Thursday, July 31, 2014

On the Run: MOTTEP LIFE Walk 10K 2014

This past Saturday I raced for the first time in over 2 months.  Since I've been dealing with my hamstring injury and running (ahem) "less," I knew that racing would certainly not be a good idea.  After taking my recent 2-week break, however, I came back feeling good and had minimal pain during and after running.  I had a week of running before the race to test things out and felt confident I wasn't making TOO stupid of a decision.  (No comments allowed, SG!)  I also wasn't looking to win or set a new PR for myself.  I would be competitive but not like my last 10K.  I had to be realistic.

And to be honest, the real reason I signed up for this race was to be with my RUNdetroit friends.  This was a target race for the store.  Saturday running group was cancelled for the day.  It was the graduation race for the 3.101 group who had trained hard all spring/summer to move from walking to jogging to finishing their first 5K race.  I wanted to be there to celebrate their accomplishment, along with all the others who were participating in racing either the 5K or 10K.  Look at our huge turnout!

Photo credit Brian Wolski

The race was LIFE Walk, a fundraiser for MOTTEP (Minority Organ and Tissue Transplant Education Program).  People were there to honor loved ones, raise awareness, and support the cause.  It was small, well-organized, and everyone was cheerful and friendly.  I liked the laid-back vibe. It took place at the Belle Isle Casino, which is a beautiful and convenient place for a race.  There's ample parking, a good staging area for the start/finish and post-race snacks, and space for packet pick-up.  You also have nice views of the river and the city.  Since Belle Isle became a State Park it's been looking more kept up, too, which is awesome.  

We couldn't have asked for better weather - blue skies, sunshine, 60 degrees, and a slight breeze.  Even though I would know a ton of people, Brian went with me.  He hadn't been to a race with me since Boston and wanted to take his camera along.  We got there in plenty of time for me to get my bib, catch up with everyone at the RUNdetroit tent, take the group picture, and warm up. 

Photo credit Brian Wolski
When the race started, I went out a bit too fast, trying to keep up with the fast RUNdetroit guys (well, at least keep them in my sights!).  I quickly checked myself and settled into something more reasonable for someone who is still injured.  There were only 2 women ahead of me and I hoped they would make the 5K turn, allowing me to back off a bit.  One of them did but the other kept cruising onward for the 10K. No worries.  We were less than 2 miles in so I knew I'd catch her.  And I did.  For about half a mile we were neck and neck, as she fought to maintain the lead.  She was fighting a lot harder than I was and eventually dropped back.  

After about 3 miles I caught up to the next runner and easily passed him.  I was maintaining a pretty steady pace but felt like I was slipping around mile 4.  I was starting to feel hungry and little nauseous.  As I neared the 5 mile mark, however, I chicked another dude.  That gave me more confidence to push it a bit.  I also saw Justin (owner of RUNdetroit) who shouted some words of encouragement (he had long since finished the 5K).  This is when I merged with the 5K so I had some company, plus more spectators were along the course.  There was still a guy close ahead of me but I just couldn't catch him.  Plus as much as I wanted to push it and pass him I didn't want to risk hurting myself over it!

As we rounded the last curve into the final stretch, I was amazed to hear and see the Cass Tech marching band lining both sides of the path to the finish line.  Then I saw my fellow RUNdetroiter's clapping and cheering me on as I finished!  What a way to finish a race!  

Photo credit Brian Wolski

I ended up finishing 1st female and 3rd overall.  My 1st racing win!  Justin won the 5K in 17:00 and Arni, a fellow RUNdetroiter, won the 10K in 40:26.  I also got to cheer in the other 10K runners and some of the 3.101 group (most of them were already done).  Everyone did an amazing job and I was so happy to be a part of it!

Afterwards everyone from RUNdetroit hung out on the steps of the Casino, enjoying some post-race snacks, listening to the band, and catching up with each other.  It was great to be with so many of my regular Saturday group run friends in a race setting.  We're hoping to find another race to meet up at soon!

Photo credit Brian Wolski



Dangerous / Big Data
Fever / The Black Keys  
Best Friend / Foster the People
Happy / Pharrell Williams
Move Like You Stole It / ZZ Ward
Gotta Get Away / The Black Keys
The Innocent / Mayer Hawthorne
A Little Party Never Killed Nobody (All We Got) / Fergie ft. Q-Tip & Goonrock
The Walker / Fitz & the Tantrums
Rattlesnake / St. Vincent
After the Disco / Broken Bells

Photo credit Brian Wolski
This was the first race that I got to wear my RUNdetroit Women's Racing Team jersey.  I felt so professional!  


  1. Hey Amanda,

    Awesome results and congrats on your victory! I didn't know you were that fast. Also, Brian did a great job on the photos!


    1. Thanks, Ken! Yes, I was able to pick up then pace when I was training for Boston. I'll pass on your compliments to Brian. It's nice to have my own personal race photographer. :)