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When HEAT meets HILLS- The White River 4 Mile Classic Road Race Report

When HEAT meets HILLS- The White River 4 Mile Classic Road Race Report
When HEAT meets HILLS- The White River 4 Mile Classic Road Race Report

Remember that silly New Year’s Resolution I made to run at least one road race every month this year???  Well, this goal came back to bite me big time this morning.  August was really the main month of the year I was worried about and for good reason.  Nothing good comes from racing in August.  At least not in Arkansas!  To be honest, I have not had to “look” for a race most months but I knew August was going to be tough.

I decided to do The White River 4 Mile Classic for several reasons:

  • It was cheap.  (Only $10)
  • It was put on by Arkansas Grand Prix Series which meant it would be very well organized.  Race would be on a certified course and use chip timing.
  • It was in Batesville which was less than an hour from my house.
  • I’ve never run a 4 mile race before so the distance intrigued me.  (And yes, it would be an automatic PR!)
  • This was the best weekend for my family for me to race for the month of August.  

Reasons I may never run this race again:

  • Hot as blazes. Seriously. The race started at 7:30 but temps were already in the mid 80’s with high humidity.  After my 2 mile warm-up I was drenched.
  • HILLS.  They were no joke. The course description on the website says, “USATF certified challenging loop type 4-Mile course.Challenging is right.

My mile splits:

  • Mile 1-  6:18.  Right on pace.  This mile was the easiest of the four because it was mostly downhill.  I knew I had to watch my pace and not go out too fast because I needed to save a lot for the other 3 miles.
  • Mile 2- 6:48.  Ouch.  Yes, I slowed down by 30 seconds!  Typically mile 2 is my slowest mile and today was no exception.  Oddly enough, I passed a lot of people this mile, even though I slowed down this much.  Apparently, most people started too fast!
  • Mile 3- 6:37.  A little better but not at all where I wanted to be which was a sub 6:20!  More hills but I continued to pass runners slowly.  There was one woman way out in front of me who I knew (based on passed race experience) that I would not catch but I wanted to be second female. After the first mile I knew I was third overall female.  I followed pretty closely behind the second place female until the end of mile 3.  Just as we went up over a bridge I decided to make my move.  I knew I had enough of a kick in me to fight through one more mile.  I wanted to pass her quickly going up the hill since I knew she was slowing down.  It worked!
  • Mile 4- 6:27.  I feel good about this mile.  I passed a few more men and ran up the steepest of all the hills (106 feet of elevation gain in this mile alone).  I had a great kick the last quarter mile where I was running in the 5:30’s.  I love finishing strong and I gave this one everything I had.

Total time: 26:21. (6:35 avg. mile)

I ended up placing 2nd Female overall.  (First place female finished in 24:35.)  My ultimate 4 mile goal would be to break 25 minutes in a 4 mile race.  Not sure if this is the right course to make it happen on but we’ll see.  It is a little frustrating to think that in April I ran 6.2 miles at a 6:25 pace at the Capital City Classic 10K and today I ran 2.2 less miles at a slower pace.  But the big factors today were hills and heat.  In April the weather was perfect- mid 50’s, I believe.  Also, the 10K course was FLAT and FAST.  Sometimes you just can’t compare yourself to yourself!

Will I run this race again?  Not sure.  I guess we’ll see how bad I want to beat my new 4 mile PR! For now, it’s time to get back to my NYC training.  I am done racing for the rest of August and that is ok with me!

    17 Comments

    1. Over here it’s hard to find any races on during Summer. It’s just so hard to race when it gets hot. Well done on such a great result in horrible conditions.

    2. Tia! You did FANTASTIC! This race, in August heat- (which I know is HOT in Arkansas right now), and with hills, AND with no 4 miler experience, training for a marathon, was wonderful. Don’t let it bug you for a second that it doesn’t match your goal.
      Drawing on my 4 miler many moons ago…I can say that the distance feels like a 5k effort on a course WAY too long! haha

      No doubt in my mind you could crush this course (or another 4 miler in cooler weather!) next go-around. But for now, savor the award and enjoy prepping for a PR marathon!

      1. Raina- I see you ran a 25 minute 4 miler!! I will have to re-read that race recap from November. I definitely want to try this distance again but like you said, maybe in better weather!

    3. Ditto what Raina said, that is incredible! I’m so impressed you even attempted a race in August with that weather. Congrats on 2nd place female and an automatic pr! And you can’t beat the $10 entry fee.
      I’m considering racing while at my parents in PA, but not sure my shin is up for it yet… felt good on my run this morning, but racing next weekend might be a stretch!

      1. Well, I’m pretty sure the ONLY reason I attempted it was because of my monthly race goal. I don’t know if I will have this goal again next year!

        I hope your shin continues to heal Laura!

    4. I think you crushed that (and I dig that handsome Houston Marathon shirt, too). The heat is the enemy and you defeated it. You’ll get that 4-mile time goal easily in better weather (that is, *fall* weather).

    5. Congratulations!! This seems pretty incredible to me, considering the heat and the hills. I bet on a flatter course on a cooler day you will go under 25 easily. And….I’m sure it feels good to have gotten your August race out of the way already 🙂

    6. Excellent job, Tia. I am so impressed with your speed and how we’ll you’ve done maintaining your fitness during your knee ordeal. Keep up the great work!

    7. fantastic job Tia!! you’re such a talented runner! 🙂

      Congrats on 2nd OF!! that is grrrreat!! (cue Tony the Tiger voice right there.) 🙂

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