Race Report – Sugar Hollow Bridges


I hemmed and hawed about signing up for this one – it was the same day as the last 10 miler training program run, and I didn’t want to miss “graduation.” I finally decided to give it a try when I realized there were pancakes involved.

Sugar Hollow Road was the site of a few long runs this past year, including my 22 miler. As its name suggests, it’s snuggled down in the hills, and the road follows and criss-crosses the Moormans River, hence the Bridges. Weather was perfection – overcast and cool.

The 5K and 10K have different start lines, so I was glad I’d arrived and porta-johned early, because it took several minutes to get to the start and get everyone sorted out. It’s a small race, and there were many familiar faces, even though my regular crew was at the C10TP.

The race starts heading toward the dam. It’s a very gentle uphill. So gentle you hardly notice, except for wondering why your legs feel so heavy and psyching yourself out about the whole thing. I started slow, and just did not feel into the rhythm. Since the 10 miler is next week, I didn’t want to race too hard, and didn’t go out with any real goal in mind, except to finish safely.

I breezed past the water stop, as I was carrying my own, and kept trudging along, grateful that the sound of the river masked my thumping feet. I found myself alone for much of the first half of the race.

At the turnaround, I took some plain water, and hoped that the oh so gentle downhill would make the second half of the 10K bearable. I found myself passing people, and enjoying the gentle curves in the road.

The second half flew by, and before I knew it, I could see the finish clock. I knew going in I wouldn’t break an hour, but I was pleasantly surprised to be not very far over that.

After the race, we adjourned to the White Hall Community Center for a pancake breakfast, where the runners and friends sat together at long tables. There were wineberries and wild blackberries, no doubt gathered nearby and stored carefully all winter in someone’s freezer. And on my way out, I was handed a $10 Harris Teeter gift certificate.

An absolute gem of a race, and if I had to miss C10MTP graduation, this was a worthy substitute. If you’re not convinced, look at these negative splits:

Mile 1 10:54

Mile 2 10:46 (18 sec faster)

Mile 3 10:29 (17 sec faster)

Mile 4 9:48 (turnaround time – 41 sec faster)

Mile 5 9:27 (21 sec faster)

Mile 6 9:08 (19 sec faster)

Mile 6.2 1:55/8:45 pace

Total time: 1:02:30, 10:03/mile

A quick update to this post: This was a PR for me in the 10K, by about 1:45. I haven’t raced this distance in for freakin’ ever, and had only ever run two prior.


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