Race Review: Capital City Classic 10-Mile

Less than one week after the Boston Marathon bombings, it was time to get out onto a course and honor those who lost their life and those who were injured or affected in anyway on April 15, 2013. For me just getting out and running in an event was a start to getting out and honoring those. The Capital City Classic by A Change of Pace Foundation offered a mini marathon (2.62 mile), 5k, 10k, and 10-mile. With 1 week away from the Big Sur International Marathon, I opted to run the 10-mile distance as a longer run, and to work as some speed / tempo. Since the Asics LA Marathon last month, I still have continued with my no scheduled workout as far as interval, tempo or set distance for long runs, as long as I complete anywhere from 60-75 miles of easy running per week. Even with the Big Sur International Marathon next week, I opted to run the 10-mile fairly hard because I will be running the 4:15 sign at Big Sur to honor those who lost their lives during the events on 4/15 (below are the front and back of the sign I will be carrying).

The folks at A Change of Pace offered an early packet pick up on Saturday from 12:00 – 6:00 pm in Natomas, however due to my schedule I had to opt for the morning of packet pick up. Knowing that packet pick-up was open at 6:30 am,  I arrived to the Crocker Museum area around 6:45 am to give myself some time to find parking and make my way to to grab my goodies. The beauty of a Sunday morning event in downtown Sacramento comes with a couple benefits, the first ZERO traffic, and the second which is the biggest winner is not having to pay for metered parking.

I parked a couple of blocks over  closest to the P Street freeway on ramp to allow for an accessible exit once done with my run in the morning. Upon arrival to Crocker Park (the start and finish line), everything was well organized. The Start and Finish lines were up, music was playing and early and late registrations were set up with plenty of volunteers. In other events in 2013 that I have attended timed and managed by A Change of Pace, morning events seemed to be a bit unorganized, but not this morning of the Capital City Classic.

As I got to the early registration packet pick up area, volunteers were well prepared and ready to help runners get their items quickly. It took no more than 2 minutes to get my bib, safety pins and race shirt. Perhaps the most exciting thing at the packet pick-up were the blue and yellow ribbons provided for runners to honor Boston. One thing with the A Change of Pace events I will continue to mention is that I honestly feel that the registration should be bumped up and just include the technical shirt for everyone rather than having a lower price point for cotton t-shirts that come with registration. I always feel that when there is an “upgrade” to a tech shirt option, I am being “nickled and dimed”.

#RUNforBOSTON ribbon

After grabbing my stuff, I started to get myself prepared for the 10-mile run, at this point it was just past 7:00 am, so I thought it would be a good idea to get to the port-a-potty before the crowds really started to come in. Good thing I did! by 7:35 am there was a long line of people waiting to use them. This was due to only the 20 they had for the race.

the lines to the port-a-potty

After dropping my gear in at the sweat check I made my way to the start line area, where I ran across some friends and other runners I know from previous runners. At the start line, people were taking photos and the mood was pretty light, which is always nice at these events. The advertised 8:00 am start passed by and we were now looking at 8:05 for a start. Once the groups made it forward to the start line, it was time to head out on this venture of 10-miles.

bib pinned and ready to run

 Race: 10-mile route
After the “gun” went off runners for the 5k, 10k, and 10-mile distances were now off together for a combined start. I don’t mind the combined start, but I will mention the downside of this in the final miles a bit later in the recap.

The course took us south of Downtown Sacramento, as we headed out towards Broadway for the first mile, before heading back onto the recreational pathway along the river for mile 2. After wrapping back around towards the Old Sacramento entry way runners crossed over the Tower Bridge.

We now were running in West Sacramento where miles 3 through 7 were along some neighborhood streets and along levee pathways. The route was a combination of pavement, dirt, and gravel, pretty easy to get on and off of without having to dodge much as far as various items on the course. There was one area where we had to slip through a couple large rocks, but nothing that would cost runners some major time on the event.

As we headed back towards the “I Street Bridge”, this is where the combined start caused a little bit of an issue for myself and a couple of other runners in the lead pack. The 10k group was wrapping around into their miles 4, 5, 6 and finish as the 10-milers hit miles 8, 9 and finish. Mind you that this was a combined start so the middle and back end of the 10k group is who we had to dodge and maneuver around. I honestly think, much of it was runner inexperience and just not knowing, but some runners refused to move over as I would say things like “to your left”, etc. Then there is always the few groups of people who suddenly stop and walk or tie a shoe that do not understand that there are other runners around them. Really this issue was at it’s worst until we were able to open up in Old Sacramento.

After heading through Old Sacramento, only a couple of turns remained to get to the finish. At this point, I looked down at my watch and realized a PR might be in store. I recently just PR’d at the Credit Union SACTOWN 10-Mile Run just 2 weeks ago. I decided at this point to kick it in a little extra to run my sub 66:00, I crossed the finish line with an official time of 1:05:42. This finish was good enough for 7th overall and 2nd in my age group. The first place runner crossed the finish at a time of 1:00:05, click here for full results.

Post Race
After crossing the finish line, the 10-mile runners were greeted with a nice piece of bling! This is one thing that A Change of Pace does for their finishers very very well! In each of the events I have ran this year (Davis Stampede Half Marathon, The Lucky Run – 13.1), their finishers medals are some of the best around.

the finishers BLING!

Along with the finishers medal, the set up of post race events are well organized. For me I visited the Zico tent and Power Bar table to get a couple post run recovery goods along with a bottle of water that was right at the finish line. Since I had some time before I could check my race results to see if I finished in the top 3 of my age group, I was able to see the start of the mini-marathon. This group was widely attended and the energy was very high between the start of that event and the finishing of the 10k and 10-mile runners.

After about 10-15 minutes, I was able to verify my finish and collect my age group medal for finishing 2nd in the division. These medals were just as awesome as the finishers medal!

award winner medal on the left

Though there are certain things that I do gripe about when it comes to certain races, I will continue to do my best to support local and small races. Each event for A Change of Pace gets better as the year goes on. Their next big event is the Davis MOOnlight Race on July 13, which is an evening 5k, 10k, and half marathon

Did you run or race this weekend? How did it go? 

3 thoughts on “Race Review: Capital City Classic 10-Mile

  1. Hey Chris – Congrats again on a great finish. Glad to hear you enjoyed the event, the bling, the post race experience etc.

    RE: the shirts… the reason we do this is that a lot of the athletes have said to us that they a) don't like technical (usually this tends to be more casual athletes, walkers, those who don't participate in a lot of races, etc… b) have a limited budget and would rather simply pay the lowest fee possible. I personally think the tech shirts are best, but our mindset is to provide the athletes with as much choice as we are able … if they would rather save the $6 and pay the lower price and get cotton. Same idea with the shorter distances and the medals… not all people in a 5K/10K want a medal. but some do… that is why we have started providing the optional medal choice for those in that distance. I wouldn't want to charge everyone in the 5K/10K $5.00 more and give them a medal they dont really want.

    I hope this makes sense. I just wanted to explain where we are coming from on that. (doing the 3 types of shirts is certainly more work for my staff, after all)

    Again, thanks for the positive review, and congrats again on a great time. Love the 4:15 idea for next week at BSIM. good luck – such a beautiful course there. See you at Moonlight.



  2. Thank you for the explanation. It all makes sense. I wish I could make it to the MOOnlight this year but will be out of town that weekend. I had a great time last year at the event. I am looking forward to having a friend pick up my NORCAL Tour de FIT medal for me for completing 3 events from February through July.


  3. Glad you had a good race! Congrats!! Love seeing all of the support..and I love those ribbons!


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