It was amazing to watch the weather website all week.  It was calling for awesome weather all week except for Sunday – RAIN & COLD.  I’ve seen this in the past, and so far, it usually ended up being pushed back a day and race day was nice.  Not this time.

PRE-RACE

5:00 AM – Yes, that’s right…5 AM.  Had my usual cereal, milk, protein mix for breakfast, packed up, and headed to the event which was 110 kms (68 miles) away in Oakville.

6:50 AM – Arrived at the race site and park on a nearby street, 5 min walk to the registration area, which was the Appleby College arena.  For the 2nd year in a row, the event is organized start & finish from the college property.

7:15 AM – I’ve picked up my Race Kit, bib, and timing chip and proceed to try and find a change room or bathroom.  To my disappointment, everything in the arena was locked.  It was a good thing I decided to put on my running shorts at home before I left, otherwise some people would have had a nice freak show. 🙂

7:30 AM – For the next hour, I basically walked around, chatted with a couple of fellow runners, and waited for go to the start line.  I waited as long as I could to go outside which was cold, damp and raining.

8:20 AM – After standing in one of the little temp tents near the start line for approx. 10 mins, everyone started corralling to the start.  They had boards indicating time brackets so I looked for the 50-60 min bracket & lined up in front of that pack.

 

THE RACE

My strategy for this race was based on my 5k predicted time.  I had a goal of 55 mins to finish.

  • 5:36 min/km for the first half;
  • 5:23 min/km for the 2nd half of the race;
  • this would give me a 5:30 min/km average pace.

My decision to start at the front of my time bracket worked out perfectly.   I didn’t have to deal with too much traffic and fell into my running grove

My race bib number

quickly, and enjoyed the scenery.  The first 2-3 kms seemed to go by quickly, I felt good, and my legs were saying “BRING IT”!  I started thinking that I might be going to slow as my heart rate was still in the low 140s, but I decided I would stick with my strategy for now as it was still early.

By the half way point, I was a little ahead of schedule for my planned pace, but I felt more comfortable that way in case my legs decided to give me a hard time towards the end.  At this point I picked up the pace to my planned 5:23 min/km, but I noticed around the 6-7 km mark I was actually more in the range of 5:15 min/km. but I still felt great, and my legs had plenty left.

At the 7.5k mark, I grabbed a glass of water from one of the great volunteers, even though I didn’t feel thirsty I thought I might as well anyhow just in case.

With approx. 1k to go I looked at my Garmin and it said 48:15.  I was in great shape, so I decide to do a final 500m sprint as I could hear the announcer at the finish line calling names out.  I passed 6-7 people in that last 500m and crossed the line with a gun time of 54:40, but more importantly, a chip time of 54:02.  That’s almost a full minute quicker than my 55 min goal, which I thought was a lofty goal to begin with.  Knowing what I know now and how I felt during the race, I have no doubt, that once again, I could have pushed a little harder to whole race and end up in the low 53s.

 

POST RACE

After crossing the line, I felt in great shape.  Legs didn’t feel as bad as I thought they would.  I handed over my timing chip to another great volunteer, and another gave my beauty finishers medal.  I then slowly walked over to the “food tent”.  I grabbed myself a bagel, a banana, and a cup of Gatorade.  After a little more walking around as I ate my treats, I headed for the arena to get my bag, and change into some dry clothes.

The Awards Ceremony started at 10:30 AM.  Unfortunately, I’ll have to wait till next year to try again for a Mercedes. 🙂

Me & my medal!

 

 

Here’s all the telemetry from my Garmin 305 for this race:

Official Results Here

Results Recap:

  • Official Gun Time: 54:40 mins
  • Official Chip Time: 54:02 mins
  • Avg. Pace/Speed: 5:24 min/km (8:41 min/mile)
  • Overall: 423 of 1219 (35%)
  • Age Group (M35-39): 49 of 74 (66%)

Next on the race agenda:Victoria Duathlon – 5k Run, 30k Bike, 5k Run , in Waterloo area, May 24th 2010.