On Saturday I ran in the Hermes 10-mile race in downtown Cleveland. I’m not a runner, but it’s always more fun to jog alongside bundles of other people. In this case, about 800 people ran the 10-mile distance (there was a simultaneous 5k), including ten from my usual weekend running group, the Roads Scholars. We’re not the first to pun that, though I don’t know of any other running clubs to do so – only transportation industry experts and traveling part-time faculty – and I’m sure our homophonic spree en route to it was the most spectacular.
The race wasn’t bad: it had a fun starting location (near E. 4th street, a reasonably hip spot), was chip-timed and featured mostly blocked-off streets. However, after the first mile or two on proper downtown roads, the course swung out onto a long out-and-back parallel to Lake Erie and I-90 (between highway and Lake out, then across the highway, then South of the highway back). The only thing exciting about that was compensating for the lake breeze and “hills” (read: highway ramps). The word on the street was that the previous year’s race routed over the bridge to Ohio City and back – that would have felt more like an urban race.
My performance was fair: I hung in pretty well over the first 5 miles at 8:20/mile or so, but the return trip, a bit hillier, suffered. I walked two of the water stops, but in an unusually coordinated move managed to chew a couple of clif cubes whilst running before the mile 6 water (note: tasty and easier to choke down than gel).
Overall, just a hair under 9:00/mile – 1:29:45 total time, which put me in 385th place overall according to the race results, and 48/65 among men aged 25-29.
That said, I’m pretty sure only one other guy aged 25-29 ran this race as the second half of a 20-miler. Andrew and I made a morning of it, running a 10-mile “warmup” at about 8:10/mile, then almost immediately stepping up to the starting line for the race bell (I’m happy that race guns are going extinct). Water stops and motivation in numbers make for a great 2nd-half of a training run.