The 40th Annual Sue Crowe Memorial Arts Festival races were once again a big hit among runners and walkers both locally and from out of town. More than 500 people participated across the three races on Sunday morning, the last day of the 49th annual Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts, also know as ArtsFest.
I can’t remember how many times I’ve run one of these races. I think I’ve normally opted for the 10k in the past partly because it’s a good course and just challenging enough in combination with the usual heat that July brings to the area. This year I decided to give the 10-miler a try.
To give you some background, the race originally started as only a 10-miler. They then added the 5k and 10k later and eventually discontinued the 10-miler. It was added again a few years ago. I personally had said I wouldn’t do it since it’s normally so hot and humid. But I thought I should do it at least once.
It proved to be a cooler and less humid morning than normal, making running conditions quite pleasant for the first 4 miles.
The races start separately, but all from the same spot. The 10-miler starts at 8:15, the 10k at 8:30 and the 5k at 8:45. The 10-miler makes an initial loop around the Bryce Jordan Center before rejoining the 10k course. I started out with fellow running friends Bill and John, but by the time we finished the first loop of the BJC I let them drift ahead. We were joined by the top 10k runners at about mile 2. I rejoined John around mile 3 and hung with him for much of the race.
As you can see the course has several climbs. The most significant climb comes between mile 7 and 8 when the course follows the bike path along the campus golf course. That hill slows just about everyone. From there it’s mainly downhill or flat to the finish line.
I finished in 1:25:26, which was within a minute of the last 10-miler I ran a few months back. Since I haven’t been doing many longer runs and it got warm for the latter half of the course, I was plenty pleased with my time.
One thing I forgot to mention was that Ki’netik has led a 5k training program leading up to this race for the last several years. They offer a discounted race fee since we register as a group and a shirt if you want one.
After finishing, I hung around to see all the Ki’netik runners finish as well as one of local running celebrities. Maybe you’ve seen him in a recent article from Runner’s World! He’s a 95-year-old former professor who took up running years ago to improve his health. He’s still going and is the oldest member of the Old Men of the Mountain running group here. His son and grandson also run and it was fun to see the elder two cross the finish line together. I even got to hold a finisher ribbon for them to break as they crossed.
If you’re ever in the area for ArtsFest, consider participating in the races. They’re well run, inexpensive and give you a nice tour of campus.
Did you race over the weekend? Tell me how it went!