I arrived to the race scene early, as I was concerned about the parking situation downtown. I proceeded to walk to the Parliment Buildings to do a gear drop. After dropping off my gear, I chatted with a fellow club runner, Mark Ritchie. He was coming off an injury and this was his first race back.
So I headed toward the start line. It was, no doubt, going to be a huge race. With close to 10,000 entries, it would be important for me to run my own race, and find some space to do that. In doing my warm-up, I saw the some of the stars in the race. There was a decent handful of Olympic hopefuls in the race.
I positioned myself in the sub-40 section, and got jammed in when the ribbon was dropped 1 minute prior to the race starting. I was definitely not quite far enough in front, but now that I was jammed in, there was nothing I could do at this point.
The race started, and my focus for the first minute was to make sure I didn't bail. There were feet everywhere on the narrow road.
For the first 3k, I ran very well, and ran very strong. I felt like this could be the race.
My splits were as follows:
Around the 5k point, I began to struggle to hold my pace. Chris Callendar, who I was running beside, had dropped me. I was determined not to let myself slow down into that endurance rhythm. However, as luck would have it, this was impossible. I slowed down and really struggled for the next 2k. People passed me over and over. My bladder was full, I was sweating, my stomach didn't feel great, and my legs felt jelly-like. I began to think of the 90 minute hike the day before in Mt. Doug Park. Could it be that I had done too much the previous two days?
At the 7k mark, when the course flattened out, I saw my family cheering for me, and I smiled and said "bad race". However, I dug in my heels and pursued on. I wanted to increase my pace for the final couple of km.
The clock read 28:00. I quickly did the Math and figured I would need sub 4 min k's to break the 40 mark. I knew I could do this, and by this point, I thought I was looking at a 39+ finishing time.
However, the course was ideal in this section. I sped through it as best as I was able. I figured I must have sped up, as I actually passed one person. As I rounded the final section, I was anxious to see the clock. Needless to say, I was shocked to see it say 38.
I crossed through at 38:30. A great first 3k, a great last 3k, but a section in the middle I would rather forget. Nevertheless, a PB.
If I actually wanted to be a solid 10k runner, there were clearly some things I would need to work on.
Anyways, time to look forward to the next event.
2 weeks until the next major trail run: The North Coast Trail...