2014 Rochester Riverchase

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!

My butt is, apparently, the meaning of life.

My butt is, apparently, the meaning of life.

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.

The littles helping me along mid race.

The littles helping me along mid race.

GPS (aka approximate) splits:

Splits (GPS Interval)
Type Distance Split settings Duration Total Duration Pace Avg HR Max HR Notes
1 Interval 1 mi 6:52.60 6:52.60 6:53
2 Interval 1 mi 7:02.70 13:55.30 7:03
3 Interval 1 mi 7:00.36 20:55.66 7:01
4 Interval 1 mi 7:16.72 28:12.38 7:17
5 Interval 1 mi 7:42.05 35:54.43 7:43
6 Interval 1 mi 7:13.39 43:07.82 7:14
7 Interval 1 mi 7:00.35 50:08.17 7:01
8 Interval 1 mi 6:35.55 56:43.72 6:36
9 Interval 1 mi 6:31.34 1:03:15.06 6:32
10 Interval 1 mi 6:29.93 1:09:44.99 6:30
11 Interval 1 mi 6:16.58 1:16:01.57 6:17
12 Interval 0.19 mi 1:03.29 1:17:04.86 5:34



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