Goldy's Run 10 Mile Race Report

>> Monday, April 08, 2019

My sister-in-law Steph talked my wife (her sister) into doing an early-season 10 mile race, and about 2 weeks ago, I figured I'd join them as well. So we all raced 10 miles from the University of Minnesota campus yesterday morning:

Next to TCF Bank Stadium, just off the light rail. Ready to RACE!

A sea of people! There were 2500 in the 10 mile, and 4700 in the 5K! That's a lot of racers.

We all waited in line for the bathrooms, then I ran off to "bag drop" as they got one last selfie:

We ran into the boys' speech therapist on the light rail, and she asked if they were non-identical twins. :)

It was SUPPOSED to be mid-50s, a bit breezy, and possibly raining at the start, so we were all THRILLED that the wind wasn’t bad and the sun was shining! As I was stretching by the start line, gym buddy Leah saw me and took an appropriately awkward pic:

The “tutti fruttis” hadn’t been out in a while.

A (bright) selfie with Leah. (With Bobby P over my shoulder.)

I lined up behind “Goldy the Gopher” who was a hoot out there. He took off during the 10 seconds countdown and made everyone laugh. Then he jumped off the course and cheered us on as we went by!

“... 3 ... 2 ... 1 ... GOOOO!!!”

I jumped into 3rd or 4th right away. I knew I could be NEAR the front of this race, so the goal was to not go out STUPIDLY hard. I was passed a bit later to move into 5th, and 1st was already GONE. My first 2 half miles were FAST, but I didn’t feel like I was being stupid... yet.

• MILE 1: 2:54, 2:54 = 5:49.

The first half mile was so fast just because it was the first half mile. That 2nd half mile was fast because part of it was downhill under Washington Ave. I BRIEFLY had the (stupid, and too early) thought of “Is there prize money? I’m in 5th, but 3rd and 4th are JUST in front of me.”

Being I’ve done so many flat, long treadmill runs this winter, I wasn’t great on the hills. I TOLD myself to ease up to not die going uphill behind the U by the boathouse. I heard 2 sets of feet coming up behind, and 1 guy passed me FAST, and another caught me just after the top of that hill.

• MILE 2: 3:01, 3:11 = 6:12.
• MILE 3: 3:02, 3:04 = 6:07.

I was hoping (well, THINKING) I could run 6:15s, which would put me at mile 3 at 18:45. But I was there at 18:10. I wasn’t thinking sub-61 yet, but I was thinking sub-62 pretty easily. I had to keep telling myself to ease up along River Road in my normal “stomping grounds” (mile 2.5 through 7 [everything south of Franklin] are parts of my normal training routes).

Steph’s family surprised all of us out there, and they were waiting at the Lake/Marshall Bridge! I got a high-five from my niece, and shouted HI to my nephew! Thanks for bringing them out Jon! They gave me a little surge up and over the bridge to mile 4.

• MILE 4: 3:12, 3:03 = 6:16.

Well, that was my first mile split slower than my 6:15 goal. I was trying not to “bleed” too much time here. We ran up that little hill south of Lake Street and hit the turn-around right at mile 5.

• MILE 5: 3:02, 3:09 = 6:12.
• MILE 6: 3:09, 3:08 = 6:17.

Those 2 miles were right at my goal pace. That was sort of the “new” goal - keep the REST of the miles at my goal pace, so that my cushion I built at the start would still keep me under my 1:02:30 goal. And oh, I was passed to move into 8th some time in St. Paul (maybe up the hill around mile 3.5), and then I was passed again just after the turn-around. I was now in 9th. I didn’t see anyone CLOSE behind me, but I still tried to run strong and stay close to 8th in front of me. 7th was already pulling away. The rest were usually out of sight.

• MILE 7: 3:06, 3:04 = 6:11.

We were now starting that nice long descent under the Franklin Ave Bridge and I94. I felt like I was GAINING a bit on 8th in front of me. But slowly. My mind got in a bit of a better place here as I realized I was now in the last 1/4 of the race. I didn’t feel GOOD, but I knew I had enough left for these last 2 climbs (along River Road to a pedestrian bridge, and then a short gut-buster at mile 9 to get off the pedestrian bridge).

• MILE 8: 2:54, 3:11 = 6:05.

I was ready for mile 9 splits to SUCK. We turned off River Road and I made the final water stop cheer loudly for me! I heard one high-school aged girl faintly singing the “Friends” theme: “So no one told you life was gonna be this way...” So as I ran off, I threw my hands up and **CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP** And she FREAKED OUT and started screaming for me. It was fantastic. Thanks mile 8.5 water stop!

I busted my ass up that hill across the bridge knowing it was the LAST little hill before a relatively flat last mile to the finish. Some college kids cheered for me, and I said “this sucks” under my breath which made them laugh.

