With only a few days leading up to this race I plunked down a fairly substantial amount of money for a small and short race. I registered for this race for two reasons. First I wanted a spark to reignite my passion for running. Second I was intrigued by the handicapped nature of this race. The idea is that anyone can win the race. It’s all about running a great race relative to your own ability. I had a pretty good race.
Normally I’d place a link to the events web page in the first paragraph of a race report. This event had little in the way of a web site. Finding information was extremely difficult. I knew it was a handicapped race but I had no idea how that worked. There was no mention of it anywhere. There were two different Facebook events for it. I couldn’t find the course map either. I’m rather connected to the local running community and I saw very little mention of this race. Due to a lack of promotion the turnout was very low. In all I believe there were 44 runners. The previous year, I have heard, was closer to 75 (I didn’t verify this). This is truly a shame because this race is unique in Rochester and incredibly fun!
When registering for the Riverchase participants must provide a recent 5k race time. I had none so I submitted a recent 10k time instead. The faster the runner the later they start. Each runner was required to pin the offset from the gun time to their back (which can be a problem if you run shirtless). I approached the start line about 42 minutes after the race started with approximately 40 runners already out in front of me!
I hope to run around a 7 minute mile. This guess was based on the terrain and m current ability. Much of this coarse is hilly or on trails and I do not excel there. The idea of “picking people off” seemed like it would help me run faster, and it did. I was passed only one time and it happened early. I was passed a mere two miles in! I can’t deny that I was a bit dejected. It turned out that he was the only participant that passed me.
Approximately 5 miles in I started passing people. This is when the race got more interesting for me. The route turned mostly to roads and I had targets! It took almost 3 miles longer than I anticipated to spot my friend. I had boasted that I’d be passing him 5 miles in. I was wrong. It was closer to 8. Seeing him in the distance got my legs moving. For the remainder of the race my splits were significantly better!
I really enjoyed this event. The handicapping is something that I’d love to see more of. It’s exciting to know that anyone can win. The winner this year ran 10:30 minute miles and deserved to win! Done properly it really requires a league or a race series. Rochester already has a trail runner of the year series as well as a road runner of the year. Adding handicapping to either of those series of races would be a very fun twist.
This race sparked my competitive nature. It is fun and difficult and held in a beautiful location. I was happy to share this day with friends and family. I finished 16th in chase order and 3rd based on actual running time (which is exactly where I was seeded). According to the official race results I ran, exactly, a 7 minute mile. I am able to be a good endurance athlete while maintaining a healthy balance between training, my career, and socializing with numerous friends (even outside of training).
If this event is promoted the numbers should increase. If the numbers do not increase I can’t see myself spending this much money on a small event even if it is a ton of fun and unique.
GPS (aka approximate) splits:
|Splits (GPS Interval)|
|Type||Distance||Duration||Total Duration||Pace||Avg HR||Max HR||Notes|