The Boxing Day 10-mile race started at 11am today, so I thought that it wouldn't be too hard to wake up for it. I failed to include the fact that it is in Hamilton in my calculations. Actually, Hamilton is less than an hour away in light traffic, so I shouldn't have worried too much. Still, being unfamiliar with the place, I was up at 7am and we were out the door by 9. It turned out that parking was very easy (and free), so we arrived with plenty of time to spare.
Not much to report from this race. I wasn't trained for it, so I didn't set any time expectations. I hadn't run longer than 12 km since the Toronto half, and I didn't want to go all out and be hurting for several days. So, I thought that I would take it easy and run with some Running Mania friends. The crowd of 800 or so runners bolted out from the starting blocks, leaving a handful of us in the dust. I was quite surprised that so few people were starting off slowly. It ended up being a good thing that I started slowly, because it took the whole first half of the race to find my groove. This race was different from other races that I have entered, because the distance markers were in miles (seemed REALLY LONG between markers) and there were fewer water stations than I was used to (about every 3 miles instead of 3 km). The latter didn't matter much, since I was wearing my fuel belt. I brought 2 gels with me this time, and was glad that I did because I needed both of them. My left knee was acting up during the race :( but at least it seems fine now.
A fellow runner warned us about the Big Hill by the golf course at mile 7. I saw a small slope at first and thought, that's it? Then I turned the corner...and saw the Big Hill. Argh! I couldn't make it up without walking. I realized that all the treadmill running that I have been doing lately has not helped my hill running. I should play with the incline a bit more. After I made it up the hill, though, I felt much better and finished the last 3 miles strongly. My runningmania buddy and I finished at 1:56 and change. Not a great time for me, but I didn't care. I had fun, and it felt great to do such a long run the day after Christmas. I felt like I burned off the excess turkey calories :)
All in all, a great way to finish off 2006!