Race Recap: Best Damn Race Orlando 2022

I ran the 2022 Best Damn Race 10K in Orlando on Saturday, March 5th. 

In April 2020 I registered for the 2021 race, which was postponed from 3/6/21 to 7/19/21. Due to a schedule conflict, I deferred to the 2022 race. 

I previously ran the Best Damn Race in Orlando in 2018, when I ran the half.

Training & Goals
I'm still working on coming back after a period of no running, managing knee pain and working on losing some pandemic weight. I finished the Disney Princess Challenge the weekend before. For this race I aimed to start with a five minute walking warm-up and then keep up my run:walk intervals for the distance. 

Race Day: March 5, 2022
I didn't pick up my packet ahead of time, so I aimed to get down to Lake Eola around an hour before the start. I got downtown in time, but ended up in a long, slow line for a nearby parking garage, where I didn't get the car parked until about 6:45AM, 20 minutes before the race would start. Yikes.

I hustled the half mile to the runner's village and was surprised to see that packet pickup was still open with several other runners in line ahead of me. I got my packet, pinned on my bib, and dropped everything else at bag check. With 5 minutes to go, there were still lines for the portapotties! I was inside a stall when I heard the race start. Luckily it was a big field that had to pass through a narrow lane to the start, so I was able to start among the masses.

It was about 61°F with 88% humidity and clear skies when I crossed the mat at 7:10AM.

The 10K route was a wide L-shaped box around downtown. I was surprised to see that the half marathon distance basically ran the 10K course twice, with some added turns for the extra mileage. The half course in 2018 was one big weirdly-shaped loop with no overlaps.

Mile 1: 13:30
This mile took us from the start/finish area at Lake Eola Park down E Robinson Street heading east.

I don't know how this mile was so fast, with the first five minutes spent walking. My run intervals were much too fast, I reckon.

Mile 2: 13:41
This mile continued down Robinson before turning south onto Lakewood Drive, with a short jog east on E Central Blvd before continuing south on Maryland Ave.

Lately I keep my watch on the run:walk alert face, so I don't get distracted by pace, time, or distance. I just run when I'm supposed to, and walk when my watch tells me to. I was really surprised to see my relatively consistent intervals once the race was over. 

Mile 3: 13:13
Next we ran back west on E South Street for about two miles.

Mile 4: 13:31

Mile 5: 13:42
Mile 5 took us past Dr. Phillips Center before turning north to run along N Orange Ave into the heart of the downtown business district. Somewhere along this mile, the first half marathon runners lapped us back-of-the-pack 10K runners. It was fun to cheer them on and marvel at their speed.

Mile 6+: 13:28, 3:38
Much of this last mile was on brick, so I was looking down a lot. We turned right on E Concord then right again on Broadway Ave, heading back to the finish at Lake Eola Park.

After Party
Best Damn Race puts on a great event, with lots of snack, food, beverage, and beer options for finishers. I grabbed a banana, brownie, Diet Coke, and some packaged snacks for later in the day. The village was full of tents giving out samples and selling wares for runners. The after party is a good vibe and it was enjoyable walking around for a bit before I headed out to try to find my car.

Recommendation
The 10K course was a nice run through Orlando, with good support and safety protocols. I'm not a fan of the brick roads and there weren't many, so that was good. Over average swag and after party. Recommended.

Chip time: 1:24:35
Placement details:
55/75 in Age Group; 864/1029 overall
Race Amenities:
Soft t-shirt, no-show socks, personalized bib, nice finisher medal, well-stocked after party, free race photos.
Cost: $33.25 (early tiered pricing)

Addendum 9/28/22: I gave this shirt away (Goodwill) in September 2022

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