“If It’s Not hard, Why Do It?”: Jamestown Bridge 10k Recap

When I checked the course map for Sunday’s Jamestown Bridge 10k, the following keywords popped up:

Average Terrain, Hard Difficulty, Hilly Contour, Long Climb Contour, Oceans, Road Surface, Scenic Surroundings

Oh No.

After running this race my personal keywords are: Rain, hills, wind, rain, wind, hills, rain, rain, COLD.

Ok, so I think you now know, it was windy & raining hard and absolutely FREEZING. However, I’m still happy with my performance, and it gives me a huge kick in the butt in regards to SFM marathon training.

The morning started early, 5:50 to be exact and I woke up, peered out the window and noticed that the streets looked wet, but it seemed as if the rain had stopped, fist pump! I started my coffee maker and started packing for a brief trip home following the race and fueling. By the time Katy swung by at 6:30am to pick me up it was full on pouring rain. We greeted each other acknowledging that we were completely crazy and that we probably wouldn’t expect too much out ourselves in this hilly, and now rainy & windy 10k.

We chatted the entire way there and before we knew it we were parking at North Kingston High school, again, it was still POURING like cats and dogs. We waited in the pouring rain and then finally boarded a shuttle and made our way to the start line. Once we were there it was insanely windy. I had dressed rather conservatively, a running jacket, short sleeve top & running crops but I forgot my gloves. FAIL. My hands by the end of this race were so cold that they felt like paws. We chatted briefly, met up with ACS superstar, Robert Frary and joked about the awful weather. Robert is in remission from throat cancer, hardcore runner and generally awesome person. Despite not being able to eat a normal quantity of food due to side effects from treatment, he absolutely LOVES to run. This doesn’t stop him one bit and next weekend he will be running the Cox Providence Marathon, which will be his third marathon so far this year. Good luck Robert!

The Race

Shortly after, we were on our way. The course starts on a fairly steady downhill so I kept glancing at my garmin to make sure I wasn’t going out too fast. Ooops, I was pacing 7:30 splits. I told myself to dial back, and then I saw Katy start to wiz by me, I warned her that we were on 7:35-ish pace and to hold back, we had some serious hills coming up!

Mile 1: 7:40

Apparently I didn’t heed any advice from Marathoner’s last weekend who said to always conserve your legs in the beginning on down hills. Whoops.

After the first mile mark we started our descent up the Jamestown Bridge. TRIMOM was NOT lying when she said that this was a scenic, but challenging course. Once the bridge was in view my mouth literally dropped and I said to myself “MOTHER EFFER” (Sorry mom) At this point we were right on open water and we were running STRAIGHT into the wind. I just tried to keep my head down, glance at the water and focus. There was a race photographer out on the bridge and I am seriously terrified to see these photos. The climb was difficult, but it was relatively gradual, so at least we had that going for us.

Mile 2: 8:55

After we crested the top of the Jamestown Bridge, we started going down hill again, Oh holy GOD, THANK YOU! I tried to hold back and make sure I wasn’t killing my quads, so I just tried to get into a groove and get to a good pace and brace for a relatively steady flat land. From here the course made it’s way through a really cute little coastal neighborhood. A lot of the neighbors all came out and cheered the runners on, there was even a grandmother holding a pot and banging it with a wooden spoon. Thank you Grandma! We went down a small but steep downhill and then hit a water & Gu stop. I ran w/ a water bottle so I decided to grab a Gu and take as much as I could. I choked it down and then continued on.

Mile 3: 8:04

What goes down, must go back up….eeek. The course then turned right and went back up a small, but very steep hill. This was where I was really feeling it. I had mentally prepared for other hills, but not this one. I just slowed my pace and soldiered on.

Mile 4: 8:37

At the 4 mile marker we then hit our last water station and continued our journey back onto the Jamestown Bridge. I was really hurting here and cursing myself for going out so fast. The only good news about running on the bridge again was the fact that we had the wind at our backs, thank you TAIL WIND! I felt as if my legs were cinder blocks and I trudged up the hill. I just kept telling myself that it would be over soon and this was great preparation for the HBH Half & SFM.

Mile 5: 8:51

Mile 5 was then a downhill, THANK YOU! Everyone was flying by me at this point and I was just trying not to completely fall apart. I coasted down the hill and then I noticed that we had to scale the same down hill that we had started so quickly on. This is when I really started to panic. My legs were so tired that I seriously had no idea how I was going to do this. I tried to focus on my crumbling form, but I kept on falling apart. The hill continued and I just kept on telling myself I could do it.

Mile 6: 9:20

The last .2 was a total blur, I seriously felt like I was crawling up the hill! I saw some runners that had finished earlier and they told us that the finish was just around the corner, I found every last bit of energy I had and pushed it into overdrive, trying hard to finish strong.

.25 2:11

Garmin: 6.25 Miles: 53:41 Average Pace 8:35

Official results: 278/930 Kimberly Chambers 53:42 8:39 F

Check out this amazingly high quality video of the race complete with only the most bumpin’ tracks.

Overall, I was relatively happy with this race. It was extremely challenging and it was fun to get out run in a different part of New England, and as always it was really fun running this race with Katy! I did really hate the rain and wind, but it is great to race in those conditions, as you never know what the weather might do on the day of your “A Race”. Even though I was cursing the course the entire time, I do think I will try to run this again. You can’t improve if you never push yourself, right?


Afterwards Katy and I chatted about what non-runners say to us when we tell them about running races like the Jamestown Bridge 10k and Heartbreakhill Half. They ultimately always ask, “if it’s so hard, why are you doing it.” We then ultimately decided, “if it not hard, why do it?” and this is going to be my running mantra for the remainder of 2011.

Have you ever signed up for a race purely because it was challenging?


  1. says

    I think this race was SO great for us. The conditions were TERRIBLE and the course was the most challenging ever, but we did it, and we did it WELL! I had a blast and tons of laughs, thanks for an awesome day!!!

  2. says

    That is a great way to look at it. I purposefully run a lot of hills during my training because I like the challenge. Sometimes it is nice to run a nice flat course but other times it is good to do something challenging to prove to yourself that you can do it

  3. says

    i LOVE that mantra. congrats on dominating such a tough course on a super tough day. i truly believe that tackling the toughest stuff the sky and the running gods can throw at us just makes us stronger. you’ll definitely think of conquering this race when you’re toeing the line in San Francisco!

  4. says

    Talk about hill training! You rocked it. I am super impressed that you hung on in such a tough race. I definitely want to try that one next year.

  5. says

    Congratulations Kimmy!! Yikes – this race sounds incredibly challenging, but I love your mantra! And I’m so impressed by your determination. It may not have been the most fun you’ve ever had racing, but it certainly sounds like it made you stronger. Great job!!

  6. says

    Wow! Congrats you Dix an awesome job with those conditions. Good for you! I probably would have just crawled back into bed haha. Those hills looked inside, way to go!

  7. says

    You did awesome Kimmy!! That course sounds crazy, especially in that lovely weather!
    I once signed up for a 5 mile race that was up a mountain with my mom, just because we thought it sounded crazy. It didn’t seem quite as funny running constantly uphill for 5 miles, but it was pretty cool once we finished 🙂

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