Got up at 5:30 AM to make sure I could get my breakfast in at least 2.5 hrs before race start.  Sleep was borderline adequate.

Weather: Damn chilly!  At 6 AM it was still 0C with a mild wind.  By 7 AM, it was 2C.  That means I wore long sleeves without a doubt.

We left (brother-in-law, my wife & I) the house at 7:35 AM, got to the race start around 7:50 AM.  We were parked only a few blocks away so I used that as my warm-up to the start line area.

At 12km mark...

There was alot of energy in the air, and a great turnout crowd.  Announcer indicated the start was in 5 mins so I planted myself on the left edge approx. mid pack…..not long after, the horn went off.

My strategy for the race was to finish under 2 hrs which meant a 5:40 min/km average pace.  Since the first 6.5 kms was mostly uphill I was planning to go 5:45 pace

Finish line

for that first section, then catch up on the downhill sections.

After the horn went off, I was just going with the flow for the first 1km until people started sorting themselves out.  I did pass a few people that obviously were pacing way slower than I was.  But, I noticed even going up the hill on Villa St. that I was maintaining a sub 5:40 pace & felt comfortable doing it, and my heart rate was in check, so I just kept it going.  Average HR for the first 5km was 152 BMP which is my Zone 3…right where it’s suppose to be.

After the 6.5 km turnaround, the general profile is suppose to be downhill for the next 10 kms, but there were a few uphills.  In that section my AHR went to 157, but the average pace also went down to 5:25.  I was really getting in the groove in this section, and felt great.

Billie & I, post-race.

The last 6 kms were getting a little hard.  I started getting a hotspot/blister on my left foot in the usually spot around the 17k mark, and in general my legs were getting really ache.  But I kept at it, picked up the pace a little more.  The heart rate jumped up to the low 160s, but my cardio still felt great.

The the final straw…going up the hill on Park Ave..  That was tough, but there was light at the end of the tunnel.  A couple more turns & it’s done.

I turned the corner on Red River Rd…the final 200m length.  I dropped the hammer with whatever I had left.

I crossed the finish line with an official time of 1:54:25 which is a 5:25 min/km average pace.  My goal was under 2 hrs, and I SMASHED IT! :mrgreen:

Here’s a little video montage.  Thanks to my brother-in-law Shawn B. for the clips:

Official Results Here (Male, Half Marathon)

Results Recap:

  • Official Time: 1h 54m 25s (5:25 min/km avg pace)
  • Overall: 156 of 463 competitors (34%)
  • Age Group(M30-39):  20 of 39  (51%)