LVL10K Course Analysis

by kevbalance Comments (0) Articles, Racing

Course Maps and elevation charts only give you so much information, so as RD of the LVL10K I thought I would offer a mile by mile description of the race. As you will see, this course has a little bit of everything: ascents, descents, shade, and sun. One huge bonus is that 90% of the course is closed to vehicular traffic. You’ll have the roads mostly to yourself. Go ahead and cut the tangents—we did when we wheel measured the course. Here’s the mile by mile breakdown of the race:

Mile 1
·        Starts near the Oak Street entrance of DW Field Park, where additional port-a-poddies can be found.
·        After a short, flat straightaway racers will climb Tower Hill for the first of three ascents. Tower hill is about 1/10 of a mile long. The rest of the mile is a gradual, shaded downhill.
·        The 1 mile marker is just after the first turn of the race. There will be a large red digital clock offering splits.

Mile 2
·        Starts will a flat straightaway. This road is the only one open to traffic. Corner marshalls and a police detail will be at each end of the straightaway to ensure runner safety.
·        After making a left on a short uphill, the course flattens out.
·        Once you pass the waterfall on the left, you will run a long, gradual downhill under a canopy of trees.
·        In all, mile 2 is probably the sunniest of the race.
·        There is a water stop halfway through this mile.

Beware the second loop turn. Runners go back to the starting line and turn there. This is an extension from the first loop turn. Took some runners by (unpleasant) surprise last year. This second turn is great for strategizing.

Mile 3
·        Starts with a hairpin turn about 1/10 into the mile.
·        The hairpin turns brings you directly to Tower Hill for your second climb.
·        About 1/10 after the hill, you will pass the finish line (but you are not done—obviously). This is a good spectator hangout.
·        The majority of this mile mirrors mile 1; it’s bucolic and runs along the water’s edge.
·        The main difference between mile 3 and mile 1 is that instead of taking a left at the intersection, you will go straight and enter the bigger loop of the park.
·        Immediately after the finish line area, you will see your second water stop.

Mile 4
·        Starts with going straight through the intersection.
·        There are rolling hills in the middle of this mile but nothing major.
·        This mile is mostly shaded.
·        There is a water stop halfway through this mile.

Mile 5
·        Starts in the shade and remains that way for the first half.
·        There is one intersection in this mile and you proceed straight across it and this takes you back onto the part of the course you already ran (mile 1 to 2).
·        This mile is mostly flat.

Mile 6
·        Starts with a water stop.
·        Once again, you pass the waterfall and enjoy a long, shaded downhill.
·        Instead of taking a hairpin turn (like you did at the start of mile 3), you will proceed past the starting line area and complete a turnabout by going through a small parking lot. Note: this can be a psychological challenge as those not reading this will be expecting to take the hairpin straight back up the hill and to the finish. On this second loop, we take you out to the parking lot turnabout for three key reasons: 1) this engages the mental aspect of running, 2) it allows you to see how far ahead or behind you are without looking back, 3) it makes the course a true 10K.
·        You will see the mile 6 marker at the start of the hill.

The final .2
·        Starts with your 3rd and final climb of Tower Hill.
·        After conquering the hill, for the last time, you have 1/10 gradual downhill to the finish. This is excellent for your final kick. How many people will you pass?

Another bonus is that this course is spectator friendly. A fan will be able to see runners many different times throughout the race. One could see a racer three times without moving from the finish line area. If you are a bit more adventurous, you could see your runner 5-6 times by taking a shortcut from the finish line area to the waterfall area.

Registration for the LVL10K will be open until this Thursday. It’s destined to be a great race for runners of all ability levels. We have 36 age group prizes to dole out, cash awards for the top open and masters runners, and one of the best raffles in the northeast. Hope to see you there. Sign-up today!

Click here to learn more about the LVL10K and to register.

estimated elevation profile from USATF’s America’s Running Routes


Feature image of Amos Sang, 2014 LVL10K champ, by Scott Mason.

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