Race Recap: Hit The Road Jack 10k

I decided to do this race on a whim. Mostly because I already ask for enough days off for other reasons. I didn’t know if I was going to do the race until the night before. The plan was to have fun and enjoy the sights. Plus the words “wine and cheese” were in the title.

Umm…yes please!

The registration started at 6:30, and since I am a control freak and wanted to avoid the rush I woke up at 4:45. I wanted to try something different and eat some carbs before the race, and I wanted to make sure I had enough time for it to digest. I went for a bagel thin, toasted peanut butter on one side and nutella on the other, topped with bananas.

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It was delicious.

We got to the race site in Sonoma a few minutes before 6:30. Luckily they were all set up, which made it super easy to get registered. They only gave me a bib, and no shirt. I thought that it was weird they handed the shirts out at the end.

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I made a pit stop here.

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When I was taking the picture some woman said “really? The port-o-potties are that interesting?”. I simply said “you must not read many running blogs.”

There’s only 2 rules with bathrooms,

1- make sure there are enough.

2- make sure they are clean and stocked.

It was 7am, and there was quite a line. Well with only about 8 bathrooms it seemed like there wasn’t enough bathrooms.

By now the crowds started coming in.

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I made sure I took the start line obligatory picture.

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It was a little sad that it didn’t say start.

Soon enough it was about 15 minutes before the race started. I made my way to the “start, not labeled start line”. I got stuck behind some strollers…

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The clock ticked down to 0, and nothing happened. Then 3 minutes later we were asked to move forward to make way for everyone. This was good, since I wasn’t behind “the stroller crew” anymore.

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They said to give them another 10 minutes after this. This was super annoying news to hear. Every race I have ever raced in has been a few minutes late. However at this point they were talking like 15 minutes.

Eventually 18 minutes pass, and they let the wheel chairs go. And said it would be another 3 minutes.

26 minutes after the original start time the Runner’s part of the race started.

After all the annoying delays, we were finally running. And I was feeling awesome! So awesome that my first mile clocked in at 9:06.

CRAP!

I’m just racing for fun. There’s no way I can hold this pace. I tried to slow down. Mile 2 clocked in at 9:07. Then I was trying to do the math (favorite past time of runner’s, while running). I was kind of freaking out. I was not trained for a sub 55 10k. I didn’t want to injure myself.

Also in mile 2 I passed a hidden “aid station” with one volunteer. ONE! I must be really, really spoiled. I am used to at least a half a dozen or more volunteers at each aid station. The runner’s we decided to stop had to pour their own water. At that moment I felt great.

The scenery looked like this,

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It was really a beautiful course. I was trying to soak it all in. I didn’t think I needed water at that moment. And I remembered that there were 3 aid stations. I just figured I would stop at the next one.

Then I hit an uphill slope. I could really feel myself slowing down. I thought for sure I was running over 10 min/mile. I was cursing the adrenaline in the beginning. And wondering where the hell it went after mile 2.

Mile 3- 9:57

Ew. Ya I started way too fast, now I’m going uphill. Then the cramps started. Why am i cramping? Oh yeah, I decided to switch it up and eat carbs before my race. So, I was pissed about that. And I was pissed that the race directors were lame and only assigned one volunteer to an aid station. I was also pissed that they didn’t put more info on their website. They should have had an elevation chart. Or at least some sort of acknowledgement of some slight uphill parts.

SOMETHING.

Eventually I came to another aid station. Another single volunteer. Whatever. I poured my own water. I walked and drank. I had never been so happy to see an aid station. With a new pep on my step, I turned the corner and saw this view.

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Amazing!

It really made me appreciate where I live and the races I have access to.

Mile 4 was over 10 min mile. Blasphemy. I just kept trudging. And after the slow uphill madness, came the downhill. I got my second wind. I kept a steady 9:31 pace for the rest of the 10k.

I was so excited to see the end!

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According to the timing thing, I finished at 58:14. I don’t know if that is entirely accurate, since the delay and the wheel chair thing. Nike+ said I finished 58:57. Either way I PR’d by more than 5 minutes. I can’t say that it wasn’t a good race. I put in as much effort as I could. However when you break the cardinal rule of starting too fast, expect to tucker out.

Next up, I want my shirt!

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Hasn’t anyone ever told the race coordinators that white is the absolute WORST color for a shirt. It’s a tech tee, it’s meant to be worn while you sweat. Plus you have to wear a white bra. (well as a courtesy to others around you).

