SIX03 ENDURANCE Summer Fest 10K Race Recap

I went into Sunday’s 10K with very low expectations. Honestly, there were a few occasions last week where I imagined myself walking off the course at certain points. Mostly because I don’t feel I can trust my body right now. Mainly the muscles and tendons in my hamstring and calf at the back of the knee.


And at times I thought it unwise to race. Like on Wednesday morning after a great track workout, when my “knee” (but not really my knee, just around my knee) started to get cranky. Sore. Achy. Then some pain. I walked back to my car unable to finish the mile cool down.

Fastforward to Thursday (no running) and my PT visit and he thinks it is the popoliteus muscle deep in the calf. Since the onset of any discomfort or pain seems to stem from trail running, uneven surfaces and down hill running. We work it. I do my PT exercises. Ask him what he thinks of racing. And decide I’ll go for it and drop out at any sign of discomfort. Which is exactly what I pictured happening: me walking off the very hilly course after running down hill too fast.

Friday and Saturday’s runs were perfect: comfortable, strong. Ok. I thought. Sunday is a risk. But its one I have thought through and am completely willing to take. It could a) be totally fine or b) be painful and lead to more pronounced or serious injury that would prevent me from doing Reach the Beach and the CHaD Half Marathon. In short, a DISASTER. I was fully aware of potential consequences.

I have a tendency to over exaggerate injuries and think they are the end of the world. This knee thing has been getting progressively better, but at the same time as it gets better I do more. Which isn’t the most conducive to healing the body. So yes it isn’t as painful as it was at the beginning of June, but no it’s not completely healed.

To my surprise scenario a) was my experience on Sunday. It.was.totally.fine. And I wasn’t proved to be a fool. I took a calculated risk and am grateful that I did. I ran a strong race on a tough course, PR’d and came in 3rd overall winning a pretty sweet belt buckle and $50.

third female 10k

Proud to represent my running club: The Rochester Runners in my new Saucony Hydralite Singlet. Also wearing the Saucony Bullet Tight Short.

Here’s about how it went:

Summerfest 10K Recap Graphic


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Moving into fourth place right at the turn around.

It wasn’t an easy race, but I felt pretty smooth and relatively confident. I was able to quiet the doubt of not feeling like I could finish strong and really push through the hard hills. Going into the race I was worried I didn’t have enough of a base for it to feel “easy” or “smooth” and I think this is true. Racing is never “easy” but there is a certain “ease” you have when your body is well trained and fully prepared, and I didn’t have that “ease” today. It was hard work and I felt like I had to fight for the pace that I ran. A much different feeling than the 5 Miler I ran in April.

Blurry me at mile 4.5, embracing the hill with a smile.

Blurry me at mile 4.5, embracing the hill with a smile.

I am happy to have a PR though, I bested last years time of 44:20 by more than two minutes–and that one came on an equally hilly course. I think it’s time to find a flat 10K.

Coming in to the finish watching the clock click closer to 42.

Coming in to the finish watching the clock click closer to 42.


One big belt buckle and $50 richer.

One big belt buckle and $50 richer.

And the race itself, even though it was the first year ever run, was exceptionally well organized by the folks at SIXo3 Endurance. There were clear directions along the course, plenty of water stops and  the post race festivities included cold beer, massages, free frozen yogurt popsicles and protein shakes.

There was plenty of cold beer and snacks post-race…although you did have to walk up hill to get it all.

There was plenty of cold beer and snacks post-race…although you did have to walk up hill to get it all.

I’d say our whole family prefers a race where there are activities for kids: a playground or a fun run. This didn’t have either of those. My husband had his work cut out for him watching Jack; Sophia just goes around and makes friends and plays with whoever will play with her. She rattled off about 6 or 8 names of “new friends” she had made. But despite the lack of kids activities I think they still had fun.

family race photo

Clearly I’m the most excited here. Jack is looking cute. Sophia is sad because we are leaving and Mark looks like he had a bad allergic reaction, really he is just mid-sentence.

Who needs a bouncy house when you have sliced oranges?

Who needs a bouncy house when you have sliced oranges?

I also ran into my friend Angela who blogs at and her cadet, Kailey from the Saucony 26 Strong Project (check out their profiles, they are Team 12) right before the race and then saw Angela and her cute family after. She also ran a PR which is no small feat on such a tough course! Congrats Angela!

Angela from HappyFitMama and I at the Summerfest 10K.

