This run was literally a last minute decision ie at 5:30 am I decided to run. I was sort of worried about my back\shoulder and my ankle but when I woke up everything seemed ok. The race started at 9:30 am in Hamilton which was about an one hour drive but we dropped off Rebecca at my parents along the way. We got there around 8:50 am and I was a little worried about parking but we parked in some restaurant parking lot and headed to the start line. We walked down to Copps Coliseum when we figured we already passed the start line. People were pouring out the arena and heading to the start line so I followed the crowd. I was very thirsty at the time but I wanted to save it for the race. Probably its not a great idea to start a race thirsty. I meandered towards the start line looking for a place to get some water but couldn't find anything. I was amazed about the number of clothing people had thrown on the ground. I hope the race crew picked up the clothing and donated to charity. Out of desperation, I grabbed a water bottle that someone had discarded and drank the rest of the water (yes I know that's gross but I was THIRSTY!)
I started the race at the back of the pack and took my time getting to the start line. The plan was to use this as a test run and not try for the 2:35 coach was originally targeting because of my injuries. Rather, we agreed to use the 10 x 1s and run around 5:30 pace. The first 10 km was fairly easy with the walk breaks and I ran around 53 minutes. I had trouble running at a 5:30 pace and found I was running closer to a 5:00 minute pace.
The course follows some of the same streets that the Hamilton Half marathon that I ran with Tammy last fall. Around the 14 km mark I caught up to Lisa and we ran together for about three minutes and then we split up. I hit the 21 km mark around 1:57 mark but the course started to get hillier. The rollers were reminding me of Muskoka 70:3 but not as many (or so it seemed). The big test was was around the 25.5 km mark where the course goes into a valley and a killer one km hill takes you out of the valley. There was no way I was walking that hill and managed to pass several people. By the time I reached the top, I`m pretty sure my HR was pushing maximum but I still manged to run around a 5:00 pace with four km to go. As we ran past the cemetery, the Grim Reapers we standing in the middle of the road, high fiving as we ran by. I could see Copps Coliseum was in sight but I could feel my right foot sliding around in my shoe. I looked down and saw my shoe laces were untied with one km to go. What to do. I stopped and tied my shoe and hammered it down the road. As we ran past the stadium with only 100 meters to go I saw a runner down on the ground and a couple of volunteers were helping him. I hope he was ok. We rounded the corner and headed down the ramp in the Coliseum towards the finish line. The roar of the crowd was deafening and I sprinted the last couple of meters. After I crossed the finish line, I looked up saw the stadium was more than half full. This wasn`t going to be easy finding Tammy and the kids. We walked under the seats where I grabbed the post race bag and found a place to stretch. I looked up and saw two girls talking and one of them didn`t have a drop of sweat on her. I wondered if she even ran the race but she was wearing a race bib and was in the area restricted to runners only, so she must have ran. I looked like crap.
I headed up the escalators to the seating part of the stadium and was surprised by the sear number of people walking around and the level of noise. I hobbled over the seating and looked around trying to spot Tammy in the seats but it was impossible. I went back down towards the runner`s exit and found them. Unbelievable. I thought I would be looking for them for hours, because there were so many people there.
Overall, I have mixed feelings about this race:
a) It is a race I`ve wanted to run for a long time (this is the third time I`ve trained for it but only the first time running it.
b) I originally was shooting for a time of 2:35 but ended up with 2:48 because of the 10 by 1s
c) I walked this race.....grrr
d) At least my ankle held up ok (we`ll see about tomorrow) but I have a king size blister on my foot
e) This was the furthest I`ve ever ran (30 km) and even missed two long runs
f) Props to John Proc (first road race) and Daryl who had smoking times
I rate my performance on this B race, a B-