Once again, the weather didn’t look promising but the rain held off, and it turned out to be perfect running weather; Overcast, 3C and no wind.
7:00 AM – Got up and have the usual All-Bran/milk/protein powder breakfast combo with a banana.
7:30 AM – Hit the road with the customary stop at Tim Hortons. Mrs. FatGuy, and FatGuy’s mom were coming for the event also this time.
8:45 AM – Arrived in Hamilton ON and proceeded to park the car, and make our way to Copps Coliseum. Since race packet pickup/registration was on Saturday, it was just a matter of getting ready to run and find a place for my 2 fans to have a seat.
9:20 AM – I had everything hooked up & ready to roll. Met a fellow runner and had a brief chat. Nice to meet you Al.
9:35 AM – I headed downstairs to the starting area only to see almost 2000 people already standing behind the gate. My odds of starting at the front at that point were nil. I did some kick sprints and then stretched a little to warm up. I then tried to find a spot mid pack, but that didn’t help me much….more on that later.
9:45 AM – Horn sounded, but from where I was, didn’t start moving for over a minute. Since they score these things based on “gun” time and not chip time, I was a little disappointed.
My strategy for the race was as follows:
- First 4 kms – 5:30 min/km pace
- Last km – Go by feel, but faster than 5:30. I was shooting for an overall 5:20 to 5:25 min/km average pace
The 1st km was just dealing with traffic….and lots of it. It was like a freeway at rush hour and I knew this was going to affect my pacing. But I did the best I could and got going.
For the following 2-3 kms was kept dealing with traffic, and trying to find a groove. I felt good overall, heart rate & breathing was in check, everything was still on track. My Garmin was telling me my average pace was holding @ 5:30 min/km which was perfect.
From 3-4 kms; encountered a hill I didn’t know existed for this run. I slowed my pace a little not to drain the legs for the climb. Must have worked as I still felt great at the top. I knew I would need to drop the hammer pretty soon.
The last km went by fast, probably because I was “hauling the mail”. Seeing the coliseum just around the corner I bolted, passing alot of people like I was running from a wild animal. The finish line was inside the coliseum, which meant going in through the back entrance, down a steep concrete ramp. My legs felt like limp noodles at that point, and when I saw that ramp, I was so paranoid I would go head diving, I had to slow down a little.
I crossed the finish line, arms in the air with the clock reading 28:03, but that’s “gun” time. The timing chip time was 26:47 mins, which is way better than my initial goal of 30 mins. Yes, it took over a minute to get out of the “coral”.
After the race, we were given all kinds of food treats and of course a finishers medal….my first. Then I went upstairs and found my fans. After eating up a banana and a bottle of water, I got changed, and headed for a Tim Horton’s Bagel BELT. Yummy…that hit the spot!
Official Gun Time: 28:03 mins
Official Chip Time: 26:47 mins
Avg. Pace/Speed: 5:21 min/km, 8:38 min/mile, 7 MPH
Overall: 437 of 1804 runner
Age Group: 27 of 67 (M35-39)
Next on the race agenda: Mercedes 10k in Oakville, April 25th 2010.