Sunday, September 18, 2011

Race Report: Hocking Hills Indian Run 2011 20K

This race has the best medals, made by school kids!
I remember going down to Hocking Hills for the first time for this race last year. Driving in I was freaking out. It was my first 10K and it was going to be crazy hilly.

This year, I was super excited driving up and down the rolling hills headed to Logan. This was my second time doing the Hocking Hills Indian Run. I did the 20K in 2:03:22, finished 7th in my age group of 17, and 104th of 256 overall. Last year I did the 10K in 56:53.

Age group results here. Overall results here. Course map here. Topographic map here.

Nothing went right from the beginning of the day, but all ended well! My iPod was dead and I lost the cable, and as I'm driving off from my apartment my wrist felt kind light. What's missing? Crap, gotta go back for the Garmin.

Driving down I got stuck in traffic twice in Thornville, once for the Hell Run and then for the Backwoods Festival. But all was well, I made it to the Hills, and as I'm picking up my race packet a familiar face waltzes in.

"Beth!!!!!" I shriek. "Ooops sorry," I say to the sweet old ladies behind the table. "That was kind of loud."
Shirt and medal.
Beth and I do a two minute catchup of life as her boyfriend was in the bathroom. I run our shirts back to the car, which doubled as my warmup since my car was a half mile away, stretched out a bit and lined up for the next wave.

That's the really sweet part about the Indian Run, you can start anytime that morning, so the waves aren't too big and you don't have to rush to the start.

30 seconds... 20 seconds... 10 seconds... GO!!!

And off we went. We went on the road, a little ways through the woods, and then back on the road. And we were still on the road. And we were still on the road. For the first three miles. It was irritating!

I ran with Beth for the first half mile then picked it up. The third mile was downhill and I managed to run it in 8:20. But then I faced the monster. At first I was excited about Mile 4 because we turned into the woods, but the beginning of Mile 4 brought Steel Hill. I started to run it, it was too much. I had to walk.

Here I met up with three guys who would help me get through the next 5 miles, Kevin, Lonnie and I don't remember the third. After I conquered Steel Hill I started to feel really good and dropped my goal down from an 11:00 mile to a 10:00 mile. Running with the guys seemed perfect at the time, they were running the 40K, this was their second lap around, and were trying to keep a 9:30 pace. I would regret this later.

With the hill, Mile 4 was a 12:11. But then the trail turned really pleasant, it was mostly downhill. I kept up with the guys and Mile 5-8 were all circa a 9:30 pace (9:13, 9:25, 9:45, 9:31). Mile 9 brought a giant hill. We're talking straight up, it would have been impossible to run so I had to walk. I lost the guys at this point, and that mile was 11:11.

Here's the elevation chart of the race:

After Mile 9 there was another giant hill, and after it leveled off to just a modest incline I hit the wall. I had forgotten my heart rate monitor but I'm pretty sure I had hit my max. I felt dizzy, a bit dehydrated and my muscles wouldn't function. I realized I had to abandon my sub-10:00 ambition, realized I had a cushy advantage to run a 10:30. I had taken two Gus already but I still had a pack of Sport Beans so I ate those, walked for a minute or two, and then felt better. I felt more then better. I felt great.  Mile 10 was 12:26.

Mile 11 brought some more nasty hills, some which I had to walk, but they were all matched by downhills that were a blast to run down. There was even a set of stairs we had to climb. I did this mile in 11:10.

Finally, Mile 12!! This was all uphill, but it was a casual incline on the road, knowing I was close kept me going and I did the mile in 9:21.

It was hard to finish strong, as tired as I was, but I picked it up a bit.

According to my Garmin the course was 12.06 miles, so that's a 10:13 pace. But according to the official results, the course was 12.4 miles so I ran a 9:57 pace!! Sounds great, but I'm going with my Garmin. Gotta have something to shoot for next year!

The whole time I was worried about Beth. "She's going to kill me for suggesting this", I thought. I waited for her to finish. She emerges grinning. "That was awesome!" she says. Good. I tell her what had been running through my head. "Oh while we were running that's what I was thinking too... 'I'm gonna KILL her!'"

I felt great after the race and got a pulled pork sandwich and mashed potatoes from this great barbecue joint in Logan. I got some delayed onset muscle soreness the next morning.

This race has me mega excited for the Tough Mudder in November! But next up: The Columbus Marathon in under 4:20!

Updated wall of accomplishments!

Splits and total ascent and decent for each mile:

  • Mile 1: 10:38, 193 ft uphill, 142 ft downhill 
  • Mile 2: 9:37, 168 ft uphill, 118 ft downhill 
  • Mile 3: 8:20, 62 ft uphill, 413 ft downhill 
  • Mile 4: 12:11 (had to walk most of the hill), 525 ft uphill, 209 ft downhill 
  • Mile 5: 9:13, 191 ft uphill, 296 ft downhill 
  • Mile 6: 9:25, 306 ft uphill, 336 ft downhill 
  • Mile 7: 9:45, 374 ft uphill, 410 ft downhill 
  • Mile 8: 9:31, 322 ft uphill, 402 ft downhill 
  • Mile 9: 11:11, 567 ft uphill, 438 ft downhill 
  • Mile 10: 12:26, 334 ft uphill, 297 ft downhill (This is where I hit the wall) 
  • Mile 11: 11:10, 261 ft uphill, 380 ft downhill 
  • Mile 12: 9:21, 188 ft uphill, 101 ft downhill


  1. Sounds like a blast. I wish I would have remembered about this run earlier this year, I wanted to do it too!

    I'm pretty sure your rack of medals is not level though :D

  2. This sounds like an awesome race!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I would love to run it someday! Congrats, Jessica! That is an awesome time!!! I loved your race report - great job all around! :)

  3. Thanks for the comments!! I highly highly recomend this one!!