“At first an ordeal and then an accomplishment, the daily run becomes a staple, like bread, or wine, a fine marriage, or air. It is also a free pass to friendship.”
~ Benjamin Cheever, Strides

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Buckeye Classic Recap

Race: Buckeye Classic 10K
Distance:  6.2 miles
Date:  November 11, 2012, 9 am start
Finish time:  1:01:49, 9:59 min/mile avg.
What sets this race apart:  The Cliffs of Insanity, the dressed up Buckeye Fans

The main gimmick of this race is that it is the "Buckeye" Classic, so many people dress up like Buckeyes.  I am not a Buckeye Fan, but this is the second year I've been talked into this race.   What makes this race challenging is that it takes place at High Banks Metro Park, a place that one running group I run with calls "The Cliffs of Insanity."
The Group that coined that phrase. Pre-race. RUN DMC.
I tried to keep up with my friend Tara in the beginning of the race, and she had her heart set on a killer PR.  Thus, I started way too fast, especially for a training run.  The first mile is the closest to relatively flat though, so I guess that's the time to do it!
My only trail shot - so blurry or no, posted!  This was in the first mile.
At the start of the second mile we hit one of the toughest hills of the course.  Starting up that hill is when the early speed caught up to me, and I slowed to a walk for a few minutes and let Tara go ahead.  I reminded myself that this was a training run for Goofy and reset my mental pace.  Successfully reset, I didn't walk again, except when drinking out of a cup, twice. (need to figure that drinking on the run thing out already!)
Focused on the finish - and yes, I caught them.  :D
Despite the required slow down and the many hills (one of which was actually STAIRS), I PR'd this course by 25 minutes and 30 seconds.  Yes, I said 25 minutes!  My only other 10K that I have run was this same race one year ago.  At the time, I was 3 months postpartum, still working on getting back in running shape, and still rather overweight. 
From last years race.  You can tell I cropped this picture to not show as much gut!
My only goal coming in to this race (other than running it) was to beat that horrible time.  I never expected to beat it by 25 MINUTES!  Not only that, but I finished 199th out 454.  I was in the top half of the field!  WOOT!

What makes this race so much fun for me is that so many of my friends are involved.  Many of them run it, others spectate it and even others volunteer as course marshals or at the water stops.  I LOVED screaming out for my friends when we passed each other at the point where the course loops itself for a short period.

After I finished, I cheered other friends still running.  Then I joined Sarah and Mollie for a victory lap, bringing them some water, socializing and running them in.  Most fun I had all day!  We took some great group shots of those of us that started at MIT together plus some new additions...
Finish line MIT photo op!
I wish I had more pictures of the course.  The weather today was absolutely PERFECT weather.  Sunny, cool enough to be comfortable running, but not cold at all.  The course was GORGEOUS.

Every week, I've been too chicken to go run at High Banks because trail running and potential injuries seemed like crazy talk pre-goofy.  I even told several people I regretted signing up for this race.  I take it all back.  Yes, it was a TOUGH course.  But, it was gorgeous and fun!  I'm already saying that I have to come back next year to try and get sub one hour!

Anyone else race this weekend?

Do you prefer trail races or road races?  
I kind of enjoyed this trail race, even though it's only my second one!  (Both the same course).

Edited to add:  I reread my recap of this same race from last year.  In it, I said that I was planning to come back the following year, and hoped to better my time by 15 minutes.  Success!  Kind of fun to read my perspective from a year ago!


  1. Good job! I have been back 3 times now saying I wasn't coming back after the first one. I did skip one year but I never regret doing it. Its like you forget about it just like I heard you forget about labor pains. LOL! A 25 minute PR is awesome! Keep it up!

  2. Wow, Mandi- 25 minutes is huge! You are having an awesome string of races lately. Congrats!
    I've never done a trail race... there aren't that many around me, or trails to train on, but I'd like to do one someday for the experience.

  3. Mandy, this is so awesome! You are getting so strong ahead of this goofy Goofy business. I love trail races and your time is damn good, both as a 25-minute PR and just stand-alone on a tough course.

  4. Wow, congratulations! What a fantastic achievement!

  5. WOW MANDY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! holy moly PR queen here and that race sounds tough too!!!!!!! you are an inspiration :) I am so dang proud of you girl! xo

  6. Holy PR bat-girl! that's terrific :)

  7. That is some PR! Way to go!! I love the picture of you powering towards the finish line :) Very focused!

  8. I want to run this one someday! I went to OSU and am a Buckeye fan, so that's the draw. :) I did a long run at Highbanks one weekend (visiting) and that place is not an easy run. Great job on the big course PR!

    1. You definitely should! Each time I dreaded it, but absolutely loved it. Great race!


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