Friday, August 10, 2012

Beach to Beacon 10K {Race Recap}

Last Saturday, I ran the 15th Annual Beach to Beacon 10K. It's taken quite a while to get this recap written! It ended up being a pretty warm day, to say the least. Temps were in the mid-80s with high humidity by the time it was over. While it was hot and humid the previous year, a lot of people thought it was worse this year. I didn't think it was, but given my performance, maybe it was. 

I rode down with Stacy, Jill, and Wade and we parked in South Portland to catch the shuttle into Cape Elizabeth to get to the start. They dropped us off a good half mile or more from the starting line, so we got quite the warm up in. I checked my bag and we hopped in a port-o-potty line and even had time for some stretching and relaxing before lining up. 

Everyone was responsible for self-seeding, so I tried to line up between the eight- and nine-minute-mile pace signs. I think for future races, they need to enlarge these areas a bit. There is corral fencing starting behind the nine-minute sign, so you have to get in before that. I walked up to where the eight-minute sign was, but there was no way I was going to squeeze in there. There was already a mob of at least fifty people or more outside the fence at this area. I headed back to where the fence started, but I couldn't even get in there. I was able to secure a spot right on the edge of the fence, so I was forced to seed myself between nine- and ten-minute miles. People were still forcing their way past to get into the mob, even though there was no room. Patience, people! 

Finally, we started moving, however we were so far back that no one ever heard a gun go off. It took a full three minutes to reach the starting line and that was when I pushed start on my watch. I was able to keep pace with a girl who was standing next to me at the start and I just followed her as she weaved through the crowd. Obviously, she was stuck in a slower pace group at the start too. It seemed much more congested this year than last and was a full two miles until I had some room. I know that I was stuck in a slower seed, but still I was passing people that were walking within half a mile of the start. I have no problems with walking, but seriously, I can't believe how many people are so rude to take up space of faster runners if you are going to be walking this soon into the race. Move to the back! One of my biggest pet peeves. 

There were water stops at every mile and I skipped the first one. I didn't feel too hot yet, and usually skip the first water stop. First mile split - 8:19. Slower than I was hoping for to PR, but it was as fast as I could go with the crowd. I did take water at mile two, but only a sip and dumped the rest down my back. Mile two split - 8:35. I let go of hopes for a 10K PR given the start and the heat, it just wasn't going to happen today. I was completely okay with it. 

I was still feeling good at the halfway point. I did walk through the water stop, and each one hereafter, and grabbed two cups - one to drink and one to dump down my back. Mile three split - 8:37 (about a 38-second cushion for a course PR). 

It is a beautiful course to run with quite a lot of shady parts, but the final two miles are the hardest with a few hills. I was still going strong holding onto hopes of a course PR at the mile four water stop, hitting a split of 8:32 (49-second cushion). And then it went downhill, my performance, not the course.

I found myself walking the hills. I hated doing it, but the heat was taking it's toll. It was harder to breathe, my legs were starting to feel fatigued, and I was fighting back nausea. Mile five was on a hill and was where photos were being taken, so I have my very first race picture of me walking.

I am still holding a cup of water here. (Photo courtesy Maine Running Photos)

Mile five split - 9:15. I'm still ahead of a course PR, but my cushion has dwindled to only 16 seconds.

Another hill and more nausea. Quite a few people are getting medical assistance on the side of the road. I entered the park and heard my name. I look over to see Reach the Beach teammate, Andy, cheering. This gave me a boost and I powered up the final hill only to be hit with another bout of nausea. Then I see Jen and Ward and head over to give her a high five and try not to puke on their shoes. Mile six split -  9:34. Argh... I somehow power it in for 1:33 on the last .2 and my second Beach to Beacon is complete. I missed a course PR by 20 seconds.

Under the arrow - at least I'm running in this one. (Photo courtesy Maine Running Photos)

I found Wade, Joe, and Jess (who finished way ahead of me), on the sidelines. The first thing they say, "you're not even sweating." I sure felt like I was, but was actually quite dry. I couldn't believe that I was dehydrated given all the water I was drinking two days prior and at four out of five water stops during the race. 

I picked up my medal. (So excited that they did medals this year! My first one for a 10K.)We got food, met up with everyone else (who totally rocked their races), took some pictures, and saw that the lines to get on the shuttles back to our cars were crazy long, so we walked the 2.5 miles back instead. I did almost 10 miles that day with all the walking before and after!

Me, Stacy, and Jill...just in case you can't read that on our bibs :-)
Joe, Jess, Me, Stacy, Jill, Wade
Mizuno represents! 

I'm so glad that Jill drove too, since we got to ride with the top down on the way back. All in all, a great race, I'll just have to do it again next year to get that course PR.

Final standings - 54:26, 8:46 m/m, 2347 out of 6107 overall, 109 out of 452 in age group (35-39)

Photos courtesy of Jen Boudreau unless otherwise noted.


  1. I was supposed to do this race this year, but my husband had a trip that got in super late so we were unable to make it from NH. Maybe next year!

    The heat was really bad that day and it is so hard to predict how your body will react to it. To come within 20 seconds of your PR on a day like that is awesome!

  2. Good job Carrie! You did awesome on one hot heck of a day!

  3. I was so happy to be there to cheer you one and be there at the end for you! Yes - you have to run it again - because you will beat that PR. So proud of you!!!

  4. great job despite the heat/nausea! it sure was hot that day, and i saw you too (i was with andy). i heard that the course was more crowded this year than ever before, which is discouraging for future years (especially if they increase the field any more...)
    so whens the next one?! :)


Thanks for your comments!