This past weekend I decided to forgo my usual, flat as a pancake, 11 mile long run in favor of a hilly 15k race. Friends have spoken highly of the Kent City Ridge Run 15k and I've never run it before, so I figured, what the heck. It was after I registered that I looked at the course and elevation profiles. Probably should have checked these out first.
Kent City is about 45 minutes from my house and the race didn't start until 9:30, so I was able to sleep in a tiny bit. I had my usual breakfast and headed out to "Jill's Hills". The race starts and finishes at Kent City High School and the school was open before the race, so I had a warm place to wait. Good thing because it was about 16* Saturday morning.
I started out pretty strong considering the race has an immediate uphill as soon as you leave the school parking lot.
|Away we go!|
|Around mile 2|
|Mile 4.5 ish. The hill just kept going and going.|
I finished in 1:40:48 with a 10:49 average pace. I was 11/15 in my AG, 79/115 women and 179/217 overall. I'm not thrilled with those stats but I am happy with my final time. This was a training run and I didn't go balls out (unlike in previous years when I've run races as training runs) and my age group is crazy fast. For reference, the winner in my AG ran a 7:44 pace (finished in 1:11:58) and the top 5 women in my group were all sub-10 average paces. I didn't stand a chance to place much better than I did. My B goal was to finish in under 1:45 and my A goal was under an 11 m/m pace. I exceeded both of those goals on one of the hilliest courses I've ever run. Even with the hills, none of them were as bad as I thought they'd be and I think the varying terrain and ups/downs helped work different parts of my legs. The race also had a 5k and I saw lots of little kids getting ready to run that one with their parents, so it's a family-friendly event.
For such a small race, the Kent City Ridge Run was a class race. The intersections were all staffed by EMS and Firefighters from the local fire department and the cutest little girls were handing out water. While the roads weren't completely closed, the volunteers did a great job of keeping vehicles away from the runners. Chip timing for a race this small was also a very nice touch.