10 Mile Race Course Preview!

>> Wednesday, September 30, 2020

As I mentioned 2 weeks ago, some friends, teammates, and I hope to do an unofficial 10 mile race on the same morning (and at the same moment, actually) that the TC 10 Mile was supposed to take place. I went out for a bike ride on the course last week to make a few notes. Here's the map along with some letters I added to reference below:

The start is just south of Lake Street on River Road. We're meeting on River Road near the Danish American Center (3030 W River Pkwy, Minneapolis, MN 55406). We'll be starting right around where the trail gets narrow:

Start line, ready to head under Lake in the distance.

Ideally, we'll spread out front-to-back at the start in the name of social distancing in the order of anticipated finish just so we don't all huddle up at the start. And there's no official finish line, so it's just "run until your Garmin says you've done 10 miles," so again, there's no need to crowd at the start.

The first 1.5 miles are easy as we head north to Franklin. Then we cross River Road before Franklin to get up onto the bridge:

"A" on the map: heading up to Franklin.

"B" on the map: crossing the Franklin Bridge.

"C" on the map: around mile 3, running back south (nice and flat here).

It's "runner's choice:" do you want to take more "direct" routes on some bike trails? Or follow the true "running" trails? As we cross under the rail bridge, you can choose to go straighter on the bike path, or veer right and stay on the running path:

Coming up to the rail bridge.

Just after the rail bridge: "D" on the map. You can stay on the
left path, or go right. You'll end up at the same spot.

Heading under the Lake/Marshall Bridge.

"E" on the map: making the sharp turn to head up the "worst" hill on the course.

This is just before mile 4, and it's the same little climb that is just after mile 5 on the regular TC 10 Mile course. It's not BAD, but it's still a slap in the face:

Hills can't be photographed well. This is a little climb.

If you're used to the "regular" TC 10 Mile, we diverge from that here. We don't take Cretin to Summit Ave. Instead, we just follow that hairpin turn around mile 4 of our race to stay along the river. Just always stay along the river!

Here's lots of the straight-ish sections south of Summit:

Around "F" on the map: lots of these areas have dirt trails to the
left if you prefer them. Or take the paved trail to the right. Whateves.

"G" on the map: heading under the Ford Bridge to start the little out-and-back section.

Under Ford headed out is around mile 6. (That's about my most depressing spot in a 10 mile.) From here to the turn-around, I plan on staying more in the "bike" paths. Some of the "running" paths go around a little parking lot for the dam overlook, and later a big curve around another "overlook" parking lot, and I don't want to do those little turns. Then after about a half mile, you come to a turn just after that overlook parking lot:

"H" on the map: you cross the lot driveways, turn to the left,
and turn around over half way between that left turn
and where it starts to turn right in the distance.

I will have the turn around marked well with chalk! And I'm planning on marking the BIKE TRAIL in this area so we don't have to awkwardly loop around the parking lot. The turn around SHOULD be around mile 6.75. Here I am standing at the turn-around, looking forward to where the trail turns to the right:

Turning around to head back. Notice we just have to run past the "tree that splits."

Once you get back to the Ford Bridge, run UNDER Ford and then loop up to the bridge:

Just ran under Ford (which is directly behind me), and now looping to the right to get up onto it.

A close-up version of what happens at Ford. Go STRAIGHT under it at mile 6,
and come back and go under it to then loop up to the top at mile 7.5ish.

On Ford. Climbing DONE!

"I" on the map: on Ford while seeing the Lake Bridge in the distance.

"J" on the map: turning off the Ford Bridge
IMMEDIATELY after crossing (following this cyclist in neon).

"J" on the map: there's a small winding trail...

... and then a downhill through the trees...

... and then a right turn to get back on River Road.
Headed towards the finish! (Still with 2 miles left.)

The final stretch again has bike paths and running paths that sometimes split. You choose the path that's right for you. Personally, from when I first cross under the Ford Bridge at mile 6, I'll be staying on the bike paths until the finish. I know I won't feel like darting around on the running paths that go around parking lots and such. I'll stay on the running paths where they are combined, but I won't "duck into the trees" when the running path takes lots of sharp/quick turns.

Around "K" on the map: lots of easy trails here!

Heading down that nice hill with about a half mile left!
(I will stay on the bike trail most likely as opposed to ducking
back into the running path that is more in the trees here.)

STANDING AT THE FINISH!! Notice the Lake Street Bridge in the distance.

Same photo as above, just noting where we started about 1 block in the distance.

I do NOT want to make you run past the starting line, because then you have to run down under Lake, and then UP the other side (if I were off by a little), and I'd HATE to end a race uphill like that. So the plan is that you should finish about a block before where we started. But again, there is no finish line: you just finish when your Garmin says you've done 10 miles.

Sunday, Oct 4th
Just south of Lake Street on River Road
(The Danish American Center is right there: 3030 W River Pkwy, Minneapolis, MN 55406)

Gather at 6:45 a.m.
"Race" start at 7:00 a.m.
B.Y.O.G. (Bring your own Garmin) - there's no "official" start or finish line

Come race with us!


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