Saturday's New Haven 10K for Wellness could be more aptly named The New Haven Old Time 10K. The event is a nod to summer races of yesteryear when the races were longer, the awards were more creative and the afterparty usually involved food and swimming.
The race begins at 7:30 a.m. outside Jury Pool in the Highland Terrace neighborhood and takes a three-mile out-and-back out Green Road before returning for a three-mile shaded loop in the neighborhood and finishing at the pool. There, while the awards are tabulated, all registered runners and their families get free entry into the pool. Runners are treated to a light lunch.
The awards may be the best part. In true Olympic fashion, runners will receive gold, silver or bronze medals. The only difference is that all finishers will receive a medal.
“We wanted to try something that the old Canal Days 10K used to do,” said co-race director Larry Stemmler. “Awards were based on time tables or age grading.”
For those not familiar with “age grading,” it's a formula used to make runners of all ages equal. In short, recognize a fast older runner who may finish at the same time as a slower middle-aged runner.
According to the timetables used for this race, a 20- to 24-year-old male will need to break 44 minutes, 46 seconds to get a gold meal whereas a 40-44 age division runner will need break 48:04 and a 60-64 age division runner will need to break 56:38. On the female side, to earn a gold medal, a 20-24 age division runner needs to break 50:33, a 40-44 age division runner needs to break 52:56 and a 60-64 age division runner needs to break 1:07:14.
All runners are racing against time, not each other.
“I think this is a great way to recognize all runners,” Stemmler said. “And it's something different than your usual road race where you are running for place or against someone in your age group. This way, you can actually race with someone in your age group and help each other.”
And help is certainly needed in this rare distance of 6.2 miles. There is an entire generation of runners who are unfamiliar with the 10K, but “back in the day,” and you can define that how you wish, nearly all summer festival races held 10Ks. Unfortunately, most road races have downshifted to 5Ks.
Stemmler said the New Haven 10K was created last year as an initial training step for a fall marathon or half-marathon. After this race, runners could assess their fitness or training plan with the next race being either the Parlor City Trot in Bluffton on Labor Day weekend or the Fort4Fitness Half Marathon later in September.
Packet pickup will be 5-7 p.m. Friday at Jury Pool (1702 Glencoe Blvd.). Entry will be $15 for high school and middle school students and all Fort Wayne Track Club members, $20 for all others. Race-day registration will be available 6:30-7 a.m. at Jury Pool with a cost of $20 and $25.
For more detailed entry information or to register on-line, visit www.runrace.net.