‘Terrible 10k’ Not So Terrible

The “Terrible 10k” is part on the Haunted Hilly Half Marathon, and Freightening 5k races put on by Stone Soup Promotions of Elkhart, IN. The race is run at Bonnyville Mill County Park in Bristol, IN.  All three races brings with it a challenging, hilly course.  All proceeds from the race goes to the Elkhart County Down Sydrome Support Group.

As you can imagine, with this being a Halloween themed race, many runners were dressed in costume.  While running in costume is not for me, to each their own.  There were super heroes such as batman, superman, Wonder Woman, and The Incredibles.  There were also a lot of minions, Pirates, and other Disney characters. There were awards for best costumes in many categories.  Still to this day, you will never get me to run in a costume. 

I chose to run the 10k for a couple different reasons.  The Monumental Marathon is next weekend and the last thing I need to do is run a hilly, tough half marathon a week before.  I was also scheduled to run about an hour with 40 minutes close to marathon goal pace. I also just didn’t feel that a 5k would be worth the time and effort.  

The goals for the race: 1: Get a good workout in, 2: don’t do anything stupid and injure myself before Monumental Marathon 3: build an early lead and cruise the rest of the way. The race morning temps were in the mid 40s, very overcast and very little wind.  I would say it was a perfect morning for a race. 


The half marathon runners started off at 8:45, followed by the 5k/10k race at 8:55.  The only issue of starting with the 5k is not knowing who the 5k runners were.  In this case, the runners who went out hard were of high school age.  My theory, usually high school runners who are just coming off of cross country season, are going to stick with the familiar distance of 5k.  If they ran past the 5k turn around, then I would pick up my pace a little bit and go after them.  Until then, I was just going to stay back.    

First mile felt very relaxed. I came through the first mile at 6:39 which is just a tad fast of my marathon goal pace of 6:40.  The first mile includes mostly of uphill running. The next half mile was a waiting game, waiting to see what the 4 runners ahead of me would do when we got to the 5k turn around. At this point they had a decent lead on me but I felt that if they were running the 10k I had gone out easy enough that I could make up the ground needed.  As we got to the turn around, all the runners infront of me, made the U-Turn to head back to the finish.  Now the question was, who right behind me is going to follow me.  After the 1.5 mile mark, there was a steep uphill which I did not push and stayed relaxed.  When I reached the top, I took a little bit of a peek behind me and didn’t see anyone too close to me.  Second mile was completed in 6:35.

For the third mile, we joined up with the half marathon runners, mainly the middle of the pack runners at this point.  I didn’t really run with any of these runners, but it did give me something to focus on ahead of me and motivation to pass some runners.  The rolling hills continued till the turn around. Mile 3 was probably the toughest with the uphold.  Came through mile 3 at 6:45.  I had no desires to push the up hills, just keep the effort steady.

Mile 4 consisted f running down all the hills we just went up. As I was returning, I was trying to see how close the second place runner was to me.  With all the half marathon runners, it was difficult to figure out who was in the half and who was in the 10k.  I did attempted to also take a peek behind me but was still unable to determine where second place was.  The advantage of having a lead and not having to worry about picking up the pace, is being able to relax and just encourage the runners you see going the other way, both half marathoners and 10k runners including a few friends. Mile 4 time was 6:31.  

Mile 5, we turned off the half marathon course and once again, was alone.  There were once again a couple of tough hills to keep things honest.  Mile 5 was completed in 6:43. 

During the final mile, I was starting to come up on the 5k walkers and some of the slower runners.  It was great to see the younger kids out on the course running.  Once again giving me someone to encourage as they finish their race. Mile 6 was the fastest mile of the race as it was mostly down hill.  Mile 6 time was 6:28.  After completing the final down hill, it was a left turn into the finish.  Finishing time was 41:07.  Obviously it was not an impressive time, but with the hills and next weeks marathon, a PR was not the goal for this race.  

 Looking at my goals for the day, I would say I hit all three of them and was able to run the race that I had wanted to. A day later, I don’t feel any kind of soreness, my legs feel fresh, and ready to go for next weekends marathon.  I think the best thing that came out of this marathon is that I have some confidence built up for next week.  Knowing that I held a good pace for 6 miles with no problems, and next weeks races is on a mostly flat course, I feel good going into it.  This really turned out to be a great tune-up race. 


Overall, this was a very well run/organized race.  Paula, from Stone Soup Promotions, does a great job of organizing all of her races.  They are not always the largest races in the area, but she finds great locations and always has the volunteers needed along the course. Also the course was very well marked.  If you got off the course, then you really messed up somehow. 

Congratulations to former college teammate, Bruce Faltynski for winning the Haunted Hill Half Marathon, and his wife Shelby on winning the female 10k race.  Also congrats to everyone else on finishing a tougher than normal race in northern Indiana. 

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