Saturday, May 1, 2010
Batesville 10K: Old School
Rusty in front of the Batesville Store, home of Saturday night family-style buffets and great music
When I saw that the Batesville 10K was moved from its usual mid-May date to May 1, I decided it would be the perfect final tune-up tempo run for Capon Valley 50K next Saturday. The last time I ran the Batesville 10K was in 2001 when I was 39 and training for sprint triathlons. I remember that I suffered mightily for the first three uphill miles before hammering it home on the rolling hills in my slowest 10K time ever of 45-something. I also remember the low-key, small-town feel of this race, considered the toughest 10K in these parts.
Nine years later, the hills are still there and the wonderful low-key feel thankfully remains. The race kicks off Batesville Day, when the town, which is located 25 minutes south of Charlottesville, celebrates its heritage and hosts the race, a parade, a community fair, and a raucous gathering of food and friends at the Batesville Store later that evening.
The race attracts a small number of "old school" road runners from the Charlottesville Track Club, as well as first-timers, families, and moms with baby joggers. And "old school" it is: the starter welcomed us by saying, "Thanks for coming to our race. We don't have timing chips or mile splits, and the road will be open to cars, so be alert. Have fun. Go!" And with that, we were off. I settled into tempo/half marathon pace (7:30s) and let the front pack go. Bill Gentry was in that pack, hoping to run faster than last year's 43-something (he did---in 42-something). I was hoping to hold steady with 7:30s on the hills and in the heat, and then let it loose the last 3 miles a bit (I did---in 47-something, good for first Masters female). A perfect way to mix up the training and get in a quality run before Capon.
At mile 6, feeling pretty strong in the heat and after all the hills
Afterward, Bill and I did a few cool down miles exploring the town, and then met up with Rusty at the Batesville Store for Greenberry's coffee and granola. Rusty and his buddy Tom Goodrich play at the store on Saturday nights and we have heard the Honey Dew Drops there as well---a very funky, cool place to hear live music.
Bill Gentry and me, enjoying the post-run. Bill is gearing up for a 48-hour run in two weeks, after running his 10th Umstead 100 a month ago.
I have found that running a shorter race right before an ultra is a great way to get some leg speed going as well as break up the monotony of track and hill repeats. Batesville is a tough 10K that requires mental toughness, strong hill running, and smart pacing, all good skills to hone before a key race. I am looking forward to defending my 2009 win at Capon Valley and hanging out with the ultra gang once again!