Crescent City Classic 10K — April 20, 2019

Race: Crescent City Classic 10K

Goal: Sub 60:00

Finish: 58:19

This race was a blast. I love New Orleans and the course ran from the Superdome through Jackson Square to City Park, requiring a bus ride back to the starting line after the race.

Crescent City Classic is also a huge race with nearly 14,000 participants. After a stormy Thursday, Saturday brought clear blue skies and high 50º to low 60º temperatures. I greatly prefer running in cooler temperatures. This is the first race (and only the second run) where I wore prescription sunglasses — very useful!

A packed race meant lots of passing other races (and being passed), multiple corrals with staggered start times, and tremendous energy throughout the event. I only managed to accidentally bump someone when passing once around mile two (sorry!).

My goal for this race was finishing in under an hour. My 10K personal best is 51:10 in May 2017, but my weight was 145 pounds then versus 185 today — working on that. Three runs this month informed my goal: a 01:00:24 10K, a 01:04:07 10K, and a 28:30 5K.

My Apple Watch tracked the first mile in sync with the course distance, then I picked up an extra 0.2 miles during mile two (from passing and taking curves wide presumably) that saw the total running distance at 6.4 miles. I would have been satisfied with a sub 60:00 finish for 6.2 miles according to my watch, but I was relieved to see the course time clock in at 58:19 — even with the extra 0.2 miles measured.

The first five miles of the race felt great — breathing under control, well below 9’30” pace, and progressing through the city. The last mile felt the hardest, but miles five and six were actually faster than miles three and four.

It wasn’t until the last 0.4 miles that my pace exceeded my 9’30” ceiling at 10’08”, but sub nine minute miles in mile one and two bought extra time at the end. I mostly blame carrying extra weight and lack of training for longer runs, but I also noticed my pace starting to diminish right around the time I thought the finish line was just around the corner. It felt like the course was extending right under my feet.

I would love to run the same race with more training for this distance, less weight, and my newly gained familiarity with the duration of each part of the city and every turn of the course. We’ll see how next year goes!

In the meantime, I have a couple local 5K races in April and May, then a big 10K race in Atlanta in July that’ll require more training.

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