Sunday, May 3, 2009

Times Colonist 10K

April 26, 2009

I have been remiss on working on this race report. I just haven't been able to find the time to sit down and do it so a somewhat summarized version will have to suffice.

As stated in my Sun Run post where I had a mediocre run, I was really hoping to run a better race and and get a better time at the TC. Based on my race season so far, it seemed as though I was running a little faster than last year so I thought knocking 30+ seconds off my time was not unreasonable if I ran a solid race.

A few minutes before the race stared we were all treated to a great rendition of the national anthem by fellow Harrier Sandi Heal (unfortunately, I didn't really hear it well as I was still warming up).

To get close to my 33min goal I would need to run somewhere in the 3:20/km pace range. I opened the race up with the first 4km being in that range and I was feeling fairly strong. There was a little bit of movement in terms of placing during the first few km with a couple falling back and one guy pushing ahead of me. While these first splits were good I knew that it was going to be hard to maintain them after the turn around since there was a substantial climb up to Clover Point and another up to Mile Zero. Sure enough, even though I continued to move well and maintain or gain on the other runners, my splits slipped to around 3:30 for 3 km. Those 3 km accounted for the 30 sec I was looking for.

Soon after the turn around I caught up to Neil Holm who typically runs faster than me (he ran a 33:05 at Sun Run) so I was encouraged by that. However, he was probably having a tough day. After Mile Zero we get a small reprieve on a downhill grade to the breakwater and I picked up a bit of time. I definitely felt better at the 7km mark than I had at Sun Run at this point although I was not feeling really powerful as can happen on those rare races. I continued to run side by side with Neil while we made our way through James Bay and pushed towards the finish. I have run this route many times with the TC and all RVM distances following the same roads, but I still tend to underestimate the length of the section between Ogden Point and Erie St where the course starts to jog. I seem to think that it is not a consequential distance enough though it is close a km long.

Mid Race with Neil

At this point I still thought I had a chance to at least set a new PB although I knew that getting really close to 33min was not going to happen. I posted a 3:26 for the 9th km which wasn't too spectacular. With about 1km to go Neil tried to break away from me several times, but I was able to respond each time. With a few hundred meters to go I put a surge on and pulled ahead and nearly reeled in the next place guy, Darcy Bell, who finished mere second ahead. I finished in 33:45, 3 sec slower than the Sun Run and 1 sec slower than last year.

I was disappointed in my time even though the race felt decent. this is the first year since I have trained consistently that I did not post a better time than the previous year. I have come a long way on my low mileage and unstructured training program, but I think I may be nearing a plateau on my current training program. On the plus side I placed 3rd in my age division for my first ever medal at the TC (this was surprise considering I was 28th overall). It seems that the Sun Run is actually a faster course given that I ran nearly identical times even though I felt much worse at Sun Run. Also, based on a non-scientific analysis (I plan to take a closer look soon) it appears that the vast majority of the top finishers also ran slower (generally 15-30 sec).

The race was won by Willy Kimosop in a blistering 29:29 (he also won Sun Run) and the top woman, Kathy Butler, clocked a 34:01. Sonja continued her PB breaking season by running a 43:36 and Harrier Julie Van Veelen also ran a solid PB of 41:10.

My splits were: 3:17, 3:20, 3:15, 3:16, 3:28, 3:34, 3:32, 3:23, 3:26, 3:15

While I had hoped for better, it is now time to look forward to the trail and adventure racing season. This was my 9th road race of the year so ready for the different challenges of the trails. I'm concentrating a hills for the next few months as I think that it still were I can pick up the most time.

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