Name of the race: Newport 10K
Where: Newport Town Square, Jersey City, NJ
Date: May 3, 2014
Time: 8:30 am
Distance: 10K (6.22 miles)
Entry free: $35; $2 for Newport residents
Swag: Technical t-shirt
Post-race Food: Beer and as for food, I’m not really sure because I left right away, but based on last year I’m sure there were fruit and bagels
Performance:Overall 324/1258; Gender 70/543; Age (F 30-39) 6/78
Weather: Around 60 F
The Newport 10K is an annual tradition for us. We like this race primarily because it’s hard to beat its location. The start/finish line is just a few blocks away from our building. The course runs by our building and we frequently run along the waterfront that is a part of the course. In short, this race has home field advantage written all over it for us.
I woke in the morning with a slightly scratchy throat. I hadn’t been training much, so although I really hoped to run a sub-48 10K, I wasn’t really counting on it. I would have been happy with a PR of any kind. Ben also hasn’t been training much, so neither of us knew quite what to expect. But we were happy to be going to this race because several of our friends were running.
The weather this year was warmer than last year. It was quite pleasant to be walking outside, which I worried a bit that it would mean that I would get hot during the race. I like to be cold before the start of the race. This year the temperature was very pleasant pre-race. Ever since Hurricane Sandy closed down our running store in Newport, we lost our private restroom. This wasn’t a problem because there were plenty of port-o-potties and a port-o-potty director who kept the lines moving efficiently. We had never seen a person directing which potties racers go to, but I highly recommend that every big race has one. He kept the lines of racers flowing and we only waited a few minutes. He was great!
The Newport 10K attracts a big crowd because of their several prize money and it’s the USATF-NJ’s Open Men’s and Women’s 10K Championship. This year over 1600 people registered and over 1200 people finished.
I lined up with my friends at the 8:00 pace corral. I quickly left them once we crossed the start line because they intended to run at a slower pace. I had no real plan except to see how many miles I could run at a 7:45 pace. Unfortunately because of the all buildings around Newport, my Garmin wasn’t able to connect to the satellites for several long minutes. Even though I started my watch several minutes before the start of the race, my Garmin finally connected when I was about a half mile into the course. The start of the race was quite crowded, so I used it to prevent myself from running too fast. I had no idea what my pace was because my Garmin hadn’t connected, so I decided to try to feel what a 7:45 pace might be. The Mile 1 clock read 7:55 when I ran by. I knew that several seconds had passed before I crossed the start line, so I figured I came quite close to a 7:45 pace. I was pleased.
The first mile goes by our building. It’s not a pretty part of town, but I like it because we get to go by where we live and usually I get to see Ben run by me in the other direction. This year because I’m running a lot faster, Ben wasn’t far enough ahead of me to get past the turn around point so see me before I entered the turnaround. The first mile was the best feeling mile for me.
The second mile has the steepest elevation gain of the course when we run up Newport Parkway. It’s a gentle incline, but all the Jersey City runners who are used to flat, flat, flat ground insist that we’re running up the Matterhorn in this section. I’m starting to feel a little less well and warm. I’m so happy when I feel a water station because I desperately wanted to pour water on my head. The water helps to cool me down.
The third mile is where we run through the pretty part of Jersey City. The long cold winter meant that the cherry blossom bloomed a lot later this year, so we ran under pretty cherry blossoms and past beautiful brownstones. People stood on the sidewalks and cheered for us.
I don’t remember much about Miles 4 and 5 except I was feeling even worse and I wished that it was over. I was hot. I felt like I was running lousy, except every time I looked at my Garmin, my pace was still under 8:00, so I wasn’t running as slowly as I thought I was.
Mile 6 was the second best mile for me psychologically. I knew it was almost over and it was the homestretch. A part of the last mile runs along the waterfront, which I always enjoy running. This year they changed the course so we don’t run along the waterfront as much as we used to in the past. I don’t know why they changed it. I really like running along the waterfront, which is more picturesque than running on the city streets. For Mile 6 I gritted my teeth and tried to pick up my pace.
One last final turn and I saw the arch signifying the finish line. I heard Ben cheering for me. I saw the time clock and knew a PR was out of the question, but I could still make it a sub-49. I scampered down with the crowd roaring the racers on.
I made it: 48:49.5. with 10 seconds to spare, I squeaked under the 49-min mark. In my post-race analysis, I was pretty excited to see that I came in 6th for my age group, especially since this is a big and competitive race.
I don’t really know what my mile splits are because my Garmin started late, but this is what I have recorded.
- 8:00 (for .5 miles)
NJ.com posted photos of Newport 10K here. No photos of me or Ben (unless I missed us), but I did see our friends in the photos.
Ben and I had to leave quickly after the race because we were driving up to Boston to go see family. It was a pity because our friends were meeting for brunch. It would have been fun to hang out with them.
It was a pretty good race for me. Ben had a slightly slow race for him because of a lack of training. We have another 10K this Saturday, so we’ll try to do better then.