Last year’s road to recovery involved a ton of very slow running, it also lead to some slow times in shorter distance races, Reach theBeach being no exception. Fast forward to this year, I’m running trails. Trails are not flat and fast, they are however much more fun that running long and slow. I’ve joined a local speed clinic running on an aging but incredibly fast mondo track at Western University TD WaterhouseStadium.
No three race weekend this year. The plan was to be ready to "give’r" at Reach the Beach and follow-up a week later at Rock the Road. This year I was greedy, I wanted PBs and top Age Group finishes. I was also very quiet about my goals. They weren’t discussed or documented, they were personal. An internal commitment to race to the best of my ability since there was no long distance events planned for this year.
The race was restructured somewhat this year, the 2.5K Walk and Run began half an hour before the 5K. In past years there was only one starting time. There also seemed to be much more representation from the younger competitive runners. Both the London Pacers and London Runner Distance Club seemed to be well represented.
Also new this year was my wife Karen was walking the 5K, she’s been banging out steady 10K walks on the treadmill almost every day since the beginning of the year. Her mileage is significantly greater than mine. This would be her first timed event and race bib.
I was warming up for the early start of the 2.5K and chatting with Chantelle and missed it, according to Karen there was only a couple of dozen who started.
Starting in a small event should be easy but somehow I managed to get myself boxed in down the length of Edith Cavell Boulevard. I cut the inside corner hard at William Street to open up some space and quite likely cut off a couple of people. I salvaged the first kilometer just over four minutes.
The next two which involved a couple of hills were a wreck. The second kilometer was a 4:46 and the third clocked in a 4:31. Apparently after that I could get back on track with a 4:04 and a 4:09, crossing the finish line 27th overall with an official time of 21:47 just off my course best of 21:42 in 2011. Of course 2011 was the year I ran without my watch so through the magic of Garmin Connect I can’t compare where I left those six seconds. I can see that those second and third kilometers are pace killers.
More importantly than me agonizing over a missing six seconds, I was back out on to the course to walk in with Karen who finished in a respectable 48:13. Karen thinks she was the only person walking the course this year as there was no one behind her after the starting gun.
With the smaller field this year, I wasn’t the first male over 50 to cross the finish line but since he was the third Master’s age athlete to cross I was awarded first in the 50-59 age group.
Thanks to New Balance for the great new gym bag.