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Sunday, August 29, 2010

My 2010 Ingersoll Harvest Run 10KM Recap

As I mentioned in an earlier post Melanie and I made our way out to Ingersoll for my first crack at a 10km road race in 10 years. The weather was perfect and the sun was shining. Getting there only involved two slightly wrong turns, quite the feat considering my rudimentary directions.

We arrived there at about 8:45, with plenty of time to get me ready for the 9:30am start time. Getting my chip, bib and tshirt was a breeze and I have to commend the level of organization that was present.  The registration area was quick and painless and the ample parking staff made it easy to find a parking spot.

After a trip to the loo and a 2km warmup I was ready to toe the start line, which oddly enough, wasn't the same as the finish line.  The course was described by the announcer as being very flat from 2km to 8km and he expected personal bests from each and every one of us.

The race started a few minutes late, but nothing out of the ordinary. Here's my breakdown of the race, to the degree that I can remember.

0km to 1km

People do not know how to pace, at all.  Obviously the faster runners managed to get out ahead and stay ahead for the remainder of the race but at the 4min/km pace it seems half the runners were under the impression they were about to run a 400m lap and be done with it.  People passed me left and right, young girls, old men and just about anyone in the race. I looked at my watch to see my pace and yeah, I wasn't running slow or fast, clocking my first km in about 4:10.

1km to 3km

This included the hilly portion of the first 5km and the large downhill that lead to a rather steady uphill was nice and I managed to trick my legs into moving a tad faster without having to expend any extra energy.

Still, at this point, people decided to keep passing me and most notably was some muscle bound runner complete with iphone in hand and dj headphones on his ears. I couldn't believe what was going on, but I knew I just had to run my race and that eventually (hopefully!) I would catch the guy.

I had originally planned on doing my first 2km at 4:50 pace, something that turned out to be far too slow and I went through 2km at 8:30, a solid 60 seconds ahead of my planned pace. Ah well. My legs felt great, my lungs weren't being overworked and I decided to just stick with sub 4:30 for as long as I could.

3km to 6km

This is the part of the race where I enacted my sweet, sweet revenge on those that had originally gone out far too fast. I was still clipping along at a nice 4:20 to 4:30 pace and I began to overtake runners every few hundred meters. At this point a few women clipped past me at what I would assume was 4:10 pace and I immediately took notice and remembered to reel them back in later.

I crossed the 5km mark in just over 22 minutes (22:02) and at this point I realized I was on pace to hit 44minutes for the race, something I was shocked to realize as I was expecting a sub 46min performance, not the chance of a sub 44minute performance. It was at this point that I finally overtook a rather determined runner that I had been tailing for the last 2-3km. She was one half of the female duo that passed me just before the 3km mark. She slowed down to grab water and then trotted along as she tried to drink it. She lost at least 5 seconds in this and found herself trying to hold on to my pace, for the first time in the race. Onwards I continued, nabbing a few more runners before we hit the 6km mark to make our way back to the finish line.

Oh, remember that headphone muscle bound runner I mentioned earlier? He was walking at the 5km mark and I managed to fly past him, never to be seen again. Loved it.

6km to 8km

This section of the race was probably my strongest as it saw me pass 5 more runners that were fading slightly and stopping for water (what is it with people and water stations??? This is a 10km road race, not a half marathon...). I was now mentally shifting gears and preparing myself for the last third of the race, a third I hoped I'd be able to capitalize on and continue to push the pace faster and faster. This section also featured some rolling hills so I decided to pump my arms harder to get my legs moving and it certainly helped, most people I passed had forgotten how to move their arms.

8km to 9km

Well, I crossed the 8km marker realizing I only had at most another 9 minutes of running to do and it was like I mentally shifted gears and decided I had to lay a little more speed down.  I kicked it up a notch, now dancing with sub 4:20 pace and looking forward to the upcoming downhill we'd have, in anticipation for the last km.  This km had me pass but a few runners, maybe just two, but it set me up beautifully for what was to come.

9km to 10km

Once I crossed the 9km mark in well under 40 minutes (about 39:40 I think) I knew I had a sub 44 minute run in my sight. As I clipped down the second last downhill I finally caught two female runners, one of which was the other half of the female duo that passed me back at the 3km mark and it felt good to unleash my legs and let them unfurl as the pavement whizzed past me.  I caught a runner as we crested the hill just before the last downhill and he offered me a few words of encouragement which I promptly returned to him. I wanted him to push it to the finish line with me, but I guess my youth just had a little too much speed for him.

I caught one more runner on the last downhill and then one more in the final 200 metre kick I decided to lay down.  I crossed the finish line in 43:27, well under my original goal of 46:00 and I was absolutely elated.

In Retrospect

From start to finish I kept increasing my pace. I can't recall the last time I felt myself continually get stronger through a 10km race, I guess it's easier when you are merely running against yourself and aren't trying to snag placing points for your school team.

I had set two goals for myself prior to the race: finish in a sub 46 minute time and place top 30 overall.  Last year a 46:00 performance would nab you 27th, so when I crossed the finish line in 43:27 I thought for sure I'd have nailed a top 20 performance. Alas I did not.  I finished 21st overall, just narrowly missing out on that random soft goal I had set.  I at least had demolished my time goal by over 150 seconds!

This was my first race with my nike+ sportband and I must say it does take away some of the excitement and challenge that normally accompanies a 10 road race. I knew what my pace was at all times and this I think, is not something I want to start relying on. I want to push myself past what I think I can do, let my legs and lungs dictate how I perform, not a silly watch. We'll see if I decide to change this at anytime...

This week was a tough running week for me, with two XC workouts and my first 50km week in over 7 years, I'm amazed at what I have accomplished.

In case you'd like to see my progression (pace wise) throughout the 10km, here is my nike+ graph of the entire 10km. Don't mind the sudden drop at the end, I forgot to stop my watch.

About The Race

The Ingersoll Harvest Run is now in it's 4th year and I absolutely loved every minute of the race, including the pre and post race.  It was very well organized, the starter was informative and the course was very fast and made for some interesting mileage as we clipped along the 401 highway or tore up the streets on downhills.  Every km was very clearly marked, something that I truly enjoyed as I was able to forget about my watch for most of the race. I will certainly be returning next year and who knows, a few years down the road I may challenge for the win. (Side note, the winning time this year was a very respectable 33:50!)

Course Map

All proceeds of the race go to the Ingersoll Fusion Youth Centre.


  1. Righteous recounting man! I love this. Don't worry about the technology, it just makes you more precise. Can you be my running trainer, plz?

  2. I will gladly help you along in your running! Where shall we start? Oh wait, maybe that's my job? :D

  3. Sounds like a fun race, man. That is one thing that I love about NYRR, they divide up the starting chutes by pace (enforced by bib color and number), which tends to help mitigate having to pass all of the people who come off the gun way too fast. Well done.


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