On Saturday I ran the US Air Force 10k at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton Ohio. The 10k was part of a full race weekend that included a 5k on Friday night, and a 10k, Half Marathon and Full Marathon on Saturday morning. I signed up for the 10k since it fit pretty well into my training plan for my fourth half marathon (in October) as a long run. My mom, brother and the hubby ran the 10k too, and my dad did the Half.
We left central PA on Thursday evening and broke the driving up and stopped part way. We made it in to Dayton and the Race Expo around 3pm on Friday.
Here’s a picture of everyone at the expo right before we picked up our packets. The expo was pretty good – we got lots of free stuff. I also signed up for the Pittsburgh Half marathon (in May 2012) while we were there – the price was super cheap ($65) and they offered a spibelt type of thing and a $20 dick’s sporting goods gift card for signing up at the expo. I knew I wanted to run it so I figured I might as well sign up then! The swag we got in the race bag was pretty sweet too – lots of food samples, a t-shirt (of course) and a running hat.
We woke up at 5am on Saturday for the race. Our hotel was super close but we had been warned to try to get there at least an hour to an hour and a half before race time (7:30).
I ate a bowl of granola with rice milk, drank a little water and got dressed. We sat in traffic for about 30 minutes getting onto the base – there were SO MANY CARS. But we parked and walked to the start line. It was dark and chilly (around 40 degrees) at this point.
So, the garbage bags came out!
I knew it would get warmer so I had my running skirt and a short sleeved shirt on underneath.
After we checked our bags, we said bye to my dad who was running the half that started an hour late and got in the start corral with the marathoners. They sang the national anthem, and then a B-1 bomber flew over our heads – it was so loud and so awesome. It definitely got everyone pumped up to race! A little after 7:30 we were off!
I tore of my garbage bag and ran with it for about a mile and a half until I found a garbage can.
I went into this race with the following goals 1. HAVE FUN, this is such a unique experience! 2. Beat 1:20:00 3. PR
I also went in knowing that I wanted to try out some run/walk intervals and see how I felt in a race environment doing it. So I set my garmin for 1 mile run/2 minute walk, repeating 7 times to get me to the finish.
The race course was pretty neat. We ran the first 3 miles with the marathoners which was pretty exhilarating and motivational. We started on base, snaked up a hill that was probably a mile and a half long total (ew) went off base a little bit and around mile 4 ended up back on base.
When I was at about mile 5 two more USAF planes did a fly over for the start of the half. I’m not sure what they were but they gave me a major boost for the last mile and a 1/2. I was feeling pretty good doing my intervals and found that my run pace was much faster than usual. I kept looking at my watch and saw I was on target to beat 1:20:00!
At mile 5.5 you start seeing the signs of the finish line. This race offers one of the coolest finish line experiences ever.
Then you turn the corner and run the last .25 or so underneath the wings of USAF aircraft. Talk about a rush!
So. Freaking. Cool.
My official time was 1:19:50! I thought that this was a PR but unfortunately after checking my last 10k time (from 1 1/2 years ago) it wasn’t by a few seconds. But it was a great race that I would run again in a heartbeat if it wasn’t so far from where I live.