Monday, July 27, 2015

On the Run: MOTTEP LIFE Walk 10K 2015

Look at this amazing group of people!  I had the pleasure of spending Saturday morning with them on Belle Isle for the MOTTEP LIFE Walk 5K/10K.  It was a hot, humid morning but that didn't stop RUNdetroit Flight Club from coming out and giving it their all on the race course.  Flight Club members took OA male and female in the 5K, along with a few age group awards.  I took OA female in the 10K.  There were also several PR's earned.  And when one member was feeling the effects of the heat during the 10K, two others stayed with her.  Making sure she was safe and finishing together was more important than times and paces.  That's teamwork at its finest.  

I ran MOTTEP last year for the first time.  I loved that it was small and everyone (volunteers, supporters, runners) was so friendly and supportive.  That's what brought me back again this year.  It's also a charity race, with proceeds going towards Minority Organ Tissue Transplant Education Program, and I like to participate in races that benefit local organizations.  

Last year the race was staged at Belle Isle Casino.  Due to a Red Bull racing event this weekend, it was moved to Flynn Pavilion and the course was modified slightly.  I got there early for parking and packet pickup.  The shirts are unisex cotton so they run large.  This year I ordered a youth medium and it seems to fit just right!  

I did my mile warm-up, followed by some activation drills (toe touches, air squats, walking lunges).  I got in a few strides.  Richard Bernstein, who has completed 17 marathons and is legally blind, gave a short speech.  We waited for traffic on the course to clear.  Finally the race started.  I was able to run the first mile and a half with my friend Roger, who was running the 5K.  My goal was to run a 6:45 pace.  I hit 6:45 exactly for my first split.  (Thank you, Roger!)  In that second mile, however, he started to speed up.  I kept up the pace until he turned off but then I slowed down a little once I was on my own.  Overall mile 2 was still ok (6:47).

After that I started to gradually slow down.  It was SO hot and I was nearing the stretch of island that is more isolated.  Plus, although it was a race, it didn't feel like one.  The leader was so far ahead that I hadn't seen him since the first turn.  I knew nobody was chasing me.  Motivation was dwindling.  I hit a windy pocket.  Mile 3 was a little slower (6:50).  I was surprised to see my friend Leah who was out running with Be Bold Crew. She cheered me on, which was a nice boost!

Around the 4-mile marker there was a little loop with a few course marshals.  Humans! They waved and clapped and gave me directions.  I would have even just taken the directions at that point.  I was so happy to see people!  Mile 5 (6:57) was definitely my hardest.  I was trying to tell my legs to run faster but they just wouldn't turn over.  The heat was getting to me.  I kept thinking about how I had more miles to run after the race so maybe I shouldn't push so hard.  But it was a race so I had to push!  It's such a mental game.

When I hit the 5-mile marker, I forced myself to pick up the pace.  I could tell the course was going to be short so I figured I only had one more mile.  I felt a sense of urgency to finish.  My legs were turning over and I was driving my arms.  I was going to finish strong!  I turned the corner for the final stretch and could see the finish line.  This was it!  I was pushing and then realized, "Damn, that's a long way!"  I'd like to say I kept running hard but it was a LONG stretch.  I ran past a couple of guys and they just looked at me.  5K finishers were walking past without a word.  I think a car rolled past me.  I thought I'd never get to the finish line.  Thankfully Coach Stefanie was there with her cowbell.  Once I heard her and saw the rest of the team I picked it up and finally crossed the finish line.  

The 5K runners excitedly shared their race stories with me and we cheered on the rest of the 10K runners.  Then we received our awards (a different medal).  The woman giving out awards was hilarious!  There was also a DJ who was playing theme music for each award recipient.  It was the best awards ceremony ever.  I think they need to hire themselves out for more events.  I'd love them at my next birthday party.


6:35/mile (official results)
6:50/mile (Garmin results based on actual distance of 5.97 miles)
CLIF Mojo Bar, banana 

Nobody Really Cares if You Don't Go to the Party / Courtney Barnett
Dead Brains / Jessica Hernandez
Rattlesnake / St. Vincent
Random Name Generator / Wilco
Strangers / Langhorne Slim & the Law
Swell Content / Speedy Ortiz
Shake it Off / Taylor Swift
Deceptacon / Jessica Hernandez & the Deltas
The Innocent / Mayer Hawthorne
The Feast & the Famine / Foo Fighters
Runaway Baby / Bruno Mars
50 Ways to Say Goodbye / Train
Man / Neko Case

After the awards ceremony I changed my shirt and shoes, had a CLIF Shot and some water.  My friend Dave and I headed out across the MacArthur Bridge, down Jefferson, and picked up the River Walk.  I had another 9 miles to finish my long run.  We ran the first 3.5 or so together before Dave took a break.  I continued along the River Walk until I'd hit 4.5 miles and I turned around.  I was feeling really good.  Until I wasn't.  It was incredibly hot and there's no shade anywhere.  It was nice to catch a breeze along the water but it was hardly helping at that point. The last 2 miles were brutal, with the last .25 being so hard I actually stopped, unsure I could finish.  

When I finally got back to my car I saw Dave there.  It's always so nice to see those familiar Flight Club wings!  I was glad to know he made it back safely, too!   

All in all it was a great morning of racing and running.  I was happy to be with my RUNdetroit family.  

Happy legs, happy heart.


  1. Amanda, I've shared your blog post with the LIFE Walk/Run planning committee - we really enjoyed reading it!

    Might we use some of your photos in future promotions of the event?

    Jennifer Tislerics
    Gift of Life Michigan

    1. Jennifer,
      Thanks for reading my post and sharing it! Yes of course, I'd love for you to use the photos for promotions. Anything to help out! :)