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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Race Recap: 2011 Barking Frog Summer Night 5km

I discovered this race last year and I was so enamored with the great format that I decided I would run it this year, and run it I did.  I had planned on working all day but ended up leaving a tad early so I could come home and have a power nap.

The nap felt great and I felt refreshed waking up from it, but it was really hard feeling truly fresh, the temperature was a scorching 32C with full on sun. I was beginning to dread racing in this heat.  I had a light supper, got my stuff ready, check it over and made it out the door with Melanie to head over to the Frog and pick up my race kit.

I had been inviting friends to enjoy the weather, drinks and racing and when I returned from my warmup I was very pleased to see a strong contingent of friends ready to cheer me on while downing beers.  Speaking of my warmup, I was saddened to realize that my legs didn't feel great during my warmup. They didn't feel dead and heavy, but they definitely lacked the pop they had in Sudbury 2 weeks ago.

LRDC Crew pre-race
I worked through my dynamic drills and some strides and before I knew it we were toeing the line, waiting for the horn to sound the start of the race.I was standing second in line as the horn sounded and before my legs could realize what my body was doing, I was off putting one foot in front of the other. Well, I guess it was time to shine, wasn't it?

THe Gun goes off, and we're off!
I was warned by many that the first km is fast and downhill, and I wasn't going to let precious seconds slip away at this chance so I decided I'd try and bank 5-10 seconds by the time I finished the first km. That never happened and I slipped by the 1km marker in 3:19.  At that moment I knew I wouldn't be hanging on for a 16:40 effort and decided to see what my legs would take me through after 3km.

I kept getting a little slower, stuck somewhere between the chase pack and the front end stragglers. I didn't pass anyone and no one passed me, and I passed the 3km marker in 10:16, well off a 10 flat pace I needed to go 16:40 today.  The last 2 km are pretty much uphill as this is an out and back effort and from 4 to 4.6km is uphill just before you get to muster up enough energy to bring it all in over the last 400m.

Bringing it into the finish!
I finished the race, officially, in 17:31....a whopping 50 seconds off my goal pace, but I was still satisfied with the result given the effort. It was on par with what I showed up to do, I just had greater expectations I suppose.  I finished 19th overall and 5th in my age group. Full results are here. I quickly forgot about the effort as I had, literally, the world's best cheering squad EVER!

Can you spot the difference in these two pictures?

Can you spot the difference in these two pictures?

7 or 8 of my closest friends showed up just before the race to pump me up and stayed around to watch me finish and cheer me on. We promptly downed a few beers, talked, laughed and took pictures.  Here are some of the night's finest, including running action shots courtesy of Melanie.

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