Monday, August 5, 2013

Race Recap - Rindge Le Tour De Common 10K

I've got a Love/Hate relationship with the course for the Rindge Le Tour de Common. They named it after the mountainous Le Tour de France for a reason!  We're not talking a flat course here.  To make matters worse, it starts at the top of a hill (just to get you going too fast from the gun!), takes a turn then some how manages to go uphill more than the downhill (ok, maybe not, but it sure feels that way).  Heck, most of the race is run on Todd Hill Road!  Ok, I apparently hate the course, but the race is easy to enjoy.  It's small (less than 100 runners), extremely well organized, and well marked.   Plus we got tech shirts including kids sizes for the boys (super awesome!) and a nice post run spread (there was this orange colored bread that was super tasty).

This is the 3rd year I've run the Rindge Le Tour de Common.  Previously, it was just a 5K, and my first year, I came in 4th for my age group (by about 8 seconds).  Last year, I came in 10th (aka LAST) for my age group.  That was a crazy tough run, due to the heat, humidity and the very fast field.  This year, they added a 10K and adjusted the course a little, which basically shave the steepest part of the downhill off the start (yea!) and added a lap around the common to the finish.  For the 10K, it was 2 loops of the 5K.

As usual, they started with the kids race.  The boys lined up with a small horde of kids. I wish I could have gotten my camera out in time; before the start, Pete was standing there, ready to run with one hand on his watch, as if he was waiting to start his Garmin.  Pretty much like all of the guys in this picture.  The boys finished together at 2:33 for 0.2 miles.  Brian actually slowed down to wait for Pete on the last lap!
Brian, in red and blue, with Pete, in white and black, right behind him. I love when there's a kids' race!
Then, it was our turn! Todd signed up for the 5K, and I signed up for the 10K.  We're at the starting line, and of course, this is when the Pebble and RunKeeper decide to get into an argument.  The Pebble wouldn't display!  I panic and tried rebooting, then we're off.  Once again, we're flying down the hill (yeah, it's still a downhill start).  I broke 7 min/mile (who AM I?!?!).  Fortunately, I played with the iPhone a bit, which slowed me down to a whopping 8-something.  I finally gave up, started a new run (at about 0.4 miles in) and just focused on running, and catching my breath!

At the first uphill, I saw this fellow:
Yes, I stopped during a 10K to take a picture of Stuart the Minion
About 5 minutes after Stuart, I reflexively glaced at my watch and saw RunKeeper had populated! Yippee! Except for the fact that I was missing the first third of a mile or so... ARGH! Ok, just keep running.... I made it to the water stop, which was manned by the local cub scout pack and I gave them a big cheer as I came up for some water.  The boys were very cute and well organized (good job parents and leaders!). 

I finished my first lap at 33 minutes and change, which was faster than I thought.  Lap two was a bit slower (with more walking breaks).  It was pretty obvious that there were three of us bringing up the rear: me, and a husband/wife couple.  The wife and I were playing leap frog with walking breaks, and I think if she didn't keep waiting for her husband, our finishes would not have been as close as they were.  As we came down the last hill, I saw my boys and gave what I had left.  Not enough to catch anyone, but enough to get a PR by about 7 seconds! And third place in my age group, complete with medal!!!!!

My boys congratulating me, about 6 milliseconds before asking to wear my medal! The shirt was perfect for this race, because Finishing really did equal Winning!
The funny thing is, last year, I came in last in my age group and was emotionally defeated.  This year, I once again, came in last in my age group, and was thrilled!  I PR'd, and I placed!

Every year, I swear I'm not doing the race again; it's too hilly, it's too tough.  But, it's such a fun and well run race that, as long as my schedule allows for it, and my parents are still in NH, I'll be back.  


  1. Way to go, Nic!!! So proud of you! Wish you lived closer so that we could be running buddies. ;)

    1. That would be awesome! We should plan a "destination" race

    2. Yes!! I would be all over that!