Friday, July 13, 2018

Firecracker 6 Race Recap

I happened to find myself in Indianapolis on the Fourth of July, so I looked for and found a local race called the Firecracker 6. It's odd that on the Fourth there seems to be all manner of different race distances available. Over the last five years on the Fourth I've run:

2014: 5 miler
2015: 4 miler
2016: 5k
2017: No race
2018: 6 miler

I never specifically train for these Fourth of July races. They're usually just for fun and so it was with the Firecracker 6. Plus if they are an odd distance, they're are usually good for an instant PR!

Left the hotel with the car and was in downtown Indianapolis in about 20 minutes. Found a free street spot and walked over to the historic Indianapolis Market to pick up my bib.

After a two mile warm-up in the humidity, I started to get hot. So, I used the remainder of my time to try and cool down before the start. The national anthem was sung, a prayer was said and then a bunch of firecrackers were lit and we were off with a bang (or lots of little bangs)!

The Race
Mile 1: The race began right in the heart of downtown Indy, as we ran around Monument Circle This is where the tallest buildings in Indy are, so my GPS went in and out. However, I remember my time crossing the one mile mark. 6:20/mile.

Mile 2:  We made our way around the American Legion Mall. Things were getting warm and I started to realize that the heat was getting to me. I started to leap frog runners who were fading, but there was a definite gap forming between the pack I was leading and the lead pack. 6:20/mile.

Mile 3: We made our way past the 100 year old rollicking beer hall and restaurant "The Rathskeller". The heat was starting to take its toll, but I tried desperately to hold pace. 6:17/mile.

Mile 4: Flying solo somewhere between the lead pack and the second pack, I came upon a hill, which normally wouldn't have bothered me, but the heat was draining my energy rapidly. I started to struggle and slowed, hoping for a second wind. I ran by my favorite duck pin bowling alleys in the Fountain Square neighborhood. 6:36/mile.

Mile 5: Once we made the turn to head back to downtown, the uphill of the last mile became a downhill, but it was still becoming less and less fun as the heat and humidity were getting bad. I guess this was my second wind! 6:21/mile.

Mile 6 and 6.1: We joined up with the 6k runners for the final mile. The volunteers were handing out mini american flags to wave at the finish, but I blew on by. I was lifting my shirt to get some air circulation. Thank goodness this race was not a full 10k, because I was out of gas! 6:18/mile.

Must stop watch directly over timing mat!
Race Summary: 
  • Official Time: 38:19 
  • Official pace: 6:23/mile
  • Overall Place: 17th out of 629
  • Age Place: 2nd out of 33 
  • Instant PR!! First time at this distance.
I was completely spent. Went over to a shady spot and chugged a bottle of water. I didn't hang around for the after party or awards ceremony, despite the fact that they had free pours of a local craft brew. I threw down some dry towels in my car and cranked up the A/C and headed back to the hotel.

Race Takeaway:
Here were my splits:
First three miles: 18:54
Last three miles: 19:26

Positive split, but not too bad considering I didn't factor how hot I would get. Also, it looks like pretty much my entire age group ran positive splits, so I wasn't the only one. This is a good learning experience on pacing the Rock n Roll Half if it is a hot one. Also, no warm-up and I'll pack a towel!

Next up:
RnR Half


  1. NIce job Pete! How weird that they had a 6 mile distance instead of a 10k.

    I'll hopefully see you at RnR. I'll be the slow one at the back of the pack....

  2. Great job, congrats on 2nd in your AG and rallying at the end. Impressive splits for that heat, even though they were positive!

    I want to race in Indianapolis some day :)