This past weekend I ran the Newport 10 Miler in Newport, Rhode Island. I didn’t talk much about this race because one, I signed up so long ago I kind of forgot and two, I wasn’t sure I was going to run it. I have a love/hate relationship with 10 milers and sometimes struggle with how to train and pace myself. Following Pittsburgh I maintained a regular running routine and discovered a good friend from Boston was also registered so ultimately decided to make the trek up north.
Packet pick-up was available at Fort Adams, the race site, so I drove directly there from DC. It was only available from 11 am – 3 pm which wasn’t entirely convenient. Race day pickup was an option but I prefer to have it in advance and not deal with last minute. There was a ton of traffic in Newport in general and Fort Adams isn’t easily accessible with only one way in and out of the fort. Traffic would be a repeat problem as leaving after the race on Sunday it took me an hour just to get out of the parking lot. It was a nightmare and I really hope they can find a way to correct this because it was a big negative on an overall positive race!
Luckily my friend Jeanette was able to grab my bib for me after texting her my photo id. Since I was on my way there we met halfway to catch up and grab my gear. Because I wasn’t focused on race day I waited too long to get a hotel and ended up in Warwick, RI. I didn’t pay enough attention or do my research and thought it was 10 miles away, turns out it was 30 and it took 45 minutes to get to and from. My bad and not ideal but in any case, my friend and I made a plan to meet up Sunday morning and I spent some time in my happy place 🙂
Race morning came quickly after a fairly restful night of sleep. For the long drive to Newport I prepared ahead of time and had coffee and a bagel in the car. It was around 7 am when Jeanette and I met up opting to start in the first wave to avoid crowds. The race was scheduled to start at 7:30 with 3 waves 4 minutes apart: Sub-9 minutes milers, 9-11 minutes and 11+ minutes. The start was delayed several minutes though because runners were still getting into the fort area and that was the direction we were running.
Outside of finishing healthy and upright (always) my main goal for this race was to PR. My current 10 mile PR (set in 2013) was 1:40:39. I’d have been happy if I came within seconds of that but in reality I was hoping for sub 1:40. After the delay the cannon went off and so did we. Mile 1 started at the base of the fort and up a small hill towards Ocean Drive. We turned onto Ocean and it was every bit as scenic as I anticipated. For Miles 2 through 6 my view was basically this…
I did not wear my Garmin but did have MapMyRun on. The voice prompts were set for every 10 minutes as opposed to miles so I wasn’t constantly thinking of pace. My 5k was sub 30 minutes and at the halfway point of 5 miles, I was at a comfortable 47-ish minutes or about 9:30 minute miles. I felt great and seemed to be on pace for a 1:35 finish. While rain was predicted for later in the morning it held up and was only slightly humid, no wind and a nice ocean breeze. Perfect conditions. Even still I was sweating like crazy.
My 10K was under an hour and then… the hills came! Looking at the elevation map it did not seem that bad but oh my goodness they were never ending.I won’t lie Miles 6 to 9 were hard. Luckily the first half of the race was run well so I had enough time banked to PR regardless. I dialed in and just kept telling myself to push through them willing myself not to walk, though I did a couple brief times. We were running in the neighborhoods past the famed mansions so the views helped. Mile 8 was the worst as my quads were working oooovertime! Relatively flat with rolling hills indeed. There was a small incline at the Mile 9 marker then it was all downhill and flat as we ran back along the marina and into the fort for the finish, which was beyond cool.
As I approached the finish line I saw 1:39:25 on the clock and heard Jeanette cheering me in (she PR’d in 1:29!). This photo was captured as I was raising my arm to acknowledge her – SO COOL! My legs were killing me afterwards (still are!) because I worked hard on 3 miles of hills. My running app showed a time of 1:39:06 and while I wasn’t sure how accurate it was I knew I hit a PR. The great thing about this race is they email your results soon thereafter so I quickly received my actual net time of 1:38:59. YAYYY!! PR confirmed!
With PR’s for both of us it was time for celebratory beers and who can pass up HARPOON!!
I’m glad the rain stayed at bay and we had a beautiful race morning. The organizers and volunteers were super friendly and parking issues aside, the event itself was flawless. Race day photos are FREE (!!), the swag included a pint glass (though shirts ran too small) and the course was stunning. I would absolutely do this race again with some logistical adjustments. State #18 in my quest for 50 is done and you can’t beat those Newport views!
Favorite beach state? Ever visited or run in Rhode Island?