I had 8 miles on my training plan for this weekend. I decided that it seemed a little overkill to me. I’d much rather get a quality run in than struggle through a long run on tired legs the week before the race. I decided a few weeks ago to run the Best Damn Race 10K and hoped to run it at my goal race pace. I figured it would be a good way to calm my nerves and give me a little more confidence heading into next weekend’s half marathon.
The 10K had a super early start time of 6:30am. The race was on the waterfront in Safety Harbor. I had about a 30-40 minute drive to get out there. I was a little worried about traffic and parking so I decided to leave my house at 5am. Patrick worked this race and had to be on site by 4am . I ended up just waking up when he left at 3:30am.
I got to the Safety Harbor Marina at 5:30 and parked right across the street from the start line with no problem. It seemed parking at that time wasn’t a problem for anyone. I met up with Meghan M and we ducked inside the Safety Harbor Resort to warm up. It was in the 40s and yes, that is freezing for us Floridians. Inside we found Meghan C and Genna and made our way to the start line.
Everyone was running their own race that morning. My goal was to stay somewhere around or just below 9:00mpm. The National Anthem was sung and then we were off. It was cold but not as miserable as I thought it would be. The course made a 2-ish mile loop and then came back by the Safety Harbor Resort. The sun was just starting to rise over the horizon and made the sky light up the most incredible shade of red. My pace was holding steady at 8:45mpm. I was happy with that and was hoping to be able to keep it for the whole run.
Miles 3-4 came and went without much trouble and my pace stayed consistent. The course had some small hills that I wasn’t expecting. I’ve run a race or two down there and it’s always been super flat. It was a nice change of pace.
When we made our way onto the home stretch the sun was rising over the water. It was a gorgeous view. It got a little harder at the end but I checked my Garmin a few times to make sure I was holding pace, and I was. That was also the first time I’d checked to see what my total time was. I set my 10K PR of 58:21 two weeks ago at the St. Pete Beach Classic 10K . That race was the first time I’d broke an hour in the 10K and I was so thrilled to have done it. My jaw just about dropped when I realized I was on pace to destroy that PR.
I crossed the Best Damn finish line at 54:30 (8:46 pace), with a Best Damn 10K time of almost 4 minutes. I am definitely proud of that.
The sun was in my eyes as I crossed the finish line but when I got close enough I saw Beth , Steph and Brad handing out medals. How nice is it to have a familiar face put a medal around your neck? And a beer bottle opener medal at that!
Quickly after the finish line I found the Meghans. They had both also run new PR’s and Meghan M had placed in her age group. We also got to cheer Genna across the finish line to her 10K PR. I had flashbacks of the Women’s Half finish line with all this celebrating.
The post race was awesome. The sun had come up and it had warmed up a little bit. There was a food tent and tables set up right on the water. It was picture perfect.
I really enjoyed this race. You could tell it was a race for runners by runners. It was obvious the Race Director had thought of a lot of little details to make this inaugural race special. I hope to run it again next year.