This is a race recap of the Bank Newport 10 Miler Race held in early June in Newport, Rhode Island. See what I enjoyed and if I’d run it again!
I did a thing, you guys. I ran a 10 mile road race last Sunday without any training. It was a sporadic decision to run it in the first place.
My sister and her fiance were signed up, and when I knew I would be in Rhode Island and my toe was “okay” enough to start running, I decided to sign up.
This was my second 10 mile race I’ve run (the other being the Tarheel 10 miler). I enjoy 10 mile races and even though I hadn’t trained, I felt confident that I would be able to do it.
The last 10 mile race I’ve run was the Tarheel 10 miler back in 2014. At the time, I was in grad school in Chapel Hill and I ran it in 1:22.34. I certainly wasn’t setting out to beat that time this time around since this was such a sporatic decision.
It’s been a while since I’ve done a race recap (since my half marathon aka my first race postpartum last fall), so let’s get to it!
Why I Chose to Run The Newport 10 Miler
Well, as a native Rhode Islander, I figured it was time I do a Newport road race. I also have a Providence road race on my future bucket list.
Can you believe I’ve only done a few races in Rhode Island? Well, two others to be exact. Both were the Block Island 15k road race, held in the fall.
Also, my sister and her fiance were running the race so I made the last minute decision to sign up since I was in town.
What I Ate Before a 10 Mile Race
We live 45-50 minutes from Newport so I was up extra early. The race started at 7:30 am so we were aiming to leave the house by 6 am at the latest. I was actually up at 4:30 (thanks to Camryn) so it was a very early morning for me.
I ate my typical, pre-race breakfast, which included oatmeal with banana, peanut butter and greek yogurt and coffee (recycled photo).
Truthfully, I wish I had eaten a bigger oatmeal bowl to be honest because I started getting hungry around mile 6 or 7. I forgot to eat the other half of my banana before the race.
Stupidly, I didn’t pack any gels to take during the race because I usually don’t take anything for 10 mile races or shorter. Coupled with the fact that I really hadn’t been training, my body was very hungry and I think that affected my run a little bit.
Details About the Newport 10 Miler Race
The Newport 10 Mile Race was on Sunday, June 2nd. I haven’t run many Sunday races, so that was a new experience for me. The cost of the race ranges from $55-80, depending on when you sign up. I signed up last minute, so I found $80 to be a bit expensive.
They recommend picking up your packet the day before the race, which would be Saturday. Since Newport was quite the drive from Warwick, where I was staying, we opted to pick up our bib the morning of.
The race website warned about race day traffic the morning of. We did hit some congestion upon getting off the highway and pulling into Fort Adams. However, we were parked by 7am and able to pick up our bib and such within the 30 minutes before the race.
Fortunately, they had a bag drop off where I kept my shirt and was easy enough to pick up after.
What’s the Newport 10 Miler Race Course Like?
The course starts and ends in Fort Adams State Park, which is right along the Narragansett Bay. Fort Adams is a former US Army Post, and was active in five major wars. I took this photo on the final stretch as we were running in.
Here’s a photo from the start. You can see it was a cloudy and foggy day!
Upon leaving the park, you’ll run miles 2-6 on the famous Ocean Drive, which is a scenic road right along the coast and oceanfront. Sadly for us, it was a foggy morning so we could see some ocean and beach views, but we didn’t get the whole experience.
This is a neat photo from the photographers over at GameFace Media!
Either way, it was pretty cool to be running alongside the water!
This was the first race I can ever remember not going for a PR. Since I hadn’t trained, I didn’t put any pressure on myself. In fact, I ran with my sister and her fiance, Jamie, the whole time, which was so much fun.
I took photos and selfies during the race, another first for me!
After running along the waterfront, you’ll have a mile or so of mansion views along Bellevue Avenue. I haven’t done a race course before that looked at mansions.
The race course website refers to a flat course with “some rolling hills,” however I found the course to be much hillier than expected!
There were aid stations with water, Gatorade and restrooms every 2 miles or so (miles 2.1, 3.9, 5.7 and 7.9). I got water at each station and gatorade at the last one because I was hungry and needed some carbohydrates.
I wasn’t sure how it would settle in my stomach since I never drink gatorade these days, but it was fine.
How I Felt Throughout the Race
My calves and legs started getting sore around mile 6 or 7. I didn’t feel like I had my usual energy during the race, and honestly, probably wouldn’t have made it if I wasn’t running with my people! But, I’m glad I did it and it felt really good to finish.
As I mentioned earlier, I was really hungry throughout. I attribute that to not eating enough before the race. Even I am still learning. I did make sure to get water at each water stop because I’m trying to find the balance of drinking enough before a race vs. not having to pee the entire race.
I swear, my bladder is forever changed since being pregnant and giving birth!
My hunger levels seem to change all the time, and my body definitely needed more fuel for this.
I usually listen to music during races, but I opted to not wear my headphones for this race since I was running with people. It was nice to hear the volunteers and crowd cheering along the race and be able to talk to people.
I was ready to be done! I scarfed down a bagel with peanut butter and banana after the race.
Pros and Cons of The Newport 10 Miler
First, let’s start with the pros.
- The History. Starting and ending in Fort Adams was a neat experience.
- The Views. Obviously, it was a privilege to run along the and water along the streets of some of the impressive and beautiful Newport mansions. Usually, those streets would be crowded with people or cars so it was neat to have them to ourselves for the race.
- The Post Race Experience. There was a great atmosphere post-race inside the fortress. There were plenty of bagels, bananas, apples, and other snacks, as well as some vendors with samples. Notably, each participant received a free beer from Ragged Island Brewing. We didn’t stick around too long but it looked like a lot of fun.
- Free Race Photos. Most races charge you to purchase photos, so I thought this was a neat add-in. The race entry ($80) was quite hefty so it was nice to have some extra add-in’s included.
- Well organized. I felt that check in was easy and the race was organized. There were a good number of porta-potties, and the volunteers were all helpful.
- Hilly Course. This may not be a con for everyone, just depends what you like. You have pretty views throughout the course, and sometimes it’s nice to have a break from a flat course. However, there were more hills than I expected!
- Not much swag. You get a bag and t-shirt, that’s it! That doesn’t matter much to me since I don’t need any more things accumulated, but some people like more coupons or freebies in there.
- Distance/Timing Inaccuracies. The course was short, as I had 9.89 as the final distance.
- Not much crowd support. Because you’re running along the water and then through streets with mansions, there’s not a ton of places for crowd support. However, there were pockets where people were cheering and it made such a big difference!
Would I Run The Newport 10 Miler Race Again?
I’m usually not someone to run the same race multiple times UNLESS it was so amazing/beautiful/memorable, etc. The Ogden Marathon course is one I would certainly run again.
I was a little bummed that it was so foggy so all of the ocean views weren’t as prolific as they would have been on a sunny, clear morning. That’s probably the only reason I would run it again – to see the views better.
I wasn’t a fan of all the hills (lol) so that was a turn off for me.
There are some other Rhode Island Road Races I’d like to run, including:
- Providence Marathon
- Blessing of the Fleet 10 Mile Road Race
- Newport Marathon (BQ Qualifier)
- 8 Mile Trail Race
Doing the Newport 10 Miler did ignite a fire in me to want to put something on the training schedule definitely to train for. I’m looking for something in late summer/early fall. Any race suggestions?