- 6 miles/10K
- Road Race
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This past weekend I ran the Run Inspired 10K. The race was hosted at the at the Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library in Winterthur, DE and my first official race in Delaware! Oddly enough even though I live so close to the state I have never crossed state lines when it comes to running.
A quick back story on this run: this is an inaugural race that benefits and supports Operation Warm, a group whose mission is to provide brand new coats to children living in poverty. They have been giving out coats to children ever since founder Dick Sanford donated the first 58 coats back in 1998. To date they have donated over 2 million coats and were able to donate over an additional 1,500 coats thanks to this race.
As I mentioned above the race was held at Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library. This was an absolutely beautiful location for a race course. The location is a 1,000 acre preserve with miles and miles of running paths. Since the race was held at a local preserve everything was in one specific location. Parking, pre/ post race festivities and all other activities were held on site. This made logistics relatively easy.
However once I was in everything was relatively easy. Since it was so far away from home I didn't pick up by bib ahead of time. Instead I opted for race day bib pick up. Once I got parked it was pretty easy to locate the race. Since this was the only event in the park it was not very hard to miss.
This bib pick up process went very smooth. I received my bib, some pins and a race day shirt. Since I don't wear race shirts before I complete the race (superstition) and didn't want to carry it with me, I headed back to my car to drop off the shirt. Once I got myself pinned, took care of pre race dooties (see what I did there) it was time to start the race.
The course was very beautiful however very difficult. The park is known for it's hills and they were not kidding. Overall runners experienced an elevation change of around 700 feet. The hills were rolling and it wasn't about until mile 4.5 that they seemed to level off. So a difficult course for sure. However the park is also a museum so the 6.2 miles were filled with a lot of beautiful sites to distract you from how hilly the course got. Since it was a public museum it was also nice to have real restroom buildings along the course. I saw at least 3 during the run.
Because it was a paved course through a park at times the course did get tight. I think the race management group factored this in because they released us in anticipated time groups. As with most runs the race had large signs to group everyone by pace per mile. However instead of releasing all of us at once there was about a minute between when your pace per mile group went. This helped because at the beginning the course got tight due to so many people out at once (probably about 4 people wide could fit on the path). However after the first mile it started to thin out and become more roomy.
The post race festival was excellent. They advertised a beer tent as well as live bands. Runners would cross the finish line and receive a race bag full of food and other goodies. I like this because it meant you didn't need to find something to do with your race bag before the run. You could collect the official race bag afterwards with no issue. Side note: I received my race bag from Ms. Delaware.....no big deal.
I enjoyed the post race festival, most importantly because the beer line went so quick. One of my passions outside of running is craft beer. So anytime a race advertises post run beer my ears perk up. However more times than not I am disappointed because the beer line is longer than the wait to begin the race and ultimately I end up leaving before enjoying a post run beer. However this time was different. You got a check mark on your bib and could walk into a beer tent where you could just pick up a beer from the table and go. No single file line waiting for 45 minutes for one drink. I appreciated how they did this.
One more surprise to me was this race offered a medal. Maybe I did a bad job of reading up on the race beforehand but I did not see this as an option. As a medal chaser I was happy to receive one. And on top of that the medal doubled as a bottle opener. Always a plus in my book!
Overall I would highly recommend this race. Not only is it in a beautiful location with a fun after party, but more importantly it supports a good cause. If you are looking for a challenging and enjoyable 10K to put on your race schedule, look no further.