The Crown City Classic 12k was my first post covid race. Before racing it, I hadn’t run any road race since breaking my foot in March 2020. I ran a couple of trail races, but none on the road. I definitely consider myself a road runner, and I prefer road running much more.
I was excited and nervous to run the Crown City Classic 12k. I had no real goals other than seeing where I was at. I guess I would average between 6:40-7:45 for 7.5 miles and that is exactly what I did.
I picked up my race packet the day before to save time. I stayed with my brother the night before and we arrived in Coronado around 7 am. The race was already packed. It took over 20 minutes to park. I was not expecting that. I did a 2-mile warmup and headed to the start.
Not even addressing the lack of COVID protocols, the Crown City Classic 12k was one of the most chaotic and possibly dangerous starts I’ve ever been to. (Now races don’t have to do anything different, so they didn’t). My gripe isn’t with that though.
The Crown City Classic 12k went off right at 7 am. We started on an open field and they had us run under a giant American Flag that people were holding. Unfortunately, they didn’t hold it well enough, and it fell on runners. It was dangerous, and I felt as though I was trapped underneath while also dodging small kids at the front. I think a couple of people fell under the flag. Between running under the flag, a packed start, and grassy uneven terrain, it just wasn’t safe.
After that, we headed into mile 1. It was still packed and I didn’t feel like I could find my groove. I was shocked when my first mile was 6:35. I thought, oomph, I probably took that out too fast. Since I haven’t run in humidity, I wondered, did I take it out too fast? Only time would tell.
Around mile 2 of the Crown City Classic 12k, I felt like I started to find my groove. The race started to spread out after the 5kers turned around. Someone cut in front of me, and I nearly tripped as they realized they wanted to turn around for the 5k. I hit the second mile in 6:41 and figured I would be happy with around a 6:45 paced 12k.
The third mile of the Crown City Classic 12k went out along the Coronado path. It was scenic, but I started to feel the humidity. I hit the third mile in around 6:40. I thought, maybe I am a humidity runner over a desert runner but then I realized I wasn’t even halfway done and that was too bold of a statement to make for the moment.
We turned around 3.70, and it gave me a second wind. I passed a few people and hit mile 4 in 6:46. I told myself to just keep it under 6:50. It felt like we had a slight tailwind on the way back. Both miles 4-5 of the Crown City Classic 12k were uneventful. I felt like I was working hard, but I definitely felt better running in the humidity than I have in the desert sun.
Around mile 5.5, we met back up with the Crown City Classic 5kers. This where the race got dangerous as we were running around and through walkers. It felt uncomfortable, and a little kid dashed out in front of me. Luckily there were no crashes.
From mile 6 to the end of the Crown City Classic 12k, I focused on the end. It was hard to gain speed and also dash around 5kers. I appreciate everyone enjoying the races, but I strongly believe races shouldn’t have two different distances running together. It’s not pleasant for 5kers, and it’s not pleasant for the 12kers. Especially since in total there were about 2000 runners.
As we rounded the corner to the finish, we headed back on the grass. I finished the Crown City Classic 12k in 50:29. It was slightly long.
Crown City Classic 12k Thoughts:
I am happy with how the race turned out for me. I expected to run between 6:40-6:45 pace, and that is exactly what happened. As far as the Crown City Classic 12k goes, I didn’t find it well put together, and I am shocked it’s been around for 48 years. There were several dangerous issues that I am surprised they would do. From dropping the flag on runners to having the 5k/12k paths cross. I don’t mean to sound negative, but both of those are dangerous!
In all, I’m happy for road races to happen again, and I’m looking forward to running more.
Questions for you:
Have you ever rn the Crown City Classic 12k?
Have you run a road race yet?