Mystic 10k and my favorite running vacation route

Mystic 10k and my favorite running vacation route

A few weeks ago we took a 9 day family vacation road trip to the Northeast and had a great time.  We went to Pennsylvania, NYC, Connecticut, West Point and Cooperstown, NY, and finally Niagra Falls. We planned this trip months ago and when I gave my sister the dates of our trip (specifically the days we would be at her house) she went ahead and registered me for a race!

The race she picked was the Mystic 10k.  It is put on by the Hartford Marathon Foundation and she had run it a few times in the past.  There is a half marathon that begins at the same time but she preferred the 10k course.

It’s hard to have high expectations for a race you run in the middle of a road trip. Between traveling, staying up late, different eating schedule, etc. it’s just not ideal for peak performance.  We walked a lot in NYC on Friday so Saturday in Connecticut was pretty low key.  We picked up our race packets and went to a few of the local shops.

Sunday morning we arrived with plenty of time to warm up and find the restrooms. This was a much bigger race than I imagined.  I really didn’t have any placement goals or know what to expect.  My pace plan if I was feeling good was to run around a 6:05-6:10 pace. I hoped that was possible.

The Race

Once the gun went off I quickly found myself 4th female.  However, the three ladies in front of me were all running the half marathon (and running at a sub 6 minute pace?!) so I settled into a 6:10 groove. I had a bike escort along-side me. I had no idea how much of a lead I had on other female 10k runners so I just stayed focused on staying in the mile and hitting my paces.  It didn’t really feel easy or too comfortable but hitting the slower end of my goal range was at least doable. 

The course itself was very scenic- mostly around a lake. There were a few inclines (more in the second half) but for the most part it was fairly flat.  Splits: 6:12, 6:10, 6:08, 6:12, 6:12, 6:14, 5:47 pace for last 0.29.

When I saw the finish line I was surprised to see tape. The last time I broke race tape was at the Little Rock Marathon in 2018. This unexpected bonus made me smile.

Official Time was 38:47

I was able to cheer on my sister who ended up finishing 3rd female.

Great morning and so glad I was able to do this with my sister!

My Favorite Running Vacation Route

I usually only recap races these days but I had to mention our last visit of the trip.  I have been to Niagra Falls a few times before but my last visit was the summer of 1999. I never ran alongside the falls until now. What a view!!! We stayed on the Canadian side and had a great time!  We were there 2 mornings and I ran there both mornings.  Weather was perfect and the view was breathtaking.

The first morning there I had a fartlek workout schedule. It was tough (a lot of elevation gain) but honestly I hardly even noticed the workout because it was just so exciting to be there and running by the falls. The pedestrian path is huge and very runner/ walker friendly. I felt safe the entire time. It is the most scenic and safe place I’ve ever run. I’d love to run a race there. I’ll have to look into that sometime! If you ever have a chance to visit and run around the falls- do it!

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