Sunday, May 29, 2016

Black Moshannon 10K Race Report (Philipsburg, PA)

I try to write race reviews for a website named,, but I never include anything particular about how my race actually went.  I figure people that don't know me don't really care.

All in all, this was a tough, challenging race.

I finished in 1:16:01.32.  Ouch!

Mile 1 -- 10:41.82
Mile 2 -- 12:56.19  (This had an incline that could have been part of the Blue Ridge Half Marathon a month earlier in Roanoke)
Mile 3 -- 13:50.13
Mile 4 -- 13:37.62
Mile 5 -- 11:22.92 (Out on paved road)
Mile 6 -- 11:37.33 (Little bit of a downhill)
Last .2 -- 1:55.41

This was the course profile:

Very mixed feelings about this race.

All but two volunteers were friendly and excellent; those are things that we should all be thankful for as runners, all the time.

There were some severe communication issues, though, that could have been avoided.

This race has been going on since 1981, but it hasn't embraced some of the tenets of racing in 2016.

Tough course, which had a 2.7% grade over 1.84 miles that was between 1.46 and 3.29 miles, according to one runner's profile on

The first four or so miles are on a road that was covered with mixed gravel and dirt, while the last almost two were on fairly smooth paved road.

Communications? Nowhere on the race's web site did it indicate an elevation profile or that it might have been good to wear trail shoes as regular road shoes just didn't allow for decent enough traction very early in the race.

I think sometimes that community races or races that have been going on three decades or more never think about what the race may look like to somebody that is brand new to it.

Especially when you list the race on one of the national event listing websites, such as, where I found the race listed.

Although I'm from around the area of the race, my family moved from there just before I turned 10 to Texas. Almost 50, I had never been to the park before and having flown into Pittsburgh from Houston, I approached the Park from the west along Interstate 80.

It was probably the most remote approach (north) from the other three directions, but there was no signage along a "not even two-lane road" to indicate that I was going in the right direction towards the park.

But the most glaring issue was the fact that you didn't have water available until just past mile 3, which is through almost all of the incline, especially when it warmed up on a part of the course that wasn't as covered as it was in other parts of the Park.

There was another water stop at almost mile 5, but stations at miles 2 and 4 would seem to be more appropriate - and to list it on the website to be able to plan for it (or to carry water if it wasn't satisfactory).

Normally for a 10-kilometer race on a flat course, you may or may not need to have water at all, but on a warmer day with a hilly course it just could have been more evenly placed.

And while there was EMS at the finish and maybe around ~100 runners (the race had 121 finishers the year before), it just seemed as if somebody could have easily run into a rough spot where they would have been out of touch with anyone for a mile (between mile 2 and mile 3 and mile 3 and mile 4).

This viewpoint was exacerbated by the fact that a runner who was sitting and waiting for somebody between miles 2 and 3, maybe more early in mile 2. They were OK when I asked them (and before I made it to mile 3 there was a vehicle that was coming to get to them). Additionally, there was an "older than me" runner who was bobbing and weaving a little bit ahead of me. I caught up to him, let him have some of my water and then advised everybody I came in contact with ahead of me to just make sure he was alright.

Would I recommend the race to a friend? Yes, but I would arm them with information that I've shared here that isn't disclosed on the race's main webpage.

To the race: Think about everything possible that somebody who isn't from your area needs to know to get to your race, where to start (there were people from Altoona and State College - in the area - that were asking) and many other things.

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