This past Sunday, I ran the Midnight Mission 10k in the Pasadena/La Cañada area. It was a great event and inspiring on many levels so I wanted to bring you guys a full report.
Before I get into the ins and outs of the race itself, I want to reiterate why the Midnight Mission is such a cool organization. The Midnight Mission helps individuals experiencing homelessness. Their website really says it best:
“The Midnight Mission offers a path to self-sufficiency to men, women and children who have lost everything. Our emergency services, 12-step recovery program, job training, education and work programs offer a compassionate bridge to productive lives. We remove obstacles to self-sufficiency and provide the accountability and structure that people who are experiencing homelessness need to rejoin their communities. Our conviction and commitment to their success define us.”
The Mission also has a “Running Club,” fearlessly led by Superior Court Judge Craig Mitchell, who became involved once a man he had sentenced in court was released to the Midnight Mission on parole encouraged Mitchell to come check out the Mission. When he was there, Mitchell explained he’d heard about a similar running club at a shelter on the East Coast, and offered to start one at the Mission. Last year’s race funded enough money to send three of the Running Club’s runners to Ghana to run the marathon. (To read more about Judge Mitchell and the Running Club, head to this LA Times article).
After the race, I got to speak with Ryan Navales, a man who went through the program with Judge Mitchell and now works for the Midnight Mission in an administrative capacity. He explained that next up for the Mission’s Running Club is to send its runners to Rome to run the Eternal City’s marathon. Ryan dubbed it “From Skid Row to the Vatican.” Cue the shivers down my spine. If that doesn’t inspire you, I’m not sure what will.
Onto the race itself…
I actually ran this event last year (except it was held in Elysian Park). I was actually the first female overall last year (tiny, itty bitty little race) so I had to see what this year had in store. There was a bigger field — over 600 athletes took over Oak Grove Park to do battle with a 5k/10k.
The course and the race…
The course itself was an out and back through trails, which was awesome, and there was one significant hill. The race was great – challenging but fun, and scenic! There were a couple of water stops, and it was pretty well-marked. My ONLY complaint about the course is that it was really short. My Garmin clocked in at 5.43 miles (instead of the 6.2 standard for 10ks). I wasn’t too bummed – I was running pretty fast (for me) but I knew the course wasn’t too PR-friendly, so I didn’t care.
I was the 2nd female (!) which was awesome. 39:33 for 5.43 miles, 7:17 pace. Here are the splits:
- Mile 1 – 6:46 (I’m dumb)
- Mile 2 – 7:41
- Mile 3 – 7:21
- Mile 4 – 7:08
- Mile 5 – 7:25
- 0.43 miles – 3:12
Not the most even splits, but the course was decently varied.
I had encouraged some friends and family to sign up, and I am so lucky that so many indulged me!
My mom ran the 5k and rocked it! Her first mile was in the 9:00 range!
My ex-roomie/future co-worker, Jenn, also ran the 10k! She was running happy and strong when I saw her near the turn-around. She has been consistently running 2-3x/week and had a great day out there!
Jenn’s fiancé, Daniel, shaved over 4 minutes off his time from his last 5k – the Santa to the Sea in December which is PANCAKE flat, so this was great! Jenn’s mom and family friend also joined us an walked the 5k. Woo-hoo!
At the last minute, I roped two of my friends, Kwesiu and Eric, from my gym into running the 10k. We all work out together every Sunday usually, but the classes at our gym were cancelled so I suggested they come with me for a little 10k action. Eric runs pretty often, but Kwesiu NEVER does so he was nervous.
As it turns out, they both crushed it — clocking in at exactly 8 min/mile splits for the 10k. And check out how cool this picture is…Looks pretty runner-like for a “non-runner.”
One of my favorite things ever is watching non-runners become runners and develop a love for the sport – and beating whatever time goal you had for yourself or surprising yourself by having fun out there is a pretty great feeling. I’m gonna aim to get them to do a 13.1 with me next…Shouldn’t be that hard.
In addition to these awesome medals…
I got this sweet plaque and a gift certificate to a complete shoe fitting from Fleet Feet Sports – Burbank. Can’t wait to redeem that the next time I need a new pair of my old faithfuls (aka Brooks Addictions).
This race had everything I needed for a perfect Sunday: sun, sweat, friends, family, and some bling. I’ll definitely be back next year!
- What is your FAVORITE way to spend a Sunday morning?
Disclosure: I was provided with race entry in exchange for covering the event. All opinions expressed are my own! (I love this event and would have paid to run it, regardless!)