The race starts at Drakes Creek Park, before venturing out to the greenway and then finishing up on Indian Lake Blvd. It's a mostly flat course, even though there's some tough little climbs. It benefited the Cumberland Crisis Center and was put on by Mauricio Sanchez, who I knew would do a great job.
I was hoping to run around 5:00 pace and sneak under 31:00. A 10k at half-marathon pace is one of my favorite sessions and with the weather and being a little rundown lately, I felt like I was around 65:30 half-marathon shape in those conditions, so 5:00 pace it was. Well, a tad under since 30:59 gives you more street cred than 31:00.
I saw one of my Nashville running friends, Jackson Miller on the starting line, and talked with him for a couple of minutes before the race started. When the gun went off (well, it could have been a gun, I don't remember) I found my rhythm and was feeling pretty good. I went through the first mile in 4:47, which was surprising. It felt pretty smooth and I wasn't sure if the course was certified or not, so I kept on.
I haven't been lost in a race in probably over a year. I used to get lost all of the time and in high school, I even got lost in a cross country meet twice in the same race, despite running with the course map. Well, it was time for a detour again as I cut a right towards the parking lot, instead of going straight on the road. We eventually figured out we made a wrong turn and I was back on my way after losing around 10 seconds or so. Despite that wrong turn, I went through the second mile in 4:54.
After the second mile, it was time to leave the park and head to the Hendersonville Greenway, which I run on quite a bit. I had a hard time believing I was running close to 30:00 10k pace, so I switched my Garmin screen over a few windows to check out my average pace. It said I was running 4:48 average, which was a bit of a morale booster, because it felt so smooth, but also let me know to back off a bit. The third mile had a mini monster hill and I tried to power to the top and lost some time on that mile as I split 5:08.
After leaving the greenway, the course weaved around Veteran's Park and then went through some neighborhoods that I've never been through. I started to feel the weather a little bit and was also getting a little tired but I tried to still keep a steady rhythm. Finally, we left the neighborhood, jumped onto Indian Lake Blvd. (not literally) and I knew we were getting close to the end.
Indian Lake has a couple little rollers, which always get to me a little bit. I did my best to get over them without pushing too hard and could finally see the entrance to Drakes Creek Park in the distance. I made my way into the park and came through the finish line in 30:26 to take the win. My GPS said 6.32 miles, which is almost dead on for a normal certified 10k course. It was a good confidence booster because it felt pretty smooth and would have been under 30:20 without the wrong turn. Hopefully this means things are on the upswing.
Overall, I like this race a lot. It was well managed, I always like it when races have 5k and 10k options and they even had free snow cones! Next year, if you're looking for a Memorial Day race, come up the road to Hendersonville. I got the pictures from www.memoriesbymurray.com, so be sure to check out his site.