Thursday, February 20, 2014

U-T California 10/20 Race Review

This was the inaugural U-T California 10/20, taking place in Del Mar, Solana Beach, and Encinitas (beach communities just north of San Diego) on February 16, 2014. “10” is for 10 miles, and “20” is for 20 bands.

The band at mile 1 and 9

It was a PR by definition. I’ve never run a 10 mile race before. My time was 1:09:55 (7:00 average pace) (31st female of 2060; 9th of 261 in division F30-34. 93rd overall of 3241).

The race organization was really good – same quality as RnR race series but with a similarly high entry fee of $85. This is the second in the “10/20” series by this race director – the other race being in Austin, TX. The prize money was $3,000 for first male and female, bringing out some fast elites. First place male was 48:00 (4:48 average pace) and first place female was 54:49 (5:28 average pace). Good prize money for age groups as well.

Weather was very foggy at the start and then the marine layer burned off by mile 2 or 3. It was actually pretty warm - and there was a coastal eddy wind coming off the ocean to deal with.

My goal was to keep on track with incrementally speeding up my half marathon pace. I ran a 15K at the beginning of January at 7:11 average pace, a half marathon in mid-January at 7:09 average pace, and now this 10 miler in mid-February at 7:00 – although my Garmin shows an average pace of 6:53 with a course of 10.16 miles.

Sidebar:  I read on Jake and Andrea’s Wasatch and Beyond blog that the mile markers on race courses are more accurate than a GPS watch’s mile readings, so you should manually mark your mile laps on your watch.  I forgot until a few minutes before the race so couldn’t turn off my mile auto-laps in time. I’ll definitely be trying this in the future in races when I know there is a sign posted at each mile.

Overall the course was flat - most of it along Highway 101 up the coast from Del Mar through Solana Beach and to Encinitas and back. The first and last miles are within the Del Mar fairgrounds (not on the racetrack). I have run this 101 route probably a hundred times – it was my easy weekend route for a lot of years – so it was kind of my home course. I know where the hills are. 

There was one mile that had a longish hill, which was made more difficult by the wind. But most miles were right at a 7:00 pace or just under. I ran the last two miles fast - 6:36 (lots of downhill) and 6:44 (flat). I passed 11 people in the second half of the race, continuing the trend of strong finishes in my 2014 races.


I spent a lot of the race with my eyes closed, as documented by the race photographers. During the early miles, I was closing my eyes and telling myself I was in control of the pace and I could keep it up. In the late miles, I was closing my eyes to dig deep to stay at those fast paces and not get re-passed by anyone!

And no hip pain - it absolutely vanished when I started using the inserts with a little more arch support. 

two little runners

1 comment:

  1. Great fast race with a strong finish! The foggy pictures remind me of my last race. Not exactly easy to run in zero visibility!