Sunday, March 8, 2009

Bazan Bay 5K

March8, 2009

Three seconds...that was how close I came to getting my goal of under 16min on this race! I kicked myself a little for not trying just that little bit harder to get those few seconds. Had I looked at my watch or seen the clock at the finish I might have been able to do it, but it's always easier to say after the race that you thought you could do better.

"If only I had pushed harder...surged sooner...blah...blah" How easy it is to forgot how much pain you were really in at the time.

Anyway, I digress. The Bazan Bay 5K is race number five in the
Island Race Series. It boasts the flattest course of the series and therefore it is possible to run some great times here. So far this is the only race where I have scored over 800 points (a points system used to compare races of different distances out of 1000 total). It also attracts a strong field with a number of National Triathlon Centre (NTC) members coming out to assess their fitness.

Unlike all the other Island Series races which start at 11am, Bazan starts at 9am and this was unfortunately compounded by the fact the we shifted to Daylight Savings on Sat night. Despite the fact that I slept well, it wasn't for long enough and struggled to fully wake up upon arriving at the race around 8am. Luckily, a coffee seemed to help and by the start time I was feeling better. A good sized pack including Scott Simpson and the 2000 and 2008 Olympic medalist in the triathlon, Simon Witfield, went out predictably hard. I found myself in a chase pack with another 10 runners or so. The first km (which I think is a few meters short) flew by in 3:05 - a good start. Now the plan was to stay as close to my 3:12 pace goal as I could.

I moved ahead in the chase pack and was soon running with Mark Cryderman. I was 3 sec back of the 3:12 pace at the 2km marker. Km 2-3 includes the turn around in this out and back course and I lost some time here since I had to slow down for the runner in front of me. Turn-arounds are a challenge as they take you out of your rhythm and force to you accelerate back to your race pace. I was still feeling fairly strong at this point and thought I had a reasonable chance to attain my goal if I could keep the legs moving.

I started to feel the strain around 3.5km and this is where the race can break you if you went out too hard. Mark and I reeled in Sean Chester, who had intentionally gone out hard and looked to be suffering. I split 4km in 12:53 which a few seconds back of where I wanted to be. I dug deep in the last km and as always, it hurt. Mark had more left for final straight away than I did and beat me to the line by 5sec. I put in a final surge, but I was somewhat disappointed that I was not able to to mount a complete sprint. My official finishing time was 16:02, good for 10th overall and 3rd in my age group. While just shy of my goal, I am still satisfied with my result since it is a PB for me (8sec faster than last year) and is a points all time personal best for me (by a narrow margin). My splits were 3:05, 3:16, 3:18, 3:14, 3:10.

Scott and Simon battled it out for the overall win and I hear their sprint to the finish was pretty impressive with the lead being swapped a couple of times. Scott ended up winning by a margin of less than a second in a course record time of 14:37. It is interesting to note that this is "only" 1:25 faster than my time. For a for a non runner, this may seem like a small difference, but in reality the amount of training and effort needed attain that kind of speed (if you even have the physiology to get there) is huge. The woman's titles was taken by NTC member Lauren Groves in a time of 17:02. Ultra runner
Myke Labelle had a very good race coming in in 16:19. Final Results.

After the race, I headed directly over to UVic for an orienteering race held by the
Victoria Orienteering Club. I felt it was time to get some navigation practice for the upcoming May MOMAR in Squamish which I will be racing solo. The event of the day was a urban sprint race with 16 controls that must be done in order. I made an error that cost me a minute or so on the second control, but had a fairly clean race otherwise and my speed served me well getting me though the course in 24:37, good for 1st overall (the top orienteering talent was absent). Orienteering is a very challenging sport and I need a lot more practice in route planning and code reading, but fortunately, navigation on the MOMAR's tends to be easier than most orienteering courses.

1 comment:

Jeremy Hopwood said...

Congrats on a good race, good to read race reports of somebody who also analyzes splits thinking could have gained a second here or there conveniently forgetting the pain experienced during the race :)


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