New 10-mile race in N.J. aimed at women

Posted: July 28, 2013

When Michele Redrow, president of CGI Racing, looked at the local fall racing schedule, she saw a blank spot where a 10-miler could have been. But instead of slotting in another coed race, she decided to create something for women runners, who now make up 60 percent of half-marathon finishers.

On Oct. 13, they're putting on "The Perfect 10", a women's-focused 10-mile race in West Windsor Township, N.J. Yes, men are allowed to enter, but Redrow says the audience is really women.

"I have a soft spot for doing women's races because it's a different environment, and I don't mean to offend men with that," said Redrow, who once organized the Philadelphia Women's Triathlon.

Wenonah, N.J.-based CGI Racing has been putting on road races and triathlons in New Jersey and Pennsylvania since 2005, including the Unite Half Marathon in New Brunswick, Wild Half in Wildwood, and New Jersey State Triathlon in West Windsor Township's Mercer County Park, which will be the same host location for the Perfect 10.

"I have women contacting me all the time saying I can't do it, I can't run, I don't feel like I should be able to do it," Redrow said.

The Perfect 10 is meant to combat those feelings, and encourage women who might not run otherwise to come out for what Redrow describes more as a "lifestyle event" than a race. The course will be lined with bands and a cappella groups, and runners will be led onto the course by "Bow Tie" guys who will continue to cheer on runners throughout the race.

This race makes sense, and not just because, as Redrow said, there was that fall 10-miler gap. Since 2003, the half-marathon, at 13.1 miles, has been the fastest growing distance race, according to RunningUSA. That growth has been driven largely by women: Last year, women made up 60 percent of half-marathon finishers in the U.S.

Races like the Disney Princess Half Marathon and the Nike Women's Half Marathon are sold-out events. In December, the RunBucks group will introduce its Tramps Like Us 10k series, which includes six women's races, all in New Jersey. The first will be Dec. 1 at Cooper River Park in Pennsauken.

Redrow expects to cap the Perfect 10 at 5,000 runners. About 2,500 have already signed up. CGI Racing is also hosting kickoff parties around the state where women who want to run the race or are curious about the race can do a group run (no matter what the pace - at their last party in Moorestown, they had a 14-minute-per-mile group). The dates for those parties, along with free training plans, will be on their website at cgiracing.com/perfect10miler

In addition to the Sunday 10-miler, CGI is also holding a 5K the same day, plus the Daughter Dash, a 1-mile run and walk for girls ages 5 to 13, the day before.

"The whole premise with this race is create more of a women's community race rather than just an individual who runs solo and races solo," Redrow said. "We really want to get people out and moving."


Racing Schedule

Greenfields Triathlon, Duathlon & 5K, 7:30 a.m., Greenfields Swim Club, West Deptford, N.J. Race day registration starts at 6:30 a.m. at Greenfields Swim Club.

West Deptford Park Summer 5K Series in West Deptford, N.J. Every Monday, 7 p.m, through Aug. 12. tnteventmanagement.com

Browning Ross Summer Sizzler Series: 5K, Rowan University, Every Thursday through Aug. 29. 7 p.m.

Fee: $5, $3 for students. Age group prizes. tuffgangrunning.com


To add your race to the calendar, e-mail jquinn@phillynews.com. Please send at least two weeks in advance. For full schedule, go to inquirer.com.  

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