HITS 10k hills smack you in the face!

I ran a pretty crazy 10k today.  It was the HITS Running Festival 10k at COTA.  The run itself, was on the track, making it very hilly and challenging.  There were a lot of steep hills and twist and turns on the out and back course.  The weather was not that great, overcast, rainy, chilly, and windy!  Hills are bad enough, but adding a head wind makes for fun times.  I did really well though.  According to the gun time, I came in fourth in my age group (57:07).  But according to the time on my Garmin, I should have placed 3rd (56:32).  That was a little frustrating.  We waited through all the results to see if I had placed (I had a pretty good feeling about this race).  Unfortunately, my name was never called.  I did email the director of the race about the difference in information, but I doubt anything will come of it.  My running coach and my girl friend who ran the race with me, where both very proud and impressed with my time.  I just so badly want to place in my age group at least once!  This is the second race I have placed 4th in.  Just have to keep on keeping on, and it will happen.

The whole “festival” part was very lacking.  The attendance overall was very low (it could have been the weather, location, or even that it was less then 5 days till Christmas) which was very surprising considering all the hype the official website had advertised.  The “expo” consisted of about 5 tents set up from the various sponsors of the race, all of which I had never heard of.  And being at COTA, I thought we would be able to go inside the venue to get out of the elements but instead we were in the garages were the race cars are prepped and worked on.  And without access to the inside of the main venue, we still had to use port-a potties that were pretty bad compared to ones I have used in the past.

The timing of the start and finish of each distance left people crossing back and forth over the track, which in turn, would create obstacles for runners (and cyclists).  The trophies where literally a piece of paper slid into a curved plastic frame (but man I wish I could have got my hands on one).  And even though some athletes were still on the course, they ran out of water (big thumbs down).  The recovery food was very sketchy as well.  Cut up banana pieces thrown out on to plastic tables with no supervision.  Along with “community” jars of peanut butter to put on the “community” bags of bagels also left out unattended.  Needless to say, I ate the food that I had brought with me (can’t beat a vegan Oreo Voodoo Doughnut after a strong run).

I will say the race shirts were pretty awesome.  Bright highlighter yellow v-necks with the Austin city scape on them (great to wear on early morning or evening runs).  And every one received a finishers metal that was specific to their distance completed.

While this race could not hold a candle to say the Austin 10/20 or Capital City 10k, it was still challenging and worth the effort.


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