Thursday, June 10, 2010

Sunburst 2010, the 10k story....

 By: Brent

A weekend prior to the Sunburst race I did a practice run with my good friend, Jonny the Fox. Jonny is a great guy, and also my biggest running enemy. I have never beaten him. I have run with him and he always is encouraging and we always have a good time. When we train together we can keep together but on race day, he always steps up. On the Saturday prior, he was "off". He had literally just gotten back from a week in Italy (I don't feel that bad for him) and then a couple days in New Orleans. He had not run at all in quite a while so needless to say the training run was a bit shaky. He told me a couple times to "go on ahead" but I stayed. I wouldn't have been that much faster so I just enjoyed the company for 6 miles.

RACE DAY: JtF and I planned for him to pick me up at 6:30 and ride over together. We SQUEEZED into our parking spot and got over to the waiting area on the turf at the Hall of Fame. I knew Jeff was around somewhere so I ditched Jon in search of Jeff so I could maybe run a bit with him. Low and behold Jeff and I met up and after the 5k crossed the timing strips, I hopped in the pack and ran 5 city blocks or so with him. As I was leaving Jeff, I reminded him the two things that I figured out my first Sunburst race.

1.) There is one significant hill. When you get there, just walk it. Don't blow your energy on it today. Just walk it.

2.) As you enter the tunnel of the stadium, it slopes down, then flats out, then slopes down before you get into the stadium. As you enter in, and the crowd noise is piped in like a Colts vs. Patriots game in Indy, and the intensity picks up, I have seen someone every year just about take a spill.

So I met back with Jon and a couple others for our start of the 7:45 10k. When the gun fired Jon and I got into our pace quickly after fighting a bit of traffic from the other 1,205 other runners. It did take me by surprise the pace Jon picked. The weekend before we were struggling to keep a 10:30 pace and today we were just barely into the 9 min mile. We talked a bit during the run. checking on each other and talking about how the course seemed totally different from last year (which by the way, it was identical). He requested a walk here and there and honestly I was fine with it. We got to the hill and I think we were both eager to walk that. It is a 2 part hill. You cover the first 200 yards or so, turn right, then the last 100 or so hits you. It is one of the steeper and tougher hills I have been dealt in my road racing career (ALL 13 races...). The race continued on and we entered the tunnel, high fived and as soon as we hit the turf, I sprinted my butt off.

In my head, I knew Jon crossed the starting timers maybe a second before me. I really wanted to have beat him by at least a second. When the results came back officially, I was a 58:50 to Jon's 58:52. I know this wasn't a real issue for Jon, nor was it a fair training prior to this race with him traveling and I had my marathon, but I needed to see a win.

I don't think I would have P.R.'ed my 10k time. I had taken things a little to relaxed from the marathon, but I think I may have cut off 2 minutes at best. My 10k P.R. is 55:32 at this same race last year.

After the race I saw and got updates from most everyone I was hoping to see. Another nice Sunburst was had by all!
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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

My First 5K! Sunburst 2010

 By: Jeff

Since January I have been preparing for my first 5K.  This past Saturday (June 5, 2010) I took on this challenge at the Sunburst races in South Bend.

On Friday night I drove over to South Bend to pick up my bib and my timing chip.  I was pleasantly surprised with how easy that process was.  There were a few people, but it was by no means crowded.  Saturday morning I woke up early to take my son to the babysitters.  I was in downtown South Bend about 40 minutes before the start.  It was fun to watch people mill about and talk about their race strategies.  Fifteen minutes before the start time they announced everyone to begin lining up on the road for the start of the race.  There where 3,169 runners in the 5K.  The road could not handle the mass of people, so I just stood off to the side of the road, towards the back of the crowd, and took a picture with my cell phone. There was the singing of the National Anthem.  And then the gun went off, the race was underway.

The Start:

So as people started to move towards the start line they would move, and then stop, and then move, and then again stop.  Brent has talked about this before, and apparently it is a common phenomena at most races.  After a couple of minutes I crossed the start line and eased into a nice beginning pace.  I was feeling pretty good, Brent joined me for the first half mile, then he had to return for the start of his 10K race.  I ran the first, lets call it three-quarters of a mile.  Then there was a little downhill towards the St. Joseph River.  Once you crossed the bridge over the river, which is a little over a mile into the race, the course goes uphill for about the next three quarters of a mile.  This was defiantly the toughest section for me, and I probably walked more of it, then I ran.  I passed the two mile marker, and honestly felt like I was having a slow race.  Mile three was mostly flat, and I ran more then I walked.  Finally I saw the stadium.  By far the coolest part of the race was entering Notre Dame Stadium through the tunnel.  The finish line is at the 50 yard line in the stadium.

The Finish:

So I made sure that I ran all the way through the tunnel and all the way to the finish line.  When I crossed the line they announced my name on the P.A. system, which was kind of cool.  After the race I got some grapes and some water.  People mostly just hung out on the field.  I got to watch the winner of the 10K cross the finish line.  I also got to see my friend Gary cross the line.  I stayed and watched as Brent had a strong finish to his 10K.  Overall it was a lot of fun and I finished with a time of 0:46:16, which is better than I thought I did, but not as good as what I wanted to do.  So that means I have to keep training, and start working on my next race.  Brent will have a review of his 10k posted soon.
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Friday, June 4, 2010

Pursing the Sunburst

By: Brent

The Pursuit of Fit team (Jeff and I) are proud to announce tomorrow's big event. Jeff will be tackling his first 5k (3.1 miles) and I will be participating in my 4th Sunburst event, this being my second 10k (6.2 miles) at this venue.

The Sunburst's claim is "From the Hall of Fame to Notre Dame" starting you next door to the current College Football Hall of Fame (that will be leaving in the next couple years) and you finish crossing the line on the Notre Dame Stadium 50 yard line.

The 2010 event is figuring for good crowds, but maybe not the best weather. The 5k is figuring 3,500, the 10k 1,200. The Half Marathon (13.1 miles) is counting on 1,000 runners along with 650 people looking for 26.2 miles of punishment. is showing a less than pleasant 50% chance of rain with temps moving up from 60 degrees to 75 during the day.

We will post updates when we have official times and I have a feeling Jeff will post a first organized race review.

Our next event we are hoping to attend will be Steve's Run in Dowagiac, MI. They offer a road 5k and a road/trail 10k. I ran the event in 2008 as my first 10k ever run. It was a run that I had a blast because the course was so challenging with the trail sections mixed into it. There are a couple other races and rides we have our collective eyes on, but we'll update the "Schedule" tab when we know more.

Good luck to all the runners tomorrow, especially our reader Amanda, who is running the full marathon. Enjoy it!!!!
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