Saturday, October 06, 2012

Beautiful Morning for 15K - Scioto Miles Race Review

The race started and finished across the river from
downtown Columbus. It was beautiful!
It was a beautiful morning for a 15K race! The temps were in the high 40s, no rain, no wind -- and when the sun popped up over the downtown buildings, it was even more beautiful.

Me with, from the left, Nancy,
Deb and Pat.
The Scioto Miles race started in downtown Columbus along the river behind COSI. We had distance options of 5K, 10K or 15K. The Buckeye Striders walking club had members in all three distances, with most doing the 15K. (Several of us are training for the Columbus Marathon Half and this race fit perfectly in our training schedule.) I walked most of this race with Striders Pat and Nancy.

The course winds through both Genoa and Audubon parks and along the Scioto Mile. I don't spend much time downtown and had no idea how beautiful these parks are! It was fun seeing parts of our city as a visitor and being impressed.

The race is three loops through the parks, with the course shifting slightly for the second loop to give a full tour of the parks. The course is on streets, sidewalks, a wooden section over water, and asphalt and gravel walking trails. Because it is a loop, runners end up passing on the left. Parts are out and back, so there are athletes heading toward you in sections, too. Some of the trails are narrow, so we had to be single file sometimes to give other athletes room to get around us. Most of the runners were finished shortly after we started the third loop giving us more room. Despite the course being crowded, most of the runners were nice and many even cheered us on.

In a tree-lined section, there were leaves on the asphalt, which were a little bit slippery. Going down the slight hill here, we had to be careful.

We started out much faster than our goal pace -- we were at 13:05, but our goal was 13:20. I timed each mile (I always do, but I had a goal pace this race.), so it was when we hit the 7-mile marker that I realized there was not a 6-mile marker.We had one very slow mile at 13:49, the rest were mostly faster than our plan.

When we got to mile 9, Nancy and I tried to catch a woman walking ahead of us. As soon as we started to catch up, she started running and we couldn't catch her. Nancy was very fast and reached the finish line more than 10 seconds before I did. Pat started to lose steam and was about a minute behind us. 

Throughout, music was blasting from speakers in the starting area, which helped to keep everyone moving each loop. It was nice that the sound carried across the river so we could hear it on both sides.

The finish line was at the same place as the starting line, behind COSI. There were not many people at our pace, but the finish line was still up and there was still plenty of water, chocolate milk, bananas and granola bars left. There was so much chocolate milk leftover, we each took home half a gallon!

Technical shirts in women's sizes and
in a great color!
This was a well organized and beautiful race. Though the course was often too crowded, it was not so crowded as to be a problem for us. (I don't know what the runners thought about it.) The after food was not exciting, but it was fine. And the good thing is, there was plenty of it.

This race was the second of a two-part series. Everyone who signed up for both races received a shirt for each race and a backpack water carrier. (Like a Camelback.) I didn't do the first race. Still, the entry fee was reasonable at $35 this week and the shirt is nice!

Other than the course being a little bit crowded, I really liked this event! I think there could have been one more water stop, but it was not a huge problem. For people who were faster than us, it was probably the perfect spacing. The only other problem was that my "official" results has my finish time than a minute different from my watch and has Pat finishing ahead of me. I sent an email asking if it is possible they switched our results.

So, based on registration fee, quality of shirt and overall race experience, I would recommend this race! And if you are doing a fall marathon or half marathon, the timing couldn't be better.

By my watch, my finish time was 2:03:32. "Official" time was 2:04:29.
Mile 1 - 13:05
Mile 2 - 13:18
Mile 3 - 13:49
Mile 4 - 13:40
Mile 5 - 13:25
Mile 6 & 7 - 27:08 (13:34 each?)
Mile 8 - 13:14
Mile 9 - 12:54 (We purposely picked up the pace.)
Final 0.3 Mile - 2:55
Total 2:03:32 for an average of 13:15 to 13:16 per mile


Mark Sundstrom said...

Cindi -- I saw some of your race from my condo this morning and wondered which event it was. Enjoyed your writeup and I'm glad you enjoyed the trails. Since I live down here, these are the trails I run and walk almost every day and I really enjoy them.

Cindi said...

I'm glad you like the review.

When I travel to other cities I often think "Why doesn't Columbus have great parks like these?" I was so surprised to see that we do!

I wanted to get photos of the fish fountains, but I wasn't willing to slow down to take them.