No pictures from today's race. Tony and I were both running, so there was nobody to hold the camera. I didn't think we could convince any of our friends to come out at 8am on a holiday Saturday to take pics for us :P I'll post a pic of the medal later...too lazy right now.
How prepared was I for this race? Well, I wasn't taking it too seriously. I made a few lame attempts to do some speed work in the last few weeks, but it didn't go very well. My training run paces ranged from about 6:30 - 7:30/km. I really wanted to break 60 min in the 10km...I almost did it last year at the Don River run for recovery, but my efforts were squelched by a big hill at the end that I did not have enough energy to run up. End result for that race: 1:00:57.
The HBC Run for Canada supplied red tech shirts with our bib numbers printed right on them. Wait a minute. So we actually have to wear the shirts on race day?? I thought that one of the key rules of racing was never to wear anything new :P My shirt was tight on me too...I hoped that it wouldn't chafe...
It was sunny and probably about 20 deg this morning. Decent temperature. We got to the race site at about 7:30 and started warming up. I felt pretty good, but told myself not to be disppointed if I didn't get a PR. We lined up in the middle of the pack, and I set my Garmin virtual partner to a 5:50/km pace. I doubted that I could keep up...that would give me a finishing time of 58:20.
We lined up in the middle of the pack, then we were off. I started out running at about 6:00/km, which surprised me. It didn't feel hard at all. Still, I wasn't sure if I would be able to hold it for 10km. Tony kept up with me for about 2k, then I lost him. I skipped the first water station at 2.5 km. Somewhere between 3 and 4 km (I think), I saw the leader making his way back on the out-and-back course. Wow...he was way ahead of the rest of the pack! It turned out that he finished 2.5 min faster than the 2nd place runner.
By the 5 km turn around, I needed water pretty badly. My pace had dropped to 5:48/km by that point (!), so I decided that I could afford to walk for a few seconds and sip the water. By the time I got to 6 km, I was starting to feel it. This was not going to be easy. However, I held my pace. Took another few seconds to walk at the 7.5 km water station. I was still at a 5:48/km pace...what was going on here?? I could never hit even close to that pace on a training run! Even if I slowed down a bit, I could still achieve a PR!
I didn't slow down. I ran steady until the finish line was in sight, then sprinted in. I crossed the finish line at 58:31...chip time 57:45!!! I couldn't believe it. Garmin said that I ran 10.13 km at a pace of 5:43/km...so I did beat my virtual partner ;)
Official time: 58:31
Chip time: 57:45
Overall Place: 507/1042
Gender rank: 161/524
Age Category rank: 56/138
Those are my best stats ever...usually I am not in the top half of the finishers, never mind the top 1/3rd of women!! Tony finished in 1:05 which is not a personal best for him, but quite good for zero training :P
The hooks of the race medals had a slit where they slipped the ribbon through...but it slipped off just as easily. My medal slipped off and I thought I had lost it, so I asked for another one. A few minutes later, I heard a clink as it dropped to the ground...it had gotten caught on my race belt. So, I have 2 medals...a dented one with no ribbon, and a good one. I saw a lot of people walking around with medal-less ribbons around their necks :(
On a somber note: I was waiting for Tony in the finisher's area when I heard sirens and beeps...they were rushing a runner to the ambulance. The runner was on a stretcher with an oxygen mask on and it looked pretty serious. I saw that the runner was male and asian, so I worried about Tony for a second until I got a better look at his shoes...they weren't Tony's. Very scary...I hope that the runner is okay.