Race Report: Quarryman Challenge 10miler

With a name like “Quarryman Challenge” you are in for a serious race. Especially if have you Midwestern legs that are used to flaaaat roads. This race was tough. And it attracts a lot of local fasties, which is fun, but also makes me feel a tad slow in comparison. But, I wasn’t racing this one. I just wanted to use it to get in a good, hard training run, and see where I am before the First Midwest Half in three weeks. But, you know, a PR is always nice, and the pace Coach Vera said I could do (8:00-8:45) would be a PR.

However, it was COLD. WTF, spring? Mid-30s? Overcast? Double-digit wind speeds? And SNOW? It was light, but it definitely snowed during the race. (Sidenote: This week’s Runner Photo Challenge is “rain” but I will also accept “snow.”)

But, I had my buddy with me! About a month ago, my husband said “I’d like to do a 5K in a month.” You better believe my ears perked up when he said that. Luckily, I was already signed up for the 10mile, and there was a 5K at the same time. I warned him it would be hilly, but he was on board.

I spent a lot of time mulling over what to wear, looking up past runs in my Garmin log. (Now that Garmin includes the weather, I’ve started logging what I wore for each run.) I went with lined tights, a mock neck, a zip up top, a bondi band under a hat, and gloves. I was worried I would overheat, but I never did. Even barreling up those giant hills.

Screen shot 2013-04-13 at 10.33.34 AM

Before the race we were able to meet up with some F’N Runners and one F’N dog 🙂 Can’t wait to read Pepper’s first race report! Some of our club members even came to spectate!

So, no surprise because I had looked at the elevation profile many times, the course was hilly. Three hills over 100 feet, and some rolling hills. Plus some steep downhills. If you’ve ran Fort2Base, think Hero Hill … times three.

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I planned to run by effort, monitoring my heart rate, and aim for what I would do during the first 10 miles of a half marathon, to see where my pace is, knowing that the hills would slow me down. My Garmin wasn’t registering my HR during the first mile and a half, and thought my BPM at the top of the first hill was around 80. Um, maybe 180. Eventually it started giving me a more reasonable reading so I went by that. Because my Garmin was also off from the mile markers, so I started manually lapping myself too. Oh technology. But between the wonky Garmin, and the varying splits due to hills, I wasn’t sure what my pace was. I was pretty sure I would PR though.

As we were coming back into downtown Lemont, where the race started and finished, a guy I had been leap frogging with said something like “let’s go purple!” (referring to my top, I assume). That motivated me to pick up the pace and pass a bunch of people, so thanks random dude! Hope you had a good race.

Erica was there (and did awesome!) and snapped this great pic of me “sprinting” to the finish:


Look at that, not heel striking. Long ass stride. Thanks, Erica!

My fellow F’N Runner April snapped this pic of me winning the race, er, crossing the finish line:


It was a small race (just over 300 finishers) so you could get a print up of your results right away. And I did PR! 1:24:53, 8:30 pace.

After the race they had bottled water, bananas, apple juice, delicious pizza (including veggie pizza, yum) and BEER! And not Michelob Ultra! A local watering hole was giving out Summer Shandy. Definitely appreciated. I found my husband, Kelly, our other club friends, and Erica, and also briefly ran into a co-worker / coach of the local fast club.

MagRobQuarryman MagKelQuarryman

Blogger fail … we didn’t get a group shot. 

By the time I got done mowing down two pieces of pizza and the beer, we were freezing – my husband especially because he had probably been waiting around for me for about 45 minutes, so we headed back to the car. I was so happy to get in the car and turn up the heat. #SpringYoureDoingItWrong

Overall, after last year’s rain out, I’m glad I was able to run the Quarryman Challenge. It was a great race, they offer race day packet pick-up, the course is well marked and manned with volunteers, I think there were 4 aid stations with water and Gatorade (although one aid station was less than a mile from the finish, weird). If you’re looking for something hilly, this definitely fits the bill. And I wish there were more 10 mile races, I think it is a really great distance.

Have you ever done a 10 mile race? Do you wish there were more races in that sub-half range? (15K, 10mi, 10 nautical mile, 20K)

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24 Comments on “Race Report: Quarryman Challenge 10miler”

  1. I would love to see more distances from 8-11 miles. Distances like that make an entry fee worth it and they are do-able without a ton of training (for me). They would also be a nice stepping stone for people looking to move up from 10Ks to half distance.

  2. Great job! I’ve only ever done the Soldier Field 10 miler, but think I’d be more interested in a hilly event like this one… will have to keep this in mind for next year! Glad you got a fun “sunny” brew too!

    1. Glad to know I’m not the only person who seeks out hills. Most of my running club friends were stressing out in the days leading up to the race! I say, bring it on! Hills separate the weak from the strong 🙂

  3. Good job on the PR. Soldier Field is going to be my first 10 miler. I ran the Hot Chocolate 15K and hated it because it was so crowded. I did my first 20K today, but it was trail so it doesn’t really count. The distance between 10K and a half is tricky, don’t know whether to try and extend 10K pace, or run half pace and pick things up towards the end.

    1. Trail races count! I think they count more, running on trails is definitely harder!

      I do most of my runs/races by effort (targeting heart rate) so for 10 mile races I usually target between a half marathon effort and a 10K effort.

  4. Great job, Maggie! Fun to see you and to meet your husband. I loved the race but boy that was hard! You didn’t mention the king of the hill challenge (award for first male and female to get to top of big ass hill at 3/4 mile). It was won by the winners who each beat all competitors by about a mile in the race. They wound up with 2 award quarry stones! I could not believe when we had to go up that the second time! I wound up first female masters-got me a rock + $75!

    I kind of hate 10 milers and prefer 15Ks – I have a mental problem. Ha ha. That said I recommend xtreme 10 at WFG- double dare! Soldier Field and CARA Lakefront 10, too. I wish there were more 15Ks. Those are popular in NYC.

  5. I was slated to do this race but had transportation problems getting to the start. Hate hills but joint it would be one kick butt workout, now I’m even more sad I missed it 🙁

    Good for your hubby! That’s a tricky race! And congrats on that pr. That’s one kick butt photo of you sprinting it in, beautiful stride!

  6. Congrats on the PR! Awesome job and awesome pics! Looks like today we had 1 day of spring and now its going back to what it has been 🙁 I did Soldier field 10 miler a couple years ago and am doing it again this year. I like the 10 mile distance!

  7. Congrats on the PR and the sprinting finish…I wish I had a race pic that looked like that! Didn’t realize Quarryman had changed from May to April.

  8. Great race! The one 10 miler I have ever done is hilly and I would like to try one someday on a flatter course to see if I can go even faster.

    Have you noticed that the weather that Garmin records is sometimes way off? I check the temp when I start and finish and it’s usually +5-8 degrees. One run last week it was off by 18. I wonder if it takes the temp from the middle of the run?

    I do think it’s helpful to log what you wear though! I did that on my training log a few years ago so I could go back and use it as a reference.

    Did Robert have a fun race?

    1. I’ve noticed Garmin is a few degrees warmer. I wonder where they are getting their weather data from.

      Robert had about as much fun as he usually does running. He doesn’t love it like we do. For him, it is a hard workout. But then again, he enjoyed bootcamp and likes having people yell at him when working out, so he’s weird.

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