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Running the Annapolis 10-Miler


Dylan Roche holding a medal at the finish line of the Annapolis 10-Miler

I’ve decided I need to get back into blogging about daily adventures. Running, reading, writing, just living life to the fullest. And I feel as if this is as good a time as any—it’s the end of August, I ran a race this past weekend, and all the kids are going back to school. Why shouldn’t I be getting back into a productive routine and starting a new chapter of life just like everyone else?

My race this past weekend was the Annapolis 10-Miler put on by the Annapolis Striders. It’s an annual race now in its 47th year that brings thousands of people to my local area, so it’s a cool chance to share routes that I run pretty regularly with people from out of state. (I think this year I heard there was someone here all the way from Hawaii.)

They get to see things like the historic district downtown and the Naval Academy Bridge over the Severn River, which I always take for granted because I’m used to running by them all the time. I guess this explains why Runner’s World listed it as one of the Top Ten Miler Races in the US. As they point out, the A10 always delivers pretty good swag. You get a hat with packet pickup, and then there’s always a premium when you finish—usually something for cold-weather running, such as a jacket or a vest, which is adorably ironic given that the race is at the end of August.

I’ve run the Annapolis 10-Miler (or the A10, as most people call it) twice before, and I knew I wasn’t even going to try PRing this time. When I ran it in 2019, we had an unseasonably cool 65-degree morning, and somehow I managed to blast through all 10 miles in only 1 hour and 8 minutes.

This year, it was wrapped-in-a-wet-wool-blanket kind of humid. We had some cloud cover, but it didn’t do much to diminish the suffocating 85-degree heat we were already experiencing at 7:00AM when the race started.

I’m still pretty pleased with the way I did. I managed to finish in 1 hour and 19 minutes, placing me at 234th out of 2,400+ runners. Not bad. I’ll take it. Hey, it’s a 7:50 pace. Besides, I’ve always been a runner who pushes myself when it comes to distance and I’ve never trained much for (or worried about) pace.

As for the weather, let me just say that I didn’t know I was capable of sweating this much. My shorts were soaking wet by the time I crossed the finish line. I could hear my shoes squishing from being full of sweat. I know...gross, right? Good thing I don't collect my bibs, because this one was completely damaged by sweat.

I also consistently forget how hilly the Annapolis area is. I guess when I'm going for training runs, I'm not pushing myself as much as I am when I'm racing. Elevation is tough when you're trying to go fast though!

Overall, I gotta say that the Annapolis 10-Miler is an amazing way to close out the summer. It’s challenging enough to be fun without being anything too ridiculous (okay, maybe the heat makes it pretty ridiculous). I don’t know whether to look at this as the end of my summer racing season—after all, the only other race I ran this summer was the First State 50K Trail Race back in May—or the start of the fall racing season. If it’s the latter, my next race coming up is the Baltimore Marathon!

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