Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sooke River 10k

April 17, 2011

Since I just ran the Times Colonist (TC) 10k today, it is of course much overdo that I get this race report up. Sooke River is the last of the 8 Island Race Series races. I have not run it since 2007 where I posted a then respectable for me 35:20. The course consists of some rolling hills so it not conducive for blazing fast times, nor is it super slow like Hatley Castle.

I had a break of 4 weeks without racing and while I had hoped to really get a solid block of training in, dealing with a new house while also trying to sell my condo sucked up the time. My speed and hill sessions were pretty solid, but I didn't get as many longer runs in as I probably should have, I was hoping this wouldn't hurt me.

I didn't have any aspirations that I would be breaking my 10k PB on this race, just figuring that if I could run in the low 33's that would set me up well for doing a sub 33 min at the TC. I went into the race relaxed, but as usual ready to do my best.

Off the line, Nick Walker, Shawn Nelson, and myself quickly separated ourselves from the pack. Within a kilometer, Nick fell back slightly undoubtedly opting to run his own smart race. Shawn and I continued to two abreast for another kilometer or so. It sounded as though he was labouring more than he should have been at this point in the race so he must not have been having a good day. I on the other hand was feeling expectationally strong and was running comfortably. When Shawn started to slip backwards a bit, I put the pressure on to get some distance between us. My 3rd km (with a good amount of downhill) was a pretty quick 3:10 although I didn't know at the time how fast I was going since I opted not to look at most of my splits.

I had a good lead at this point, but continued to feel really strong. The kind of feeling you get only a couple times a year (if you are lucky) so I wanted to capitalize on it as much as possible. Before the turn around, I only had the company of Garth Campbell, Hugh Trenchard, and one other cyclist who were leading the race. When I am feeling good, I like pushing myself so runnign solo wasn't a big deal.

My pace remained fairly consistent to the turn around just before the 5k marker. At this point, it was nice to be able to see the runners in the field behind me. Thanks to all those that acknowledged me even if I couldn't respond in all cases since I was really in the zone. I noticed that Nick had moved into second behind me (perhaps 20s back) with Shawn holding onto third, and Keith Mills nippling at his heels. At the 5k mark, I did look at my watch and was pleased to see a 16:22 split which was better than expected. I knew though that holding on to that sub 33 pace would be really tough on the second half because there was significant hill to climb on the way back.

I hit the big hill hard, really hammering up it and getting onto my toes, trying to keep all the speed I could. I did well on the first steeper section, but had to pull back a bit on the final section or risk blowing up. Despite my efforts, this was still my slowest km in 3:31. We were treated to some downhill in the last couple of kilometers which I managed to use fairly well. Things were starting to get more difficult at this point (as they always do) and I was glad the finish was not far away.

At 9k, I took a look at my watch and noted that I had 3:05 to get to the finish to dip under 33min...not much time, but I decided to try my best. I pick it up a bit and then after the final corner, sprinted the few hundred metres to the finish...32:30...oh maybe I can make it, I'm so close...32:45...almost the chute...33:00....damn! not quite. I ended up with a 33:01, but couldn't be disappointed at all since it was better than expected. Picking up a win at an Island Race Series was also a nice surprise and quite honestly not something I was sure was ever going to happen since so many of the races are really stacked with amazing runners. Of course, I do have to thank the Sun Run for sucking all the top talent off the island for that event.

Nick held onto 2nd finishing about 30s back and Keith ran well to pull ahead of a fading Shawn Nelson to take 3rd in just over 34 min. Care Wakely took the win for the women, with a minute and a half gap over 2nd place Sara Gross. It was unfortunate that some runners from up island were unable to start with the main race due to a tanker accident at Goldstream. They did get to race in their own heat 30 min later, however.

Thanks to Island Road Runners for another successful event and to all the IRS organizers and volunteers - it was a fun season and without every ones dedication to keep things going, it wouldn't happen.


My splits: 3:20, 3:17, 3:10, 3:13, 3:22 (5k split 16:22), 3:19, 3:23, 3:31, 3:18, 3:07

Here is a video put together my Chris Kelsall. The footage from Garth's bike it unfortunately pretty far away due to the wide angle on the camera.

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