I ran the Batesville 10K again this year. It’s still the same rural, beautiful, pastoral, remote, bird-song-filled, and brutal course that it’s always been. I had a lot of fun. It was good to see friends from the local community and run that neighborhood.
Batesville holds a special charm for me for several reasons. (i) It was the first race of any consequence I ever ran; I’d run a local, 2.x-mile Thanksgiving event the year before this, but this was my innaugural race. (ii) The Batesville village, which is essentially a cluster of houses near a store at a crossroads, is near my former home; I used to joke about living in the suburbs of “Greater Batesville.” (iii) It’s the only race I ever DNF’d. (iv) Among local runners, it’s known for its challenging nature and the good spirit of the people who run it; it deserves its reputation as a cult race.
So I was happy to be there this year. Last year I got a 68:53 officially (unofficially, I recorded 65:05; I stopped my watch at the top of the mountain while I visited with friends for a couple of minutes). That was a run-to-finish effort. This year I resolved to run the course with more of a race-like effort, even though I hadn’t trained in a formal manner. I would sustain effort on the uphills (all three miles of ’em) and work the downhills.
I wanted to aim for a 63:00 (my age) or a 62:00, but figuring out how to manage pace for that goal with the long uphills for the first three miles was a challenge, so I just went out trying to sustain strong effort. As things happened, I was O.K. Splits:
- 9:48—This first mile is a modest incline, so I was pleasantly surprised but not worried.
- 10:06—The hills were serious during this mile; there was no splits reader here, and I couldn’t read my watch (no glasses with me), so I had no idea where I was for pace.
- 10:45—Just before this split I walked a water stop at the top; when I heard that I was at ~30:40 after the hardest part of the course, I though I had a very good shot at making the 62:00!
- 9:06—Even though there is a brief, very steep uphill in this mile, there is a long descent, and I opened my stride.
- 10:21—I must’ve lost concentration and didn’t re-establish pace after the stride-out; I know I was tired…amazing what little a flagging will do.
- 9:14—I got back with the program, realizing that regardless of what the watch said (I still couldn’t read it) I had to sustain effort and push for the last part.
- 1:40—Finish using memory of running by form, ’cause there’s only fumes in the tank.
Here’s my entire history in this race, except that my position and time in this year’s event are unofficial.
- 1987: 82nd, 53:27
- 1988: 68th, 50:44
- 1989: 35th, 49:19
- 1990: 67th, 49:36
- 1991: 35th, 48:05
- 1992: 43rd, 50:21
- 1994: 25th, 47:09
- 1995: 28th, 46:10
- 1996: DNF
- 1997: 65th, 52:21
- 2001: 56th, 57:55
- 2003: 54th, 59:05
- 2010: 72th, 68:53
- 2011: 34th?, 61:xx?