Capital 10-Miler-the Perfect Spring Race

Favorite temperature, favorite distance, favorite race. A wonderful way to return to racing.

About a year ago, I wrote a post questioning whether I would ever have the opportunity to race again. Early pandemic and at the age of 73, it was a legitimate question.

After a year of virtual solo runs, a few other races had opened up in the past months. Even though runners were started in small groups, I wasn’t ready to take that chance just yet.

Until last weekend. The Capital 10-Miler, a run for the arts, received permission to carry out the race. It was limited to a low capacity, with registrations allowed at about a third of the runners who have participated most years. Another year to support Harrisburg’s wonderful nonprofit arts organizations.

For some runners, this is the race that gets them out the door on cold January and February mornings. Spring is coming and the Capital 10-Miler is coming. Be ready!

All the safety precautions were in place: mask up before your start, replace it after the finish, starters staggered in multiple waves, post-race food bagged for runners individually so they could grab and go, reducing any post-race mingling.

So, my first race of 2021 began with temperatures in the fifties, Mr. B. Entertainment in the disc jockey booth, No Last Call Band providing live and lively music at the start and along the course, familiar faces of runners I hadn’t run with in a year or more, and a course decked out it’s Spring beauty. It was a morning to stir a runner’s heart.

The Capital 10-Miler has had race dates where last minute couse changes were needed because, well, the Susquehanna River decided to flow over about a mile of our course. Then there was the year when monsoon rain, sleet and wind came flowing in. Still the legendary stories persist from runners who treasure the t-shirt from that year.  

Every year, a corps of super-fast runners show up looking for strong competition and maybe, just maybe a shot at breaking course records.  Those of us mid-pack and back-of-tthe pack watch in awe as they stream above across the bridges where we can view from our pace on the course several miles behind them.

15 of the runners finished the course in under an hour. Photos courtesy Bill Bonney Photography

Maybe it was a year away from racing, but for all the Capital 10-Milers where I served as race director and the previous race I ran after stepping down from that post, nothing beats the spectacular beauty of this course for an 11th Capital 10-Miler. 

My time of 1:43:53 was considerably slower than my previous finish. It may take some timeto get the rust off and get back in the race groove.

Come run the Capital 10-Miler with us next year. Come run for a fast, flat and beautiful course. It’s a great spring tune-up!


  1. Wow! You are still my hero. Glad to hear you are doing so well. Still having trouble with the knees but you look great. Hope to see you out there soon.

  2. Thank you for sharing, Mary Lou. You are amazing to be running still at 73. How wonderful that races are once again happening with some safety precautions. Sounds like it was very well planned and organized.

    Nothing yet happening in Canada. Even though I am a decade younger, I’m feeling the same way. I have done the virtual stuff, but I really don’t know how I am going to handle a real race! Thank you for sharing! 😀

  3. Thanks, Carl. Running is my joy and I will do it as long as it is a joy. We have been looking forward to a return visit to Canada, but that border has been closed for about 14 months. Friends there tell me not to expect it to open soon.

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