Running 10 miles or a 5k on New Year’s Day may not be appealing to the average person, but it was an extraordinary way to start 2016 for about 400 dedicated runners from the Kentuckiana region.
The Hangover Classic’s waterfront course has been a tradition for 30 years, and I was happy to add it to my schedule with the mild winter temperatures. It helped having a start time of 10 a.m. compared to an 8 a.m. start for most races. The sun makes a world of difference when its 30 degrees with a wind chill off the Ohio River.
Recent flooding created some challenges for the Hangover Classic. The first being the inability to park on the grass at the American Turners Sports Club, so we were directed to nearby parks. The second change was rerouting the course to make up for not being able to run down to the Belle of Louisville. Instead, we had to loop a section of Waterfront Park twice.
We started at Turners and turned right down River Road. Next, we ran to the Louisville Water Tower. I thought it would be a good idea to test out my new GoPro3 Silver (Thanks Brad). Hopefully, I will be more familiar with it by my next race in February.
I realized the seriousness of this race amongst Kentuckiana’s finest as runners whizzed by me in shorts and cross country singlets as my fingers were gripped around hand warmers. My mindset was taking it easy with a 9:00 pace. Besides, my workouts in the last two months have been 5 or 6 miles max to offset Holiday eating habits.
The Central High Track Team covered the water stops. It felt good to see young people in a positive light after Louisville made national news for unsupervised teens storming through Mall St. Matthews and causing it to close early the day after Christmas.
After the 2nd turnaround by the Kennedy Bridge, my Garmin clocked 6 miles. My legs were eager to get back towards Eva Bandman Park and hit some softer asphalt. The marina was totally flooded and I was passing some people who stopped to walk. By mile 8 I mustered up the strength to lengthen my stride and pick up the pace to negative split. Afterwards, a gentleman patted me on the back and thanked me for pacing him in towards the finish. My last 2 miles were around 8:15 splits.
Finish time 1:28:16
6th place age group
1:28 must be my lucky number for 10 milers. I ran Papa John’s in 2013 in 1:28:00, and 1:28:08 in 2014. It looks like I have a new goal: Break 1:28 on my next 10 miler.