Short and sweet.
This race was back in July, Dan and I had planned to run it as a bit of speed work. MEC offers low cost races 5 times a year, and at $15 for a chip timed event we thought it was worth a try.
Of course Dan would continue his dismal summer of racing by falling and gashing his leg open 2 days before the race, so it was just me and now the race cost $30, hmm the value was disappearing.
Race morning I overslept and just didn’t get going until I realised I had to run to the race start, what was supposed to be a gentle warm-up turned into a 5km mad dash. I made it to the start line with 6 minutes to spare, just enough time to pick up my chip, figure out how it went on and line-up.
My goal was just to beat my previous 10km PB which was pretty soft at 59:38, that was set in 2011 (link), I haven’t run a 10km race since then. So as I stood on the start line I was trying to do some math to figure out what pace I needed to run but my math stinks so I decided to aim for 5min/km, that would get me a new PB. I should probably mention that I hadn’t been doing any specific training for this race, I spend more time doing hill workouts than speed workouts, this course was flat as a pancake so I wasn’t overly confident my training was going to get me a PB.
The race started and my first plan of action was to not start too fast and to safely get around all the people who insist on starting right up front and then walk 10 minutes into the race. This included passing a 7 year old girl who was already crying at the 1km marker because her and her dad were “losing”, way to set your kid up for success! First km was a 4:49, I just tried to focus on staying consistent. The course is a lollipop out and back that you run twice (there was also a 5km option) which was nice as you got see lots of people, there were only about 130 people in the 10km and 160 in the 5km. I was surprised there was an aid station at such a low key affair and although I didn’t use it many people were. It was a pleasant day for a run, a little humid but cloudy so we didn’t have the direct sunlight to deal with.
I came into the 5km turn around in 25:32 minutes and decided that there was no way I was going to sub-50 minutes since I never negative split (and there was a surprising head wind on the return portion), but then I thought “why not”, new goal, let’s get uncomfortable and negative split and go for the sub-50 mins. The course was busier now with all the 5km runners returning, it was fun to cheer people on, although I felt like the only one doing this. I do like holding something back for the second half, it is fun to fly (at least that’s what it feels like to me) by all the blown up people who went out too fast. It’s also strange that after 40 minutes the race was almost done, that’s short races for yah (oh yeah and the race was already over for the winners).
With 2km left I really started to push, smiling as I came around the final corner I couldn’t see the finish clock and had no idea how I was doing for time (I had pushed something on my garmin and it was only displaying my average pace and I suck at math…) so imagine my surprise when I crossed the line in 49:50. I had done it, I actually ran a negative split, I actually ran a sub 50 minute 10km (mediocre yes, but MY mediocre time).
The finish line was, well nothing really, there was some cookies, and bananas and you had to line up and fill your own Dixie cup with water (which I kind of liked). I did run the 5km home at a much more pedestrian pace since I didn’t have anywhere to be.
I would do one of these events again. It was well supported for the cost and it was a fun way to get my morning run in with a bit of speed work.
And now a little rant….
I have never seen so many water belts in my life. Ok it was 5 km or 10 km and yes its the summer, but I would hope that most people had been training for this. I was alarmed at the number of people I saw with hydration packs. I’d like to believe that some of those people had done what I did and had run there and were going to run home, but I know that was not the case for some. I didn’t bring anything with me and only had one Dixie cup of water after the race. That was plenty. These companies have certainly done an excellent job of marketing and selling the need for hydration, but I have to say after dealing with Dan’s hypernatremia and making changes myself, I believe we are becoming a water-logged nation and these short races are proof of it. People too afraid to run a supported race without their own water. Plus who wants to run with water if you don’t need to, I’m sure (at least I hope) most of those runners returned to the finish line carrying most of that weight.