Welcome to November! I know I’ve said this before, but the year is flying by!
My fall running has been a little less frequent since I’m no longer in training mode, but I’m happy to share that I did recently run another race – the Oktoberfest 10K! This was my first time running this local race in Pennypack Park, but it’s organized by the same folks who do the 1/2 Sauer 1/2 Kraut Half Marathon every June, and that has easily become one of our favorites! I’m excited to share my recap with you!
I’m linking up with Marcia, Patty, and Erika for Tuesdays on the Run, where bloggers talk about their training and share running tips! I’m also linking up with Susie, Debbie, Lora, and Rachel for the Running Coaches Corner and Annmarie, Nicole, and Jen for Wild Workout Wednesday!Check out my recap of the Oktoberfest 10K in Philadelphia! #runchat #sweatpink Click To Tweet
I signed up for the Oktoberfest 10K sometime in late September to help round out my fall racing calendar. Originally just known as the Oktoberfest 13.1, the 10K distance was added in the last year or so. Since Bret has had such great success with the 1/2 Sauer 1/2 Kraut race, he was ready to see if he could win another age group award with the half marathon distance – this was his goal fall race.
We were pretty relaxed leading up to the race…except for the fact that there would be pouring rain all.day.long. on Sunday. I watched hours of Jane the Virgin on Netflix for most of Saturday, and then we watched some Nebraska football in the evening. Since the race was a 10K, I wasn’t too concerned about what I was eating or drinking…I’m not in training mode, remember? I just wanted to make sure that Bret did everything he needed to ensure a successful race. I think I went to bed at a reasonable hour…but I set my alarm for 6:30!
The race had a much later start than we are used to: 9:00 for the half marathon, 9:15 for the 10K. I used the extra time in the morning to stress about what to wear to the race. The temperature was in the low 60’s, so great running weather, but since we were expecting heavy downpours, I wanted to wear a rain jacket to at least protect my phone. I ended up wearing a short-sleeved T-shirt and capris with my jacket on top. I also wore my Brooks Run Happy hat.
It was my first time driving to Pennypack Park since moving to our home, and it only took a little over 20 minutes. Off-street parking was easy, and bib pickup for all runners was that morning and only took a couple of minutes. But as soon as we parked and headed to the Pavilion where the race would start and finish, it began to rain. And it got heavier. And heavier. Ugh!
The Oktoberfest race is very small with just about 300 participants total between the half marathon and 10K. I’m sure on a normal day, the energy is high and everyone’s having a great time with the perfect fall weather. But since we had pouring rain, there was a lot less energy from my fellow runners. You had so many people crammed under the Pavilion to stay dry, and even Uberhans, the reliable German accordion player, couldn’t fully lift my spirits.
The half marathoners were first up, so it wasn’t long before Bret made his way to the start. They started a little bit after 9:00 am and there was a guy on a bicycle to lead the runners through the course. It is a very similar route as the 1/2 Sauer 1/2 Kraut, so no surprises: super scenic trail, mostly paved, and lots of hills. He took off and I cheered him on – he looked great!
Then it would be my turn. Fifteen minutes later, I lined up…but I should have started much farther back in line. That’s the thing with small races…those little details! I think Despacito was playing on the loudspeakers and then we were off!
We had a slightly different route from the half marathoners so we ran through the grass for a little bit before headed straight to the paved trail. The rain was in full effect, but thankfully not as bad as it was a little earlier! I was fumbling with my jacket – should I wear my hood? Should I zip up/down my jacket?
I’ve been doing this thing during races where I don’t look at my watch. I don’t know why…but this might be the last time I do it! All I knew is that I wanted to run the race under an hour. I was running pretty fast and trying to maintain momentum with the runners around me. There were spots on the trail that we were pretty packed in, but eventually, I had a decent amount of space. I was a little nervous about slipping on all of the wet leaves, but thankfully I didn’t get tripped up. I mugged for the photographer along the way – see my proofs! A woman with pink compression socks was ahead and I wanted to stay behind her, but she was too fast for me! And then the hills happened….good lord! When you run the Sauer Kraut race, these hills are at the end, not the beginning! What a challenge!
Meanwhile, I started to get really hot. Of course, I did! The rain ended up not being all that heavy, so the jacket really dragged me down and made me overheat. Sometime after mile 2, I unzipped the jacket and wrapped it around my waist, trying to make sure my bib was still visible. I instantly felt so much better!
Again, I never looked at my watch so I had no clue about my pace. I just knew that I was huffing and puffing, lol! The fall foliage was absolutely gorgeous on the trail and I used that as a distraction along with my running playlist. I started to count the hills…I guess for fun? I knew that since this was an out-and-back race, I’d have to climb them all again! The turnaround point couldn’t come soon enough!
Splits: 8:52, 9:28, 9:59.
As I made my way back for the final 3 miles, I passed a couple of people…and that helped my confidence a little bit! Even though I took off the jacket, I was still really hot so I knew I needed a water break. The volunteers, most of them dressed in German garb, took care of me, and as I sipped my cup, I did walk for a few steps before picking back up. Between miles 3.5 and about 5.5, I was all by myself on the trail. Seriously! I guess I was literally in the middle of the pack! I was eager to get this damn race over with and I started to absent-mindedly search for “cuckoo eggs” along the trail. If you found one, you’d win a prize, lol…yeah, it’s a real thing! I never did find one since there were so many leaves on the ground! But at least it helped take my mind off of the hills – there were about 6 or so (in one direction), and they weren’t the cute rolling type!
I did my best to finish strong. A guy came out of nowhere and passed me (he was stopping and starting throughout so I wasn’t worried about him ha), and then there was another guy that I was determined to beat to the finish – and I did! I was so happy to see the finish, but I could already see that an hour passed…would I reach my goal?
Splits: 10:34, 10:14, 9:51.
Nope! My official race results were 1:00:44. Garmin clocked in 6.21 miles in 1:00:49. Just a minute over my goal…but it is what it is! My 10K PR is 55:16, but that was earned on a flat course! I actually ended up 12th in my age group which was pretty neat!
Once I was done, I was ready to get out of my soaking wet clothing. I took off my jacket and hat to hung it to “dry” and eventually found a spot where I could change into a dry long-sleeved shirt that I packed. The Pavilion was so crowded and dark and I really didn’t have an appetite for bratwurst LOL. I couldn’t wait for Bret to be done so I would feel a little less lonely and miserable.
About a half hour later, Bret made his way across the finish line. Unfortunately, he didn’t have the race that he hoped for. So no records were broken this time, but he still did an incredible job with 1:47. Once he settled down I did get a couple of Twizzlers and some homemade coffee cake – all I needed were duplex cookies and I’d be set, haha!
We made our way to the car (and yes, it’s STILL pouring) and decided to go to Hop Angel for the “after party”. It’s a German bar that we have never been to and we really loved the vibe – we’ll have to go back! We only ordered the garlic fries and omg…they were SO good!! Definitely a highlight of the day!
While the rain made things
very a bit miserable, I highly recommend the Oktoberfest 13.1 and 10K! The organizers did a great job. I’m not sure if I would sign up to run it next year, but I’m glad I was able to do something new and add another medal to the collection! If you’re looking for a local Philly race that’s unpretentious and challenging – keep this one on your radar!
Do you like running 10K’s? What’s your favorite running route in the fall?