Monday, April 16, 2012

Hershey 10k

Yesterday I ran in the inaugural Hershey Park 10k.  The morning started very early.  My iPhone alarm went off at 4am.  I got dressed and headed down stairs where my friend Michele was getting dressed for the race.  I looked out my living room window to discover it was pouring outside.  We hoped in our cars and were on our way, after a quick stop for coffee. 

We got to Hershey around 5:30 am.  Being one of the first few cars there, we were sent all over to find a place to park.  We ended up parking right up near the start of the race.  I got my SPIbelt and pockets packed with my gels, water, sunglasses, phone, my Id and debit card.  What can I say; I like to have all the necessities.  It was still drizzling off and on.  Michele and I headed toward the start line and to look for a few other friends.  Along the way, we meet the race director hanging up hundreds of medals.  She noticed we were wearing our Disney Princess Half Marathon shirts and asked us a bunch of questions about runDisney events. 

Once runners started to arrive, photographers and Hershey’s candy character were everywhere.  I found my two other friends I planned to meet race morning.  It then started to downpour!  All the runners huddled under the bleachers of the Hershey Park stadium to stay dry.  As clumsy as I am, the wet roads and sidewalks were starting to make me nervous.  I was terrified of slipping and falling.  Then it was time to line up to start.

This race had the most uneventful start I had ever experienced.  I kept checking my watch for it to be 7am.  All of the sudden, everyone in front of me was moving.  No announcements, no “ready, set, go.”  The first part of the course was downhill, which I did not like due to the rain.  Because of the relatively small size of the race, there was no usual beginning of the race bottle neck to deal with. 

Overall, I enjoyed the course.  We started out at the Hershey Park Stadium.  We headed toward the Giant Center, and then made a turn onto Hershey Park Drive.  We were on Hershey Park Drive for quite a while, but it did not get boring.  We went past most of the park, plus the Hershey Outlet center.  Then it was time to run in Hershey Park.  I had not noticed the how hilly the park is until this race.  We entered the park around mile 4.  I was pushing hard for a good time, so I was very tired and breathing hard by then.  The first hill in the park killed my lungs!  It really slowed me down and messed with my head.  We ran past several of the famous Hershey Park roller coasters.  Then it was time to run through the Boardwalk at Hershey, a new water fun area.  This was also tough for me.  The turf was very slippery.  It was completely impossible for me to run on it without slipping.  We exited the park with about one mile left.  Of course, this mile was the toughest for me.  My lungs were done.  I was counting down the minutes until the finish line.  One thing I found very neat about this course is that the course was marked every quarter kilometer, inside of mile.  Psychologically, this made the miles go by faster since kilometers are shorter than miles.  Once I got to kilometer 9.75, I was SO ready to be done.  I swear the course had to be miss marked because the last.25k felt like at least half a mile (I was not the only one to think this either—several friends said the same thing after the race).  After circling Hershey Park Stadium, there it was—the finish line!  I run hard for the last .10k and finished strong. 

Once I crossed the finish line, a very cute little boy handed me a medal.  I stopped my clock and looked down at my time.  It was 1:20:02.   I was hoping to come in at under 1:15, but given my usual pace, this was a good time for me—12:57 per mile.  If I can keep this pace, I will finish my next half marathon under my goal of three hours.  After taking some pictures at the finish, my friends and I headed over to Chocolate World.  Chocolate World is right outside of Hershey Park and has a very fun, free chocolate making tour ride.  They give you a free sample at the end.  After that, I hugged my friends good bye and went home.  This was a good race overall.  I am considering doing the Hershey Half Marathon in October. 
A dream is a wish…



  1. Considering the conditions and the hills, I think you did great! Congratulations! I have been thinking of putting the Hershey race on my bucket list, but mostly because I want there to be free chocolate at the end....
    If I can keep my time headed in the right direction and we both do the Princess in February we might end up running with each other!

    1. That sounds great! See you in February!

  2. That is awesome, great job in the rain and everything! Sounds like a great race! Love the candy characters and what a neat medal!

  3. Love it! Great job. Rain, heat, and wind are all elements that make a race much more difficult!

  4. Congrats on the race. Funny about the non-eventful start. Come to think of it, that is the first race I have done where they didn't sing the anthem or at least yell some crazy stuff to get the runners fired up.

  5. Yea, I was surprised about the beginning too. Usually they play upbeat music, the sponsors speak, they tell you about upcoming races or the course and always play the national anthem. It was a bit odd, but I will let them off the hook since this was an inaugural race.

  6. Running in the rain is not one of my favorite things to do, but I live in Oregon and it rains a lot here, so it is what it is. Great job on your 10k and the medal is awesome! I love chocolate..'nuff said.

  7. Great job Amy! I hate you didn't hit your time goal but I'm sure that you will for your next 10K!

  8. great job----i was there at the 1st 10K in hershey also......i am planning on running it in 2013-----

  9. I was considering the Hershey half marathon this month but saw it was sold out so am looking into the 10K for next year and came across your post! Let me know if you plan on running it again in 2014!