Race Review: Capitol 10 Miler

By on 17 October, 2014 in Fun, Meg Lewis with 0 Comments

Last Saturday a brand new race debuted in Montgomery called the Capitol 10 Miler. Organized by Fleet Feet Sports Montgomery and Centerpoint Church, the 10 mile race was set on the second Saturday of October to offer a long distance run for those who enjoyed running the Montgomery Half Marathon at this time. The Montgomery Half was moved back to March of 2015 in order to allow time to expand the race to include a full marathon.

This new race was exceptionally well-organized and had a great turnout for the first running with over 340 registered and 300 actually running the race. Race funds went to Operation Heal our Patriots, and military and first responders raced for free.

The course was challenging and the route included some streets that are not often included in other races in the area. Water stations were plentiful and manned by smiling, encouraging volunteers. Every turn of the open course was marked and staffed by volunteers from Maxwell Air Force Base’ Officer Training School and motorcycle police escorted the runners through the course, keeping everyone safe.

The start and finish line was on Washington Avenue, nestled between the Alabama Department of Archives and the State Capitol Building. The weather that morning was slightly warmer and more humid than anyone probably hoped for in October, but lovely, nonetheless. The first three miles took runners up Adams Avenue to Mt. Meigs road, over to Highland Avenue and through Oak Park. Most Montgomerians rarely travel these streets by car, much less on foot. Locally owned mechanic shops, restaurants, hair salons and thrift stores and the occasional pedestrian kept us company on the quiet asphalt.

These were fast, easy miles. My advice to future runners of this race is to dial back the speed a bit to keep something in the tank for later. I did not do this, and instead was keeping pace with someone that I knew to be a significantly faster runner than me. I paid for that later…

Miles 3.5 through 8 were a tour of Old Cloverdale’s loveliest streets, like Thomas and Bankhead Avenue, and LeBron Cloverdale Road. Smiling residents and excited pups out for morning walks were spectators as we traveled through street after street of gorgeous historic homes with manicured lawns and expensive cars parked in front.

Having run entirely too fast early in the race, I decided to slow down significantly, and accepted that if I had to walk a mile or two of this race, at least I’d finish. I gauged my stamina around 5 miles and decided I could probably push through.

Mile 8 ventured onto the campus of Alabama State University, starting with a demanding hill which flattened out at the turn to South Jackson Street only to mockingly take another rapidly rising hill at mile 9 when we returned to Adams Avenue. So close the finish, surely the hills were over, but no, a tiny, evil incline on North Hull street had the last laugh before the final turn, back on to Washington and upward, ever upward to the finish line.

The thing that I enjoyed most about this course was the fact that it carried you through two completely different sides of our city. When running a distance of this length, you have time to take in your surroundings, interact with the people you meet on the course, and contemplate how in just 5,280 feet the world around you can seem to completely change. You can ponder the reasons why as you run.

The finish line was nicely stocked with plenty of water, bananas and other refueling food. Clever backdrops were set up for photo ops of finishers with their medals. The medals themselves were high quality, heavy weight and featured the dome of the Capitol building encircled by the words Finisher, Philippians 13:13-14 and October 11, 2014. The medals were handed out by firemen and members of the military.

Over 340 people registered for the race and 300 ran. That’s enough for organizers to plan to continue the race and they are currently selecting a date around the 2015 SEC football schedule.

Meg Lewis is a runner and cupcake baker who lives the loft life in Downtown Montgomery. She regularly makes her rounds through downtown and midtown Montgomery evaluating the beer selections, live musical performances and the social atmosphere of local establishments in the company of a small and close-knit group of fabulous people.

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