Monday, April 06, 2009
Race reports: Harry's 8K and 5K Spring Run-Off
Okay, haven't done this before. Two races, one report. Here goes.
8K: This is the fourth time I've done this race and it's one of my favourites. Just about every year I've done it, a bunch of my friends have run on the first day. In fact, this was the race that got me bitten with the racing bug
Strategy: I had three major things on my mind while running this race. The first was that I had a 20 mile run the next day. The second was that I had a 5K race about 30 minutes after racing this. The third was, well, that I'm not quite up to race shape.
I saw my friend Sasha from my old work place -- they do a team every year. We lined up and I knew he was going to go out very fast. I told him I'd let him go ahead of me. I wanted to run this as a tempo run and so with the hils, that'd put me in the 4:15 to 4:25 range.
Here are the splits and the race info from Garmin
1K: A flat part where we're jockeying for position, actually kinda flat to down hill, although I do remember a slight uphill. I was just trying not to go out too fast but to seed myself properly. The split was 4:13
2K: This features at the end of it a huge downhill, the same big hill we have to climb at the end. Going into this part of the race, I knew I wasn't giving it all. Around this time, I was telling myself to hold back and tried to pace off a few runners. Plunging into the downhill, I could have increased the pace, but I decided to let my breathing dictate my pace. It felt comfortable.
The split in 4:15
3K to 4K: Going into this, I told my friend Sasha that I'd take it easy in the first 5, then 'race' the last three. Yeah right. The 2K to 3K was pretty flat, then starts a pretty long incline that kinda hurt. I believe the incline goes for at least 500 metres. 3K split was 4:20 and the next was 4:40
5K: The next kilometre was a slight downhill and I was feeling ok. The wind was at our back so I was feeling pretty good. Split in 4:16 and I hit the 5K mark in the early 22 minute range
6K. This had a Big downhill that you ahd to throw yourself down. Tried to be careful, didn't want to hurt the muscles too much. It was followed by rolling hills. Split in 4:13.
7K: We turned north and yup, the 52km/h wind was right in our face. Not good. Winding hills but I felt I wanted to pick it up. Did the split in 4:34
8K: Ah, the infamous Spring Road hill. It defeats so many people. It comes within the last 400 metres and lasts 300 metres of a steep climb. I powered into it and took the hill strong. I saw a friend cheering and I felt pretty good. Did the hill without breaks and stepped it up at the end. The split in about 4:34 with a few seconds tacked on at the end.
Finished the race in 35:12 which, surprisingly, is my second best time on that course out of the four times I've run it. I think holding back actually helped me a little.
Chip time: 35:12
Age group: 15/188
The 5K (course and splits here)
So, what made me run two races on one day. Well, last year, a bunch of my friends -- all photo editors from our old campus paper -- ran the 5K. Over lunch last year, Jelly, Tom, Fitzy and I decided that if so many of us were running it, maybe we should just do a team the next year. So we recruited seven of us -- including Frankie -- and named ourselves Running Copy.
Here's a pic of, from left, Fitzy, Tom, me and Jelly, from last year.
After finishing the 8K, I jogged to the gathering area and met up with the gang. Thirty minutes later, we were lining up. Four of us guys were aiming for 22:30 to 25 while the girls lined up farther back.
1K: Horn went off, and we took it easy. I found myself running with Frankie and we chatted a bit. Fitzy went storming by and we let him go. After the water stop after the first kilometre, lost Frankie but Tom was running beside me. Did the split in a (for me) steady marathonish pace of 4:45.
2K: Tom and I were running together and we were chatting. Well, I was doing a lot of chatting, feeling that if I coudl talk, then at least we wouldn't have to go out too fast. It was nice and leisurely but I felt we were giving it a little. Split in 4:29
3K: Fitzy was ahead of us by 10 metres as we hit the downhill and we plunged ourselves down. I was a bit ahead of Tom but at the bottom of the hill I let up a little so we'd run side by side. By the end of the kilometre, we'd come beside Fitzy and passed, stepping up the pace a little on the rolling hills. Split in 4:26
4K: Into the wind we went, and we paced a little stronger passing more runners. We saw a few kids ahead of us and as we hit a little hill I think Tom and I both resolved to catch up to them. Split in 4:33
5K: The last kilometre is the same as the 8K, the big hill at the end. We both noted that the nightmare of a hill was coming and we bared down. As we hit the bottom, we both stepped it up. I don't know why, maybe because my friend Lee was at the bottom (thanks Lee!) cheering us on, but I felt so very strong. I blasted up that hill, emptying my tank. It was a painful run up but I felt good, letting my heart go way up.
You don't get very many slow motion moments in your running life, but this was one of them. I remember it so clearly, the spectators cheering on strongly, me passing tonnes of runners, and myself turning the final corner with even more gas. Did the last kilometre at 4:23 pace! and the last bit at 4:15 pace. Final kilometre split in 4:23. Wow.
Finished it strong. Felt great and I'd done the double. That was a load of pain and fun, shared in the company of great friends and savoured at the pub afterward.
Chip time: 22:52