This morning I ran the Anaheim Hills Firecracker 10K. I’ve joined A Snails Pace Running Club and this was the Club Race. I’m running with my fellow Snails. I’ve just started the training cycle for the Marine Corps Marathon. But for the running club’s involvement, today would have gone for an easy run while banditing Huntington Beach’s 5k at the beach.
This course is an out and back for three miles along Santa Ana Canyon Boulevard. At Mile 6, the course heads down a trail and onto the track at Canyon High School to the finish line. There is a 5k runner, 5k walker and 10k runner division. There were about 1,500 runners.
My goal here was to break an hour. I tried and failed to break an hour at the Disneyland 10K last September. I ran a 1:01 in an Aladdin costume. No costume today, just a hilly course.
I’ve been training for and running big events, specifically runDisney. I have not run a race this small in quite some time. I found a small race to be refreshing.
My fellow Snails and I head to the corral. I line up at the 9:00 mm pace mark. In the corral I meet Mindy, a twenty something runner who talks at me the whole time. After hearing Mindy’s life story and the Star Spangled Banner butchered by a high school kid, the gun goes off and we start running.
Mile 1 – I take off and settle into a moderately fast pace. This course seems pretty flat. A church on Santa Ana Canyon Boulevard has set up their worship band and an aid station. I’m not normally looking for water at the half-mile point of a race. 8:51
Mile 2 – I’m starting to huff and puff. Mandy is still jawing at me. 8:48
Mile 3 – Shortly passing the Mile 2 sign, I learned why this they call this place Anaheim Hills. We start climbing and it starts to get rough. Mindy slowly trails off behind me. I pass the one and only wheelchair athlete in the field. He is having a bear of a time with this hill. 10:12
Mile 4 – The 10 k turnaround is the top of the hill. It’s now time to run back down! I enjoy the beautiful vistas of the Santa Ana River and the 91 freeway. My quads start screaming at me while the wheelchair athlete blows by me like I’m standing still. 9:09
Mile 5 – I’m back out on the flat. I’m also pretty spent. I also start to run into the 5k walkers. These are the folks with their strollers and dogs. 9:54
Mile 6 – As I’m weaving through the walkers, I notice the 3-mile maker for the 5k. Hmm I must have missed the 6-mile maker. A moment later I see the 6-mile maker and think, “if the 5k and 10K share a finish line, shouldn’t the 6-mile maker be before the 3-mile marker? This Metric stuff is so confusing to Americans!” 9:46
The last .2 – The trail off the highway and to the track was so narrow and so congested with walkers, strollers and dogs, I was forced to walk too. Once out on the track, I started running again. 1:08 (8:44 mm pace).
Looking like I'm about to die.
Across the Line!
Have Some Hills!
Finish time – 57:44 A shiny new PR.
M 45 - 49 13/21
My next race is the Disneyland Double Dumbo Dare, a 10K on Saturday and Half Marathon on Sunday over Labor Day Weekend.
PR: 5k 26:17 (10/13) 10k: 57:44 (7/14) HM: 2:11 (11/14) FM: 4:55 (1/15)
OOF at those hills! And is Mindy still talking? lol
That's quite a bit under your goal considering that hellacious course, you may actually have a faster time in you yet. Congrats!
The smaller events are totally underrated, especially when your first (and usually only) priority is racing as fast as you can.
I love sponge cake.
Well done, Lurch. That is some hill! It reminds me of Space Invaders. Way to shatter your pr.
Woooohoooo@ breaking the hour mark, and getting the PR! You look so relaxed in the picture. Wow@ the elevation profile, those really are some hefty hills!
"We do not become the people who this world needs simply by turning our backs on anyone we don’t like, trust, or deem healthy enough to be in our presence. " ---- Shasta Nelson
The Mildest Nihilist
Wow, you are not kidding on those hills! Nice job and way to blast under 60 for this one! Too funny about Mindy, too!
PRs: 5K: 25:35 / 10K: 53:03 / 10mi: 1:26:15 / HM: 1:55:02 / FM: 4:50:35
Nice job! Congrats on the new PR!
Damaris, Marathon Maniac, Ultra Runner
"The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire."
Imagine how Mindy must be telling her friends all about those hills now.
Those hills do look like killers. Congrats on a great run.
Congratulations Rick. They are some big hills, not easy in the context of a 10k.
I suspect Mindy was nervous at the start, hence the constant talking. You are a father figure anyway!
This is a very good training effort for you also. Don't underestimate the worth of a hard run in your overall fitness. Runs like this really help your HM time. I dont know if you could have pushed harder in mile 5 & 6 and were closer to a 9:30/9:15 pace, but that is why 10k's hurt.
You look good, hopefully weight loss is still happening, and good luck you Dumbo (pun intended).
Cool, congrats on the new PR!
Any idea why Mindy wouldn't shut up?
Great job Lurch! Way to break that 1 hr mark!
Those are some serious hills. Congrats on the big PR.
Barking Mad To Run
Congrats on your 10K!
"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." Theodore Roosevelt
Thank you all for your kind words.
LRB - I do think I have a faster 10K in me. I'll find out next month at the Disneyland 10K. It's a nice flat course. I'll be looking to hold a sub 9 minute mile for the whole thing.
4outta5 - I suspect that your're right. Mindy was new in town, having just moved to SoCal from Arizona via NorCal. She was nervous and expressed her nervousness by talking. What kinda goaded is that I was haling my 46 year old fat self at race pace, ya know fast as humanly possible, Mindy's youth and physical conditioning allowed her to carry on a conversation. By mile two she was talking to herself, but she was talking. Oh to be young again.
The weight loss thing has kinda flattened out. I've been bouncing between 225 lb. and 240 lb. I'm not morbidly obese or overweight anymore, but I do know if I want to run with the fast folk (LRB, LTH, etc), I need to lose more weight. The first 140 lb. were easy. The last 35 lb. are turning into a real challenge.