Angela from HappyFitMama and I at the Summerfest 10K.


Did you race this weekend? What distance? How was it?

Don’t forget voting for the Runner’s World Cover Model Contest is still going until 8/15! You can vote daily until then. I’d love your help in raising support for the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock through this opportunity! Click HERE to vote.

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  1. WAHOO awesome job, Sarah!! That sounds like a fantastic, challenging race. So glad your knee didn’t bother you. Loved the graphic of the course with your thoughts. Such a cool idea! And you ABSOLUTELY need to find a flat 10K. You would crush it.

    • Thanks Alexis! It was challenging and I think I realized that my knee isn’t as big a deal as I’ve been making out to be. I’m definitely on the mend!

  2. You are awesome Ms! All those worries, and visits to a PT and you still PRd, AND finished so high! That is wonderful! I love the pic of you and Angela too :) You are so much better than I am at not letting pains get in the way of you mentally and pushing through to run great, you rock! Many more prs to come :)

    • I think I realized that I’ve been doing to much trail running lately and that has really caused the issue to persist. The treadmill and track have been my friend lately. I think if I stick to training in that for a while I’ll be good.

  3. Congrats! That’s a killer time. I actually saw your IG photo of it this weekend when I was laying next to my bf and showed it to him and said “I can’t believe some women can run this fast!” One day I hope to catch up 😉

  4. What an amazing race for you- and an awesome time! Especially for such a hilly course- congrats!! I’m so glad your knee/calf cooperated, too… I’m always nervous with injuries too. It’s so hard to tell if something is really serious or not.

    • Sometimes it is hard to tell when it is serious. I think at the beginning of last month it was and it was really painful, so it has gotten better, but I’ve also tried to do more. So it has been hard to tell at times.

    • Thanks! I thought it was the quickest and easiest way to show how I was thinking during the race, especially since the course played such a huge part in how I ran.

  5. What an awesome post!!! I have the same issue overthinking my injuries. That had to be the best feeling going into a race with uncertainty and then crushing it!!! Congrats!

    • Thanks I was feeling pretty good at mile 5 when I realized I hadn’t had any issues and the “pain” I was feeling was self-inflected from running hard. Haha!

  6. Looks like you did a great job of controlling and pushing yourself during the race. You’ve come a really long way in “knowing your limits” and you have great things to show for it! Congrats on 3rd female overall and PR! My husband always says when you win money at a race you’re upgraded to professional status 😉 I didn’t race this weekend (thought I’ve been doing the Monday night trail series at Mines Falls and am leading my age group!). Watched my husband run the Around the Lake Marathon Friday night and though it did not turn out as well as he would have liked, he BQ’d for Boston and won it! It was a very interesting night :)

    • He won! That’s awesome! That race is so tough mentally and then the concrete I feel like is really tough on the knees. I feel like it was a smart and calculated risk to run and I thought it though and was prepared for the potential consequences. I’m glad I didn’t stay home:)

    • Thanks! I feel like PR’s in the 5Ks and 10K’s are hard. That ten second thing is true, but it still feels so hard.

  7. It’s funny but I went into Sunday’s race with the same fear. My calf/knee has been on my mind even though it’s feeling 98% better than 2 weeks ago. I feel a twinge and I think it’s back. That’s also why I procrastinated in registering until Tuesday. But once I started running, I felt pretty good and forgot about it. Congrats again on the great race! And btw – love the thoughts on the elevation chart!

    • I’m glad your calf/knee is better. Sometimes it feels so risky when we don’t know what our body is going to do, but I’m glad it didn’t bother you!

  8. What an amazing race and time Sarah!!! I’m so happy for you and especially that everything felt good during the race. It’s funny, I had a lot of similar thoughts leading up to my half on Sunday. Everything hurt and ached and I imagined a million places where I would walk off the course but managed to gut through those fills. PS I love how speedy you’ve become!

    • Thanks! I think I tend to be a bit of an Eeyore when it comes to running injuries, but Sunday was fine! I’m so grateful that it was. Congrats on your SF half!

    • Aww thanks! I thought the visual would work well since the course was so varied, with lots of hills. The mental game was a huge part of the race.

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  11. Holy Smokes! Awesome race on such a hilly course. I thought we had hills where I live but those look tough. I have never run a timed 5k but really do love the 10k. I agree with you on finding it hard to PR. It is such a short distance in the big picture that there is only so much time you can take off. But great job and YES, you should definitely do a flat 10k next.

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