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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Race Recap: 2011 Macfarlan Rowlands Downtown 5km

In this final chapter of three (Chapter 1: Race Preview, Chapter 2: Race Gear) I'll chronicle what went down at the 2011 Macfarlan Rowlands Downtown 5km.  If you came here simply looking for the results, head over to Full results can be found here:

If you'd like to know how my race went, and perhaps see some gnarly action shots of myself (and the rest of the LRDC crew, keep on reading!)

It all started yesterday with an easy 6km shake out run through the wooded trails along the Thames River. My legs felt fresh, rested and full of life. My shins however, have been feeling better, and worse. I wasn't able to get up on my toes very easily, but I was still able to throw in 4 strides near the end of my run to make sure my legs would still turn over. And they did. I got home and pampered my shins: Icing, massaging (incl. cross-fiber massage), stretching and heating.

Race morning arrived and for once I felt like I had nailed the fueling issues that had plagued me at the Really Chilly Road Race back in February. I decided to have a late supper last night and a light breakfast this morning in hopes of um, flushing my system before I left for the race. Turns out it worked perfectly and I set out with one of the best cheerleaders I've ever had, Melanie! I can't forget Wes either, his valiant attempt to make it out to the race is certainly worth mentioning, but yet again, work manages to get in the way of life.  I'm very thankful that you made it to the park this morning, it means the world to me.

I met up with my team after picking up my racing kit and chip. Everyone either seemed half asleep or ready to rock. I was ready to rock. We set out on our warm up, did our dynamic drills, some strides and before we knew it we were toeing the line with 90 seconds till the gun horn went off.

And the race was off, and as is typical of local road races, some buffoons decided to take it out as fast as they could. Case in point, the image above.

Mister 599 (Yatin Mohla) ended up finishing 556th (out of 589) yet he decided to usurp the lead from the gun. Well played Mr Mohta, at least you got your 3 seconds of fame on my blog.

I was somewhere near the front of the pack at this point, but I was mostly concerned with just staying clear of the slow people that somehow made it out in front of me in the first few meters. I decided to tuck in, nice and cozy, on the outside of the turn. This actually ended up working out rather well, I was able to position myself well and move up quickly out of the turn.

The first km felt fast but very relaxed and controlled. Bronwen decided to pay me a little visit and pass me at this point, but that's to be expected as she was on route to a new 'official' personal best. I worked alongside my good training partners Scott and Dylan from about 200 metres out and we came through 1km in 3:29. This was a relief as I was instructed earlier in the week that the first km typically manages to be very fast. I was bang on my pace and was feeling great.

The second kilometer was a blur, and rightly so, I clocked 3:17 for that one. It was slightly uphill and against a decent headwind to boot....I'm not quite sure how I managed to kill it so well, but it happened. We came around and finished the first loop and I hit the 3km mark at 10:19 (a 3:23 km) and realized that I was gaining on Leslie and that up ahead was Lanni Marchant, about 30 metres ahead of Leslie.  I decided I'd catch Leslie and try to pull her along so we could catch Lanni.  I managed to catch Leslie but somehow couldn't stop. Leslie came with me for a bit, but I simply had too much in me so I kept soldiering on. I vowed to snipe Lanni if I got within range...for Leslie.

The 4th kilometer involved me passing another person, or two, and essentially willing myself to run faster and faster out of sheer fear.I was afraid someone I had passed would in turn pass me, and I did not want that to happen. Not a single person had passed me throughout the entire race, and I was determined to keep it that way.  My 4th km was run in 3:26 and as I turned north onto Clarence, the finish line was in sight, about 800-900 metres away. Twas indeed a painful sight, but I decided it was not time to sit so I continued to eat away at Lanni's lead on me.

Sprinting for the finish

I caught her with about 300 metres to go, clocks my last km in 3:17 (again!) and my last 100 metres in just under 15 seconds. I finished strong, pushing like a controlled madman all the way to the end. I felt like dying once I finished, but my lungs quickly recovered. It always amazes me how quickly lungs can recover after a hard race.

So I crossed the finish line in 17:10, completely obliterating my B goal of 17:30 and even killing my A goal of 17:20!

I was 16th overall (I wanted to be top 20), 3rd in my Age-Group (I wanted to be top 3) and was not bested by a woman today (though the ladies in the field today simply had an off day, they are more than capable of outdoing me). There wasn't a single goal of mine that I didn't reach, it was truly an amazing day where everything I've worked hard for and planned for fell into place.  I even won some swanky Saucony gear!

So what happens next? Well, for one, I'm going to continue to baby my shins. They are already feeling immensely better than they did a week ago, but they are still not at 100%. My next race is my return to the track in which I'll be racing in a 1500m in town (I think it's at TD Waterhouse)

If you'd like to check out my race in details, here are the Garmin stats:

1 comment:

  1. Congrats on a great race!!! Way to go!! Great you are SPEEDY!!!

    I also got CEP socks from Jamie...have you ordered a pair online at all? I need to get a second pair as I am wearing mine out...just wondering where you got yours from!


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