This year was the first year of The Philly 10k, hosted by the local running store Philadelphia Runner. Although this was the race’s first year, the organizers did a phenomenal job of advertising and hyping it up. This was a race for runners, by runners in celebration of Philadelphia Runner’s 10th Anniversary.
“Early” registration opened for one day back in March for 1,500 people, and the spots sold out within 3.5 hours. Regular registration opened the next day, and the remaining 1,500 spots sold out within 70 minutes. Interest was way greater than they anticipated, but I was glad I was able to get in!
The course was unique in that it went through 12 different Philadelphia neighborhoods in the heart of the city instead of along the Schuylkill River, which is the typical course for races in Philadelphia (it’s easy to close down and goes on for basically forever).
Philadelphia Runner did a beautiful job of organizing this race, but honestly, it was an awful day for me. The weather was atrocious – 79 degrees and 84% humidity at 7:30am! I haven’t seen that sort of weather that early in the morning since living in Georgia.
My time was 52:31, making this 6 minutes slower than my PR (Run the Bridge last November) and 5 minutes slower than the Peachtree, a significantly hillier course, in July. It was just so miserably hot. I vomited in my mouth a little at mile 4, and I started getting chills around mile 5, which I knew was a bad sign, so I stopped to walk. A few other runners kept encouraging me to start running again, which annoyed me at the time. I would only stop to walk during a race if I felt like something was seriously wrong.
My pacing was also pretty bad: 7:21, 8:06, 8:40, 8:30, 8:40, 9:16, and last bit at like 8:00ish. I definitely took it out too fast – I wasn’t looking at my watch, and my sense of pace hasn’t yet returned after taking some time off when my tibia hurt. I was actually surprised my overall pace wasn’t slower though; based on the number of people passing me I would have guessed I was going a 10+ min mile.
I was able to speed up a little at the end because this guy right next to me started retching awfully and I didn’t want to be in his line of fire. Then a girl collapsed about 20 feet before the finish line right in front of me. It seemed like the heat was getting to everybody, and it didn’t help that there were only two water stops along the course (which would have been fine on a cool fall day – this day, not so much).
The course was neat in that it went through Philly neighborhoods, but it wasn’t fun to “race.” The shape was basically one big rectangle, and each side seemed to take FOREVER. It felt kind of like a 10,000 meter track - I just kept waiting for the turn which never came, which was so mentally tough.
The road that went straight towards the finish line was very unevenly paved, and I saw a few people almost trip – I wouldn’t be surprised if some did.
After the race I was so out of it. I usually don’t feel that bad after a 10k. I’m talking like post-marathon level of confusion. I ended up walking an extra 1.5 miles-ish to what I perceived in my mind to be the closest subway station, when really I could have just gone back the way I came (a station a few blocks west of the race start/finish).
My right foot has also been hurting since the race, despite icing it and taking ibuprofen. I’m still hoping that by a small miracle it turns out to be okay, but right now there’s a tiny bruise on top of what looks like a metatarsal, so I’m not feeling optimistic.
I think this race will be a really great addition to the Philly race scene in future years, but this year’s inaugural race was just not my day.
*All pictures from the Philly 10k’s website and Facebook page*