Sunday, March 4, 2012

Cobble Hill 10k

February 26, 2012

We finally got the chance to run this course after it was rescheduled from January due to snow. Cobble is one of the places where I have run decently several times, but have never had an exceptional performance.

Due to the rescheduling, the field was down in numbers to under 400, but there would still be plenty of competition for me with Sean Chester, Ben Brzezynski, and Mark Cryderman in attendance. The weather was a bit cold, but there was no frost and no wind. Once we got going, it was comfortable enough. I didn't have a specific goal in mind for this race except for wanted to PB on this course (last year I ran 33:30), anything faster than that would be a bonus. For this race, I even got to sport my green sprint jersey. I didn't expect to win the sprint again so it was kind of fun to at least wear it once.

Sean Chester surged ahead right off the line, trying to command the race. I settled in behind with Ben and Mark and cruised through the first km in a pretty quick 3:12. We headed downhill for the 2nd km, which passed by in 3:11. I knew the pace was a little quick, but decided to push it a bit and see what I could do. One the way back from the turn-around was a little slower, but still quite decent.

Sean had stayed about the same distance in front of me and when we came to the gradual climb from 3-5km, I decided to see if I could bridge the gap. I pushed the pace and started to gain on him finally making contact around 4km. I even managed to pass him and set the pace for a short time, but I think he then realized that he had more in the tank and surged ahead again. I didn't think I could match his pace in the long run to resolved to run my own race.

In my surge to catch Sean, I had managed to drop Ben and Mark, but I knew they were both strong runners and could easily come back if I faded even a little bit. I pressed on, starting to hurt a bit around 5k, and posting my slowest km from 5-6km at 3:23. The return route, while overall downhill, definitely has some undulations in it that require you to dig in to overcome.

Around 7km, I heard footsteps behind - I didn't look, knowing this can give away the fact that you are worried that whoever it is may overtake you. I suspected it was likely Ben who is a fierce competitor and knows how to push to the end. It certainly helped me keep the pressure up though, I knew that I may get passed, but I wouldn't make it easy. The last two km are mostly downhill and I was able pick the pace up a bit. I was hurting, but still had a bit in reserve so when I came to the 100m sprint mat, I gave it everything. I certainly didn't want to get caught on the line.

I finished in 32:49, just 6 seconds off my my 10k PB from TC last year and a full 41s faster than I have ever ran this course. It was better than expected and a pleasant surprise. Ben finished just 4s back, 2 of which I gained on the last 100m. Mark was only another 5s back from Ben. Sean cruised to a comfortable win in 32:25 taking his first IRS win of the year. The top woman was Catrin Jones in 36:36 followed by another strong performance by Clare Morgan in 37:17. A big congrats to Sonja and Larry Nylan for both breaking 40min for the first time. A huge milestone!


Splits: 3:12, 3:11, 3:20, 3:16, 3:22, 3:23, 3:16, 3:20, 3:15. 3:08

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