Race report: 2013 Hope for the Warriors 10K

Seconds before the finish

Today’s run (Hope for the Warriors 10K): 6.2 miles – 58:56 (clock time) 

I’m not sure that it signals a move toward improved performance, but I ran my fastest 10K of 2013 this morning at the Hope for the Warriors race. Although I’m pleased that I finally broke an hour, today’s time was measurably slower than my two prior Hope for Warriors efforts. The upcoming Long Beach Turkey Trot will tell me if today’s performance was positively directional.

Team ER on race tee and bib duty

We arrived early because my wife and kids had volunteered to work the registration area. Their job was primarily focused on handing out race tees, but they also handled some of the bib distribution. I spent much of my time trying to stay warm over the three hours between arrival and race start. I tried to find spots in the crowds that had direct sunlight.

Chillin’ (literally) before the race

The wind was brisk and that contributed to the chill. I regretted my decision to leave my calf sleeves home. Beside their energizing effect, they would have provided some additional warmth. I also regretted wearing running shorts instead of pants. However, I was glad with my gear selection once I was running.  

The armed forces were well represented, as always

The 5K starts first and they line up those participants ahead of the 10K bunch. A few years ago, everyone started at the same time and it was a mess getting past the 5K walkers in the first few minutes. Now the 5K starts 15 minutes before the 10K and the road is clear until we catch up with the 5K tail-enders on Wellwood Ave. It was hard to find exactly where the 10K start was going to be. There was no mat to capture starting time, so everyone was tracked by clock time. My net time might have been a little more favorable were that the case.

At race start (directly to the right of the giant head)

Shortly before we started, I ran into the Petite Pacer. She went to say hello to another friend so I didn’t see her again until I saw her come up the right side, moving swiftly. She had a great run today and a 10K PR. She was very kind to video me as I made my way through the final meters and over the line. I found her after the race and was able to introduce her to my wife and kids.

The Hope for the Warriors 10K course is the least remarkable thing about this race. It’s a big box with few notable characteristics. Without scenery to distract me, I kept my mind on my stride but I purposely ignored my Garmin’s display. I wanted to run the race by feel and perceived effort. I was surprised that there were no clocks or split announcers along the route. I did have a basic understanding of where the splits were located and that was reinforced by chirps from my watch.

The first two miles went by quickly and I felt like I was moving well. I ran the first mile under 9 minutes but I was in the 9:10 range by the three mile point. My performance slipped a little after that, although it improved once I cleared the on-ramp from RT 109 to Sunrise Highway. Coming up that on-ramp was tough and it threatened to take the fight out of me. I tried my best to maintain speed once I hit Sunrise for the last half mile.

Happy to be finished
Me and TPP who ran a great race

I wasn’t sure whether I’d trained well enough for this race and my struggles in the late miles made me wish I’d done more base work. Overall, I was fairly satisfied with today’s performance. I’ll be interested to see how it goes in Long Beach, two weeks from today. Tomorrow is a rest day!

4 thoughts on “Race report: 2013 Hope for the Warriors 10K

  1. I'm so glad you did well today! I think adding some more base miles (4.5 mile runs instead of 3.x, perhaps) very well might do the trick! It was so great meeting your family. Does your wife run? I know she works out indoors, she looks to be in wonderful shape!


  2. I find the 10k distance the hardest. It's not like a 5k where you can give it your all from start to finish. A half marathon, you can pace yourself but still with some oomph. And then the marathon is pure strategy. The 10k is like the Joker race. It makes you think it'll be fast and easy, but then at around Mile 4, you realize you've been had. Or this may be my own twisted personal take on it. I think you did a great job, by the way. One thing that would drain me would be the three hour wait! Talk about a buzz kill! Congrats on a good effort and a lot of patience.


  3. Thanks TPP. Longer training runs are a good idea. In the past, when I commuted daily, my average run was 2.5 miles. I thought bringing that up to 3.2 would build more fitness. More miles (4-5) and less frequency (4X a week vs 6) might be a better strategy.My wife does run, but she prefers the treadmill to the road. We did a little trail running a couple of months back and that was fun. She keeps a tight schedule so the treadmill works better for her.


  4. I like your joker analogy. Mile four is definitely the moment of truth for me in a 10K. It may relate to the fact that glycogen stores generally deplete after about 40 minutes. I didn't refuel yesterday as I usually do. I might have shaved off a minute or two had I used a gel at that point.Thanks for the kind words on my performance. I'd have liked to finish under 57 minutes but I'll take the smaller victory. The wait time was tedious but not as bad as I'd feared.


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