I believe a solid case can be made that a 10k is harder than half marathon. I understand the half marathon is more mileage, but a 10k is a HARD, FAST run. The half marathon is easily 20 seconds per mile slower than the 10k. Translation: you can breathe just fine on a half marathon.
As a glutton for punishment, I have decided that 10ks are my favorite race. I like the training involved, I like the challenge, and I like that it’s not as time consuming as a marathon.
My favorite 10k is the City of Oaks in Raleigh for the following reasons:
- It’s the Sunday after Daylight Savings. 7am start, but your body feels like it’s 8am. You don’t have to worry about lack of sleep the night before because you gained an hour.
- This race is always the first Sunday in November. It’s NEARLY a guarantee for good weather. (I know of a couple years that provided an exception to that rule, but generally NC has great weather in November.)
- Raleigh is super pretty in November. The leaves have changed and started to fall a bit. There are also plenty of good brunch places to visit after you run (and you get to watch all the half and full marathoners still running).
- The course. Here’s the Elevation profile. For about 1.5 miles it is a glorious run, mostly downhill or at least level. You can settle in. Then you climb Boylan as a little warm-up over to Morgan. You have some other rollers, but get a nice downhill on Glenwood before you climb Clark toward the finish. Just know that when you reach the top of Clark, you are NOT done. They changed the finish a couple years ago. You may think you’re finished. But I can’t iterate enough, you.are.not.done. My coach told me once that I was only 40% tired. I think I was closer to 90% tired.
- This race is perfect for spectators to come cheer you on. It’s easy for them to get to several spots during the race. And, it’s always nice to hear your name being called!
This year is the 12th annual race. You can choose a fun run mile for the kids, 5k, 10k, half, and full option (there’s even a relay option, but my opinion on relays is that they shouldn’t be run unless over 200 miles; just sign up for the 5k). Packet pick up is a BREEZE at the McKimmon Conference and Training Center in downtown Raleigh. Race day parking is fairly easy with lots of space at Cameron Village, which allows for a decent warm-up over to the start line.
Add this to your fall race schedule and you won’t be disappointed!