While it was disappointing that the Good Friday Road Race 10-miler became a 10k this year, I knew that when I crossed the finish line, I would be relieved that I didn’t have to run another 6k!
This year we arrived early enough to get a parking spot at race central – Aldershot High School. The race was to start at 9:40 AM. We picked up our race kits (race bibs and winter toques), chatted with a couple of Fighting Koalas, and made many trips to the bathroom. I took advantage of the “secret” bathrooms that no one seemed to know about, and never encountered a line-up until just before the race!
We didn’t watch the 1k kids’ bunny hop this year, electing to stay inside where it was warm. It felt like around -5C with the windchill, and was overcast. The road was bare, a relief after the recent ice storm!The 10k start line was almost 400m up the road, so we headed out in plenty of time to get there (the 5k race started a little closer to the school, and would begin 10 minutes before us). We found the very unofficial looking start line – a “10k start” sign with an arrow on the wrong side of the road pointed to a little court that led to townhouses! We figured it was just placed on the wrong side of the road! We were excited (sadly) to spot a portapotty with no lineup right nearby – amazing! I might even have used it – twice.
Alasdair and I each did a short warm-up run, then waited for only a few minutes at the start line for the gun to sound.
We got a 30-second warning, and then just a few seconds later (not 30!), the race was on! I started my watch, and off I went.
I always start too quickly, but when I hit the 1k mark and checked my time, my watch hadn’t started! So, I had no idea what my pace was (turns out it was about 5:10 – too fast!). The next couple of km’s had the North Shore Boulevard hills, which I find challenging every single time I run them. At some point we were running into a headwind too. It wasn’t long before I reached this guy, who was pointing us back to the starting point and the beginning of our 2nd loop (1st loop was 5.2k, 2nd loop 4.8k). I hit the 5k mark just under 29 minutes.At about this point I was wishing that I was only running the 5k! I was running okay, but I was nowhere near my 10k PB pace, which I achieved in February at the Grimsby 10k (I even ended up on the podium!). It wasn’t surprising though, given that the Grimsby course is nearly flat, and this one most definitely isn’t!
I wasn’t thrilled to run the hills again, but did what I could to keep my pace up. I was feeling generally tired, and just didn’t feel I had the cardio to go any faster. It probably didn’t help that I gave blood just 1 1/2 weeks ago (you have the power to give life! donate blood today!), and hadn’t been sleeping well this week!
I tried to speed up my pace in the last 1 1/2k, and I think it worked. I spotted Alasdair about 100m from the end, and after a short downhill, I crossed the finish line! My final time was 57:39, not what I was hoping for, but not bad. When I checked my time on the tablets at the school, I discovered that I had actually run a negative split (faster 2nd half than 1st half). This is quite unusual for me, so it’s an accomplishment to celebrate! Normally I fade and keep getting slower.
Time: 57:39 (5:45 min/km pace)
1st 5k: 28:57
2nd 5k: 28:42
Women 40-49: 13/18
All women: 38/75 (average finish time of 57:44 or a 5:46 min/km pace)
All runners: 81/138
This race was pretty small (138 in the 10k and 277 in the 5k), but very well organized, with lots of volunteers along the course, 1 water station (that runners passed twice), and fruit, cookies, bagels and juice in the cafeteria afterwards where the awards were handed out. This year, the awards were chocolate Easter eggs! I knew I should have run faster! Ha! Need to do more hills!!