FAAP Fall Classic 10K – Race Report

The FAAP Fall Classic is a low-key race organized in the Pittsburgh area that benefits the Filipino American Association of Pittsburgh (FAAP). By low-key, I do not mean low quality but rather very friendly, like a good trail race rather a serious and competitive road race (like most marathons). Located in the North Park, the course goes mostly on trails, you have to run on roads for a small part of it. You have three options: a 10K run, a 5K run or a 5K walk. So, no reason for not being part of it!

Mark giving race instructions before the start
Mark giving race instructions before the start (picture courtesy of Fran Flaherty)

I did the race 2 years ago and at that time, I had an injury that made it almost impossible to run. It took me 1 hour and 6 minutes to complete the race at that time, which was also very painful. There was definitively room for improvement then.

The race starts at 9am, so there is no stress to get up early to get there. You also take your bib on race day and if you did not register, you can just sign up on race day. Mark, the race director, is very friendly and easy going.

That year was kind of special. Before the race, Herb Cratty gave a rememberance of Lou Lodovico, a strong runner that died at age 91. I did not know Lou but this gave me the opportunity to look up online who he was and his story is very inspirational (just look at his statistics on USATF – the dude was running 10 miles at 1:35 when he was 85 years old).

The start signal is given with a gong. The course itself is not too challenging, there are a couple of hills but nothing really crazy (only one might push you a little bit). It goes on the North Park trails, which are also well maintained. The course is very well marked and there are volunteers to guide you and show you the right direction. It is impossible to lose yourself.

Trying to put my ass and all the beers I drink lat week up the hill (picture by Grace Tabitha Lim Clark)
Trying to put my ass up the hill with an injured knee, heck yeah! (picture courtesy of Grace Tabitha Lim Clark)

Once you finish, there is some food and beverage available. Also, the post-race party includes a dance with kids from the FAAP. There are also bamboo medals for finishers in their age groups.

On my side, I finished the race in 47:33, 14th overall and third in my age group. Better than the 1:06 2 years ago. And being third in my age group was totally unexpected.

Should you do this race? Definitively! The race is not expensive ($20), well marked and support a good cause. if you are a new trail runner or an experienced mountain goat, this is a great opportunity to have a good time on the trails.

At the finish, supporting the Blerch. Picture courtesy of Mitch Radella
At the finish, supporting the Blerch. Picture courtesy of Mitch Radella

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FAAP Fall Classic 10K – Race Report

Two Faces 10K: race report

The Story

The two faces 10K is simple: it is two races that take place the same day. One road race and one trail race. The road race starts at 7:30am and the trail at 09:00am.

I wanted to do it because of the medal: this is a very cool medal that can be separated. One part is given once you finish the road race, the other one when you finish the trail race. If you do both, you can assemble both medals and have a big medal.

I thought this could be a very nice way to recover from Burning River 100 milers. Just having a short 12 miles run on Sunday morning, sounds like a good idea?

The Race Bling
The Race Bling

The Races

Both races start at the Boathouse in North Park. The road race is a basic loop around the lake in North Park. Clearly not exciting but it can be a nice way to gauge your fitness level. The trail race go over the basic trails of North Park but have some elevation but nothing really challenging.

The good part of it is that the road race is pretty flat so that you can really have a sense of your progress in terms of speed. The trail is mostly single track trail, which makes it challenging when you want to pass. For that reason, I would recommend to speed up in the beginning of the race if you do not want to be stuck on the single track trail. Once you are in the woods, it can be difficult (and not easy/safe) to pass other people.

The trail race is very well marked and there is no way you can get lost. There are also regular water stops on both races so that you do not have to carry any water with you. Overall, the race is well organized and there is nothing to complain about.

Let’s do it?

I finished the 10K road in 43:53 for the road (3/34 age group 30-39 – 13/208 overall) and 52:07 for the 10K trail (5/40 age group 30-39, 14/193 overall). Not a really big result or achievement but considering that I did not sleep the night before, it is still good to see I did not crashed during one or the other race.

If you are running in North Park, doing this race can be fun but will not introduce you to new trails or roads: you already ran them plenty of times. But it can be fun to hang out with your friends and have a good run. Considering that the race fees are not expensive (about $35), it might be a good plan.

 

Finish line of the Road Race
Finish line of the Road Race – yes, I need to sleep

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Two Faces 10K: race report