Riverside is the 4th of 4 races in the Lexus Lace Up running series. First was OC in Irvine, then Ventura, then Palos Verdes and finally Riverside. I registered for all 4 this year. I ended up skipping out on Ventura due to family commitments, but after running today, I ran the 10K at all three of the rest. In OC and in Palos Verdes I managed to win my age group, so today I was hoping to maintain the streak. I was also hoping to improve my time.
Comparing the course, Irvine should have been the fastest as it was a pretty flat course, other than maybe 6 underpasses. Palos Verdes was all hills. Riverside was in between.
The course started at Fairmount park which is next to the Santa Ana river trail in Riverside. It started with a climb up onto the bluff running on the streets east of the river. It did this for more than a mile before reaching the River Trail. At the trail, the 5k runners made a right and took the bike path back to the park with one last climb and then a drop at the end. The 10k runners made a left and added 5k of out and back on the bike path. The Half marathoners added 10 miles of out and back… with a loop at the end I believe.
They started the half at 7 and there were reportedly 700 runners entered. The 10k lined up immediately thereafter and we started at about 7:05. This meant that for about 3.5 miles I was catching and passing slow half marathon runners. I got off to a relatively quick start, considering the hill with a first mile of 7:23…. oh, in order to beat the other two 10k I needed to average about 7:23. I stayed to the left passing hundreds of half runners. I noticed the 3 hour pace group go by, then the 2 1/2 and the 2. Mile two, mostly downhill was 7:03. Somewhere after mile two there was a water table which I blew by. I caught Oscar and Dora Guttierez and Krysti Ruble walking and “chastised” them as I went by. At mile 3 (7:09), I started counting the 10k runners come back at me… 1 2, 3 (he looked around my age, uh oh..) 4 was a girl, 5, 6, 7 another girl, 8 (a young teen boy), 9 (the third girl)… then I was turning!
So starting the return trip I was in 10th place overall 7th guy. Having a woman out in front helped as she had a very fast turnover. I tried to match it. I envisioned that I had a tow rope tied to her and started pulling myself up. Mile 4 which was not going upriver was 7:14… still under pace… and I passed the young lady. All I could see in front of me was the long line of Half runners I had passed, mixed with the hundreds of 10k runners coming behind me. I had to stay on the right edge of the trail most of the time. I arrived at the intersection of the bike path where I had made the left… now there were hundreds of slow 5k runners (who had started 10 minutes after me) merging with me and heading my way. I had to call out, “on your left” lots of times. Mile 5 7:13 – nice. Mile 6 was running into the park, with that last little climb… 7:13. The final .2 was mostly down, it took me 1:19 for a 6:51 pace!
My official time was 44:10.8! This is the 8th fastest of the 25 10k races I have run. It is the fastest since 2012! Woo Hoo. (Click here if you want to see the entire list of races.. You could also find it by clicking the menu botton upper right and choosing race history) It turns out that the one guy who looked my age was a bit younger – 54 so I did indeed win my age group, placing 9th overall out of 349 finishers!!