could do that if I were chased by a bear!!

    I've done some of these smaller races and they never seem very organized... I'm sure some are, just none that I pick :)

  3. I've never received an award for a 10k.

  4. I can't see photos at work, so I can't comment on them. :(

    You are sooo speedy!! My fastest mile ever was 8:56 I think. And I only ran one mile. And I was not sober. And your overall time is way fast - especially since it looks like you didn't do a 10K, you did a Quarter Marathon! Go you!

  5. no shirt? no bib? a tree in a box? maybe you can added a longer string to that ribbon to make it "medal" length!

    8:38?!? hello speedy pants! i knew you would kill it. just think of the possibilities on a better course???


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