I should probably preface the Toughest 10K Galveston recap by saying that I haven’t run a lot of 10Ks in my running life. At this point, I’ve probably run more half marathons. But that doesn’t mean this PR is worthless, at least not to me. (And some of the proceeds from the race went toward The Bridge over Troubled Waters, a very worthy cause.)
This was my first time running the Toughest 10K Galveston, but not my first Texas Bridge Series race. The honor for that one goes to the Toughest 10K in Kemah, which featured a course that went over the Kemah Bridge twice. That’s right, up, over, back up and over – and then repeat.
In contrast, the Toughest 10K Galveston course is just one out-and-back over the Galveston Causeway. The incline is much less steep than the Kemah Bridge, so there’s less strain. I signed up to test myself, now that the weather isn’t Satan’s sauna. Going in, I knew my time wouldn’t be super-fast, thanks to the incline. But that was okay.
The Toughest 10K Galveston
The morning of the Toughest 10K Galveston, I picked up my running partner in crime, and then we drove in the dark down to Galveston. Since there isn’t a lot of parking at the start/finish area, Running Alliance Sport had arranged for a shuttle to transport runners from a parking lot a few minutes away to the start line. Melissa and I parked, then grabbed a shuttle to the start line. And as soon as we got there, I needed to use a porta-potty.
But all was good. We lined up, and it was kind of a free-for-all at the start line. Slower runners were lined up way too far ahead, so for the first half mile or so, I was bobbing and weaving. (Actually, I found myself doing that later in the race, when two guys were running right next to each other and blocking the course.)
So, the Toughest 10K Galveston route goes over the Causeway, as I mentioned, then back to the start line. It’s a really nice out and back, and there are water stops once you get to the other side of the bridge. Running over the bridge at sunrise was amazing. The sun just kind of glittered off the water, and I felt so happy. I was pretty sure I wouldn’t be smiling the whole race.
But I’m glad I was wrong, because throughout the entire 6.2 miles, even going uphill, I felt healthy and strong. My knees didn’t hurt; my heart didn’t race; and most importantly, I didn’t significantly slow down when I was going uphill.
Even better, by the time I hit 6 miles, I still had gas in the tank. I didn’t drop the hammer as much as I could have until I saw the finish line. Then, all bets were off: I was moving as fast as I could.
My chip time was 52:52. I came in 7th out of 123 in my age group, 43rd overall female, and 143rd overall – out of like 700 runners.
To say I’m proud of myself is an understatement. That’s technically a 10K PR, over a dang bridge, of all things. I didn’t think that was possible.
Post-race, I did have some pizza and hung around to watch Melissa collect her age group award (first place in her age group!) Overall, it was a fantastic morning, and I’m so grateful I got to run this race, set a new 10K PR, and spend time with a great running friend.