Better late than never, I suppose, here is my account of the River City Rat Race, a 10K race ran Oct. 27 through Fort Wayne.
I finished the race in 59:49. It was the fourth race I entered this year and the fourth race I set a PR. I had never come close to breaking an hour before in a 10K race, though I had run one since 2010. I had PR’d in a 5K in March, a 4-miler in July and a half-marathon in September.
The forecast on Oct. 27 called for partly cloudy skies and a high near 50. Close to 1,000 people toed the starting line near Freimann Square and we took off a 2 sharp. The race headed east out of downtown across the Maumee River toward the Lakeside Park neighborhood. I ran the first mile in about 10:12. The course went up Forest Park Boulevard, a street full of big houses that at one time housed the movers and shakers of Fort Wayne. We went past Lakeside Park, across the St. Joseph River and picked up the Rivergreenway. At this point, the course narrowed considerably. I had a rail to my left that kept me from falling down into the river. We went past the water filtration plant and into Historic Fort Wayne, where the 5K runners finished. We 10K runners continued on along the St. Marys River to the Historic Wells Street Bridge, across the St. Marys and back into downtown. A loop through downtown, over to Headwaters Park, back across the St. Marys and back to the Fort.
I was happy with my time. I credit it to a couple of factors:
1. Running on a plant-based diet. The longer I go without eating animal products, the longer I’m convinced plants are the ideal food for athletes, particularly endurance athletes.
2. Being car free. I get a lot of exercise every day — bicycling, running, walking. All of this has helped me lose weight and strengthen my heart and lungs, giving my more endurance.
3. Running with a squirrel-chasing German shorthaired pointer. She has forced me to run faster.
I plan to run another 10K in December — the JP10K at Foster Park on Dec. 7. It’s a no-frills race — no restrooms, no race numbers, no T-shirts for entering (though race organizers ask all participants to give away a T-shirt for the needy).