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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Race Recap: 2011 New Balance 1500m Night (RCLDS)

Well, it's been nearly 2 months since my last race recap and dare I say it's about frikkin time! I run to race, so to finally get another race under my belt felt great last night.

The day of the race was so low key I barely have much to write about it. I did some yard work in the morning, then proceeded to read most of 'Running with the Buffaloes' by Chris Lear (what an inspiring read!). I interspersed my reading with naps. One on the floor, one on the bed and one on the couch. I adjusted my eating schedule as I'd be racing at 8PM and by 6PM I was off to the Beer Store and Steve/Leslie/Nate's place to drop off the ribs I had smoked for nearly 5 hours.

Let me back track a bit to the previous night first. I bought a new pair of track spikes from Runners' Choice (London) and figured it would be worth a mention here. I got the Nike Zoom Rival D and hoped my feet would adjust to track spikes the next day, I haven't worn a pair in years.

I arrived at the track with my bestest cheerleader ever (Love you Melanie!) and immediately got into my warmup routine.  I was slated to be in the second slowest heat (gulp) of the night and scheduled to race at 7:55. We started pretty much on time, but not before I was told to either put my bib number on the front of my singlet or race with my singlet on backwards. Bah.  Thanks Dylan for helping me out with that one.

I also got to meet John LoFranco (finally!) on the start line and I have to give him and his team mad props for making the trip to London from Montreal. He was seeded one second slower than me in the race so I knew we would likely be able to key off each other.

Dylan and I working together in the first lap
The gun sounded and we were off. Immediately the pack of runners settled into a pace that seemed just a touch too fast for me, so Dylan and I tucked in the back of the pack and decided to run our own races.  It worked out for the first lap as we came through in just a hair under 70 seconds and we started off into our second lap.  We ran stride for stride until the 800m mark which we reached still on perfect pace at 2:20 (another 70 second lap) and we started to eat up the competition one by one.

Preparing for my assault into the 3rd lap
My 3rd lap was and still is a blur, we came through in 72-73 seconds, so we had fallen off pace a little and allowed ourselves to fall asleep a tad. Essentially, we let the pain control us and fell into what I can only describe as a comfortable pace. The 1500m should never be run in a comfortable pace at any point in time, but if it's going to happen at some point, it's going to be on the 3rd lap. And it happened on my 3rd lap last night.

Bell Lap, it's now or never!
The last 300m of the race (I came through 1200 in 3:32-3:33) was an all out assault on the field of runners that lay ahead of me. They had all gone out too fast in my opinion and they were now mine for the taking, and oh man, did I take scalps.  I came into the heat seeded 13th out of 15, ran the first two laps of the race dead last and ended up passing 11 runners in the last 700 metres.  By my estimates my last 300 was run in 48-49 seconds, and I bet my last 100 metres was on world record pace....Bolt best watch his back.

Tearing up the track in the final 100m
So I finished the race, nearly face planted, tried to catch my breath and noticed I had a small but potent cheering squad waiting for me near the finish line! Amberley and Brian joined Melanie and cheered me on during my race. It made what I had accomplished that much more special. Thanks so much guys, you both ROCK!

I felt, without knowing my time, that I had raced a great race. I was patient, let my legs guide me round and round and had dug deep, very deep, for a monster finishing kick over the last 150m. Plus, my first two splits were bang on, I knew I had done very well but I just didn't know how well.

Then they told me. I broke 4:20 they said, 4:19 point something-something. I couldn't believe it. I was beyond started to sink in and I was ecstatic. Then I started to think about it and I realized they may have been off a bit as the timing clock stops as the first finisher crosses the line, I was the 4th finisher. Ah well. They re-assured me I must have still been close to 4:20, and that alone was cause for celebration.

I look sad here, but I'm not. I'm just dying.
It turns out I clocked 4:21.65 officially. That's nearly 9 seconds faster than my B-Goal I had set (4:30) and over 3 seconds faster than my A-Goal of 4:24. I executed my race plan perfectly. I wasn't able to work with John at all, he was well ahead of me for the first 1000m and then I caught him with about 500m to go. He ended up not far behind me, obliterating his 4:30 goal as well!

The night was full of surprises and some massive personal bests from many club members. All in all, we delivered great races and we're gearing up for the last few races of the season. I can't wait to see how our team performs at Provincials and Nationals this summer!


  1. Bloody awesome Andre! I think I'm going to re-read this the night and morning of my 5k (it's in 2 weeks)... Not that I plan on being a speed demon like you, but just to get that itch to perform to my best! Keep up the inspiration work!

  2. Congrats! You beat the time I predicted by like 17 seconds. :) My prediction was based on math, instead of gut.

  3. Good job man. I was pleased with my race, too. I died pretty hard in the last lap, but I knew I had to go when I did, because there was not going to be any kick from me. It's great to get a heat like that where everyone is so close together and you can just race and not worry about splits. I think I heard my splits, and they were faster than I was planning (68-70) but it's all good. The only thing is man, some of those high school kids need to learn how to run a race! Way out in lane 3, moving up to pass but then just sitting there, cutting in too fast...oh well.

  4. Thanks Nat, Max and John! I had a blast racing and I'm super lucky to have such supportive people in my life. It is by surrounding one's self with greatness that one may attain greatness!

    @John, I'm glad you are pleased with your race too. When you took off at one point I was wondering why, it seemed like a strange move to me as I'm more of a kicker. Dunno when we'll see each other next, but regardless I hope your training keeps progressing smoothly.



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