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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Race Recap: 2011 Springbank Road Races 5km

What a blur it all seems to be. One minute you're stressing out while finishing your strides, the next minute you're in the thick of the race and before you know it, you're crossing the line and scarfing down tasteless bagels just because they are in front of you.  I feel like I'm getting ahead of myself here, so let me spin this boat around and start from the beginning.

We woke at 6am sharp to eat some toast with peanut butter and sandwiches. It's always eery getting up when it's dark, this morning was no different. The weather forecast looked pristine for the morning, kicking off at 15C by 8am and hitting 19C by 11am. The weather was cooperating, it was only a matter of time before we found out if our bodies were also willing participants in this craziness.

We arrived at the race course for 7:30 to pick up our timing chips and I left Melanie alone, awaiting the start of her half-marathon debut, so that I could get my warm up and pick up before the start of the 5km at 8:30. I imagine her nerves were through the roof, and I would have loved nothing than to be there with her as the gun went off. But alas, schedules don't always align. I knew she'd be fine and set off on my warmup.

After my dynamic drills, some strides and a quick visit to the bag check I decided, with only 10 minutes left, to get in line at the port-a-potties for one last leak. 5 minutes went by and I was still  minutes away from getting to the front, so I squashed those plans and made my way to the start line of the 5km. A few high fives, some encouraging words and BANG we were off.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Stop sprinting out of the gate people. That's all I'll say. Unless you can handle the pace, that is.

So I settled into a nice groove as the first 1.3km of the 2.5km out/back loop is downhill. The effort was very controlled and I clicked by 1km in 3:20. I was still lagging behind Luke, a clubmate with whom I had agreed to work with for the race. I caught him at about 1.5km and we worked together for about a km till he started to drop off at the 2.5km mark. My second km was about 3:25 and that included the start of the first uphill on the course. My 3rd km split was a little off as it included the rest of that uphill and a 180degree turn around (man I HATE those), and my km split was 3:31.

nothin' flat about this course folks
The last 1.5km of the course are uphill, so I knew I would be in for one heck of a battle. At this point I was well established in 4th place and knew that if I wanted to take home some prize money that I would need to catch the guy ahead of me who was a solid 10 seconds up with 1.5km to go. I started a long drive from just before the 4km marker, and my 4th km was 3:30, impressive considering its entirely uphill. The last km meant I was getting close to the end, so I picked up the pace slightly, still running slightly uphill, and I clocked a 3:20. I ended up 6 seconds out of 3rd place, and I must hand it to Rob Tranter for holding on very strongly through the latter stages of the race. He originally passed me at the 2km mark and I had to try and chase him down the rest of the race. I could never really close the gap enough.

So I finished in 17:13, 4th overall and I do believe first in my age group. That's 1 for 3 folks, as far as my goals for the race are concerned. I'm still satisfied. The effort was honest, it was controlled and the result tells me that as I start to sharpen up later in the season, I've got some fast times just waiting to be laid down.

In other AWESOME news, Melanie ran her first half-marathon ever today, and she did exceptionally well. It was her longest run to date by 4km and she pushed through the mental and physical pain of 21.1km to finish in just a hair over 2 hours and 30 minutes! I'm so proud of her!

Here's my Garmin stats:


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