Sunday was race number 7 in the MRTC Road Race Series. The race was the first 10 miler of the series and was held at Meeman-Shelby Forrest State Park. The park is a well-kept secret in the Memphis community, partially because of the location. The park is in a remote part of the county a good 45 minutes from my house.
When I arrived, it was still pitch black and cold. A severe 180 from the first 6 races of the series. I was not complaining about this. I think that this race is where people start dropping out of contention for the road warrior designation. The race was noticeably smaller than the 10K 2 weeks ago, and I noticed on the results page that number of runners that have completed all 7 races has dwindled down into the 700’s.
The course is billed as the prettiest in the entire series, and I would agree with that. The entire race is on the service roads and trails in Shelby Forrest, with quite a bit of nature’s scenery. Most years the leaves are already changing for this race, but with the warm September that we had, the trees were still very green. The course is certainly hilly, with a very steep hill between miles 9 and 10. It was so steep in fact that the trail was actually a switchback so we could make the climb.
At the end of the race, I was still feeling good, and I am certain that the cooler weather helped with that. Also, since this was my first 10 mile race, it was an instant PR, which is always a great thing! Sadly, this race, the last 10K, and the next 10 miler follow long days of watching and tailgating for football, which leads to less than ideal running prep.
I cannot wait until the next race since I know what to expect from the course and hills. Maybe I can edge out my time from this past Sunday.