Pacific Palisades Will Rogers 10k (45:12)

Pacific Palisades Will Rogers 10k:

I actually heard about the Pacific Palisades Will Rogers 10k at the Twilight 5000. I originally planned to drive and run a 12k in Coronado, but I didn’t want to take off work that Monday to drive down. I have a good amount of PTO in July and August and didn’t want to use it then. Plus, I actually had a lot of work to do.  Since most people took off, Monday was great; I only got a few emails and could accomplish everything I wanted. I digress.

The Pacific Palisades Will Rogers 10k has 450 feet of elevation gain. Mostly in miles 3-4.5. I knew it would be a challenging course, but whew climbing over 200 feet in a mile is brutal!

Pacific Palisades Will Rogers 10k:

Before the Pacific Palisades Will Rogers 10k:

I got work done on a reasonably low-key Monday and drove down after work. I didn’t hit any traffic, and I’ve realized that Pacific Palisades is one of the easier places to get to in Los Angeles (mainly because the exit is *usually* right before the traffic hits.) I fell asleep fairly early, although I had a few noisy neighbors between 11-2 am. But for the most part, sleep was good.

I arrived at the Pacific Palisades Will Rogers 10k around 7. I was concerned about parking, and rightfully so. None of the volunteers could tell me where the parking was. I found a metered lot, but when I went to pay, it said it was free on holidays. I was concerned I would be towed (because I saw the tow truck out), but around 7:45, the lot filled up. So yay for being early. I did a 3-mile warmup and then got to the start around 8 for the 8:15 start. Getting any further up was next to impossible, so I just settled where I was. The Pacific Palisades Will Rogers 5k and 10k start together and run about 2.5 miles together, so I didn’t want to be too far up because there was a whole high school division. Either way, I started too far back. The gun went off, and off we went. It was about 8 seconds before I crossed the Pacific Palisades Will Rogers 10k start line, and the first half mile was spent weaving around.

Pacific Palisades Will Rogers 10k Race:

As mentioned, the first half of a mile was spent weaving around people that started way too far up–as any local and holiday race. Sadly, the first mile of the Pacific Palisades Will Rogers 10k is the only downhill mile, and even with weaving around, I ran a 6:42. It would be my fastest mile of the day (by a lot).

My goal for the Pacific Palisades Will Rogers 10k was to feel comfortable during the first half, so the second half didn’t break me. For the most part, I did just that. I kept it comfortable, even as we climbed about 100 feet during the second mile. I ran a 7:22 and hoped there would be some flat parts between miles 2-3. There wasn’t much.

Between miles 2 and 3, the Pacific Palisades Will Rogers 5k and 10k split directions. It was confusing because they printed 10k bibs on blue and 5k on red. But the sign for 10kers was red, and 5kers was blue. Luckily I realized once I got closer, and hopefully, everyone else did too.

I ran mile 3 of the Pacific Palisades Will Rogers 10k in 7:04, my second-fastest mile of the day. From there, it was time to climb up in Will Rogers State Park. Mile 4 climbs just over 100 feet, and so does mile 5, but around mile 4.5, you go right back down. During mile 4, you are on a concrete path of steep switchbacks. You keep thinking, okay, it will level out after this turn…but it doesn’t.

I saw the 5th woman ahead, and I ran hard on downhill. I was able to catch her and pass her. I know my kick is terrible (LOL, if you are around me with .2 to the finish, you will likely outkick me), so I wanted to put some space on her. I also knew there was some climbing during mile 5 before going back down. I passed a few other males and realized I probably felt better than most. I ran miles 5 and 6 of the Pacific Palisades Will Rogers 10k at 7:16. During mile 5; someone told me I was 4th, another person said 7th, and another person said 5. So I didn’t know, but all of those surprised me based on how far back I was at the start.

For last.2, I just pushed as hard as I could. Luckily, a high school boy was also pushing, making it easy to run hard. I finished the last .2 in 6:38 pace and crossed in 45:12.

Pacific Palisades Will Rogers 10k Thoughts:

I’m happy with my efforts because it was faster than the Santa Monica Classic 10k and the She is Beautiful 10k. I Both were far less hilly so it does show I’ve made some sort of progress in the last several months. I think I have a sub 7 min paced 10k on the right course (which doesn’t have 450 feet of elevation gain). Finally, unrelated, I’m fascinated by the fact the Pacific Palisades Will Rogers 10k was $76, and they didn’t give out medals or t-shirts. Not that it matters, but that’s not a cheap race!

You can see Strava here or more race recaps here.

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Questions for you:

Did you run a July 4th race?

What is the hilliest road race you’ve done?