Friday, October 28, 2011

Race Strategy: The Mooresville Pumpkin Run 8K

Tomorrow I'll be doing my final tune-up race before Richmond, the Mooresville Pumpkin Run 8K. I signed up because my friend Chad said it should be a fun race and I wanted to do something longer than a 5K as a tune-up.

Chad also gave me a link to his GPS record of the 2009 race, which, he hastened to add, he ran pushing a baby stroller. What I'm always most interested in when I preview a new race is the elevation profile, so here it is:

This makes it look rather hilly, and it is fairly hilly, but it's also quite similar to what I face in my daily training runs. The DART Loop, 6.34 miles long, has 246 feet of climbing, and this race, 5 miles long, has 234. So at a minimum, based on my run on Wednesday, I should be able to do this race faster than a 7-minute pace.

The weather tomorrow will be cool and it could be rainy; right now the hourly forecast calls for a 70 percent chance of rain and 40 degrees at race time. As long as it's not an absolute deluge, that's not too bad, but there's also a 10-MPH wind. That could slow me a bit.

Still, I think I'm going to shoot for a 6:30 pace. It's shorter than the DART loop, and I'll have the adrenaline of race day. Mile 4 will probably feel the toughest, with a dramatic, short climb at the start and a gradual uphill through the remainder of the mile. If I can hold pace for that mile, I should be able to keep it up for the final mile despite its more-intimidating-looking climb.

I'm looking forward to the race; I'll report on the results tomorrow.

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