Ok I got my shirt, I changed my clothes. Gimme my wine and cheese! There was none. Nobody could pour until after 10:30. I was done at 9:30. I guess that’s out.

Now gimme my cheese! There was no cheese. Where was the cheese? It’s in the title of the race!?!?! Why wouldn’t you offer some cheese to the competitors right after the race?

We left, cheeseless and wineless.

We hit up this place in Napa.

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We each ordered one of these.

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And shared some of these

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We quickly ate, and headed home. We both desperately needed a nap. The rest of the afternoon was spent relaxing.

Overall: I would give this race a so-so rating

Positives:
Location

spectacular views

great weather

a lot of shade on the course.

Negatives:
you get your shirt at the end (I’m a control freak who needs her shirt right away)

Over 20 minutes delayed start

Not enough port-o-potties

Not enough volunteers at the aid stations

No wine and cheese at the end, even when it’s in the title.

White tech tee

No race results on the website after 5pm. (I checked the race website about race results, It only had 2010 results. Not a good sign.)

Would I do this race again?? No. Would I recommend the course to a friend, who is visiting from out of town and wants a scenic race? Probably.

Have you encountered any of these negatives when racing?

Cheers!

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5 thoughts on “Race Recap: Hit The Road Jack 10k

  1. Liz @ Run Fat Chick Run! says:

    I hate disorganized races with a distinct lack of porta potties. Even worse NO WINE OR CHEESE? OMG. That is a serious travesty of justice. And that isn’t sarcastic Liz talking. I might have started a riot. But regardless: Congratulations on a fantastic PR! All that good work you’ve put in really paid off! Now I need to get my ass in gear so I don’t slow you down if we ever get to race together. 😉 Congrats again!

  2. AMSebastiani says:

    Howdy! I ran Hit the Road Jack 10k as well yesterday- and I loved it! I saw ~12 or 13 port a potties- ~6 on either side of the town Hall, and I think the race is called in Wine and Cheese Country Run- so not an actual wine/cheese event- but I can totally see how it would be confusing.

    Also- what I loved about this race is that I ran it w/my 6 yr old twins- the 2.2 mile race- and they had medals for their age group which was just so fantastic to see all the kids get excited about the medals. This is the first time my kids got to ‘race’ with me and it was just a hoot!

    Oh! and the race was brought back after a year off- so despite a few kinks (the ~20 min late start which was b/c they wanted to ensure all same race day sign up people to race) I thought was amazing. Sorry you didn’t have the same experience ;(.

    Happy Running and congrats on your PR!

  3. tiffanybluegirl23 says:

    I have encountered way too many like this. I’m like you a control freak. Even if I don’t have to register day of I’m there a good 45 mins early; mainly because I live 30+ mins from all of my races. My biggest pet peeve about the shirts is when not only do they give you white but fail to specify they are not unisex (this is usually smaller or newer races). The reg forms or on line just say the sizes. So I mark Large because all of my other unisex tech shirts are larges and fit. Then it’s packet pick up and I’m given a white shirt tech shirt thin enough you don’t need water for a wet tshirt contest and while it says large there is NO WAY the “girls” and I could possibly fit in it TOGETHER. If I take the risk and mark XL I end up swimming in a unisex tech shirt. Have you ever received one that smelled like petroleum products (diesel, oil etc)? I did at thanksgiving. It was another of those too small shirts so I’ve never warn it but friends who have said even after numerous washes it still stinks.

    My last half they said there would be three medical tents and roaming medical staff. It was unusually hot for this time of year and I got severely overheated (I talk about this in my horrible half post) I was just past the 7- mile market in distress it took 10-15 mins for the volunteers to figure out who to call and where the closest tent was. They told me I had to walk to it. Seriously!? Finally a race volunteer drive me to the tent. I get there and the medics have no way to check my vitals. By the time the ambulance made it to me twenty minutes later I was fine, but thoroughly ticked. I later found out a guy passed out and was siezing just before the finish line, there was no medical staff anywhere near the finish to respond right away. It was then they started handing out zip lic bags of ice at the finish.

    The justification I got for all of this, “It was only our second year.”

  4. Amy says:

    Congratulations on a PR! And I agree that lack of organization can really kill the race experience! I ran a half marathon a couple of months ago where there were 2 people per aid station, and apparently they ran out of water at some and ran out of cups at others (so they were pouring water into people’s mouths one at a time). Not to mention that a lot of the course wasn’t actually closed to traffic so we were battling cars over who had the right of way.

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