• MILE 9: 3:16, 3:25 = 6:41.

Ouch. That’s a nasty split. I wasn’t truly dying. It was those final hills. I went out hard, held on decently, and was pretty proud of the race I was turning in. Starting around mile 7, I told myself I wasn’t going to look at my watch and do the “OK, if I run [THIS] pace, then I can finish with [THIS] overall time” game, but I looked at mile 9.5. I realized that even though I was bleeding time on these hills, I’d likely still be sub-1:02:30. And a REALLY fast final half mile could put be sub-1:02.

I maybe closed the gap a LITTLE more with the guy in front of me, but there was no catching him. I checked over my shoulder running down University Ave with about 0.7 miles left, and I couldn’t see anyone, so I felt good about having 9th place (top-10 baby!) locked up. We ran around the stadium, through some doors, and I NEARLY bit it on a slight slope heading down/out onto the field. I ran out to the finish at the 50-yard line, and tried not to pass out in front of everyone.

• MILE 10: 3:04, 2:56 = 6:01.


Steve Stenzel, M, 38, Saint Paul

1:02:03 chip time
1:02:04 gun time
6:12.4 / mile pace

9 out of 2435 overall
3 out of 146 in the 35-39 age group

[Garmin: 1:02:04, 10.03 miles, 6:11 pace. First half: 30:41, last half: 31:23.]


TCF Bank Stadium was a good venue and a fun finish. The 3 of us liked the race. Being able to finish on the 50 yard line was fun, however hitting the "soft" artificial turf after running 9.95 miles was a bit tough!

This felt like an unusual race for me because I usually start off slower and then just slowly "pick people off." But that's not what happened here. I went out harder, and then slowly gave up a few spots. It's just not my normal style. But it probably led to a slightly faster race overall.

I didn't think it got THAT close, but I ended up just 0:14 behind 8th place. (7th was 0:34 in front of me, and 6th was nearly 2 minutes in front of me. The first 5 finishers were all under an hour!) So I closed that gap a bit. And the next runner behind me (10th place) was a guy I recognized from my gym who was 1:06 back.

I was ready to wear a thin long-sleeve shirt anticipating the rain, but at the last minute, I grabbed that old red shirt. That was the shirt I wore for my first few TC 10 Miles 8-10 years ago, and I think I've gained 10 lbs since I last wore that. A little belly creeped out of it now-and-then...

This was a "spring 10 mile" PR! I think I've only ran one other spring 10 mile, and that was a 1:02:44 in 2010 (where I sped up mile-after-mile starting at mile 2, which was VERY different than this race). Steph noted that this was extra brutal because we didn't have the summer to get in more mileage. I think she prefers the fall TC 10 Mile or a Halloween race in terms of timing.

My Garmin shows the hills and how I was feeling out there. Faster at the start, uphill around mile 1, flat until we entered St. Paul around mile 3.5, turn-around at mile 5, pretty consistent until mile 8 (surprisingly), then depressing drops in speed on those rollers, and finally going slower than 9:00 pace up that final hill at mile 9! And I didn't slow up right before the finish and then hit 3:50 pace - that's the interference from running through the concrete stadium to get out onto the field:

I grabbed my phone from the bag check, and snapped a photo looking back at the finish in the middle of the stadium:

Through the tunnel on the right, to the finish near the left.

A sweaty, red-faced finish selfie.

Garmin proof.

I started running backwards down the race course as a cool down, and it didn't take long before I bumped into gym buddy Leah churning out 7:46s:

Go Leah!

Runners heading past "frat row."

Diane showing me her Apple Duathlon shirt. :)

I should have gotten a selfie with this frat boy. He was drinking
from a wine/champagne bottle at 9:30 on a Sunday morning.

More runners farther down "frat row."

YAY SARAH!! She saw this photo and said her face was telling the story.

I ran with her to near the stadium, then I turned back around to look for Steph. Sarah was hashed, but she put down a decent time: 1:32:15 officially, just about a minute slower than her only other 10 mile race about 2 years ago. Nice job, cutie!

Steph coming in the distance!

Steph's face was red because people were getting HOT!!

The stadium was filling up!

My wife got a photo of Steph...

... and I apparently got a photo of both of them...

... and then she got a photo of both of us. Nice job, Steph!

This was Steph's THIRD outdoor run of the year, and it ended up being a sub-10 pace 10 miler in 1:38:01!

Sisters on the field!

Selfie with my cutie.

A college kid who's Mom complained that he still smelled like booze from the night before
(but was still happy he came out to cheer for her) snapped this shot of us. #TrueStory

Back home with my medal.

I posted this on Facebook, noting "Those hills from mile 8-9
will be living inside my glutes for the next few days."

Thanks for a fun race former-Linder ladies and Goldy! Time to rest these legs a bit. Back with more photos if some turn up!


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