Filled from the spirit of my record-setting blog traffic last week due to the Mike Wardian interview (thanks again, Mike!), I descended on Manhattan to try my hand at another 10K race. I didn't really get a chance to talk about it too much because of the interview, but I had been looking forward to this race for a while, mostly because this is the race where I had completed my first ever 10K last year. It holds a sentimental place in my mind, and I love the free Tallgrass beer at the end of the run. A cooler morning than we had been getting here in Kansas was waiting for me, but it was going to be humid.
I've been doing well in my workouts, but I was going to be held back slightly by my recent blood donation. I'm an enormous supporter of blood donation, and I like to donate when I can, but there is no denying that it takes away a nice percentage of your oxygen carrying capacity. Anyways, between that and the humidity, and the enormous hill on Anderson Avenue towards the end of the race, the prospects of me setting a personal record were not great, but I was determined to give everything I had in order to get as good a time as I could. I was on pace through the first 4 miles, but as expected, the hill in the middle of mile 5 slowed me up considerably. I tried to make up the time on the back of the hill, but it wasn't enough to even it out. I wasn't disappointed with my time, but an average mile time of 7:56/mile is not going to get me to Boston. I was happy with the improvement from last year.
It appeared that the crowds were a little bigger this year than last year, and it turned out to be the case. Last year, just over 280 people ran this 10K from Tallgrass Brewery to the Manhattan Running Company, and this year's version of the race had more than 400 people show up! Tremendous growth for the fellas over at MRC. This brings up a point that I've discussed with Sparks on a regular basis: Is running, and, more specifically, running races, becoming more popular? The addition of nearly 140 people to this race would seem to indicate that yes, people are getting into running in a way that has not been seen since the 1970s. But why? Health benefits? Competition? Low equipment fees? Who knows? Hospital Hill set a record this year for competitors, and I anticipate the KC Marathon and Half Marathon will also achieve higher numbers as well. I wonder, how many of you have signed up for a race for the first time this year? What did you think? Anyways...sort of a tangent, I know, but it appears that more competition is coming to these runs, which is great. Everyone needs to be pushed to their limits once in a while. Until next time...later.