Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Mississauga Half Marathon report

Sunday May 10th was the Mississauga half marathon. This is the second time I have run this race so I guess that means I liked it the first time (or I am a sucker for punishment.. you decide).

Got up super early and headed to Mississauga with Kim and Steve as this race was a 7:30 start. Arrived at the starting line an hour early which gave us plenty of time to get ready and warm up. Conditions were okay.... sunny with a bit of wind but colder then anticipated. At race time it was only 2 degrees. I was really glad I had brought a long sleeve shirt as I had originally planned on wearing only a singlet. Did a warm up to avoid freezing and then got into the start corrals.

Longboat Roadrunner racers

I was running with fellow Longboater (and Sunday morning longrun buddy) Steve Blackburn. We were both hoping for a 1:40 time which might of been a bit ambitious as Steve was running on a well taped ankle injury and my legs were still sore from running Sporting Life. Just as important was my goal of making sure I finished at least one second in front of Steve in order to get bragging rights as are long runs are long. I also wanted to get my revenge for when he cut me off taking the inside on the final turn of the Nissan 10 Miler last summer causing me to go wide and finish 5 seconds behind him.

Got off to a good start and its nice to race with someone running the same pace you are. We hit our split times pretty closely over the first 6-7km. Course goes west and is mostly flat along this section with the exception of one pretty good downhill stretch. Things were bunched up a little for the first 3k but not to bad. This is the only section of the half that goes west which was into the wind which was about 20 - 25kh. Not really stiff but I had to work harder than I wanted to keep pace. For the second HM in a row my calf stiffened up and caused some discomfort including a bit of numbness in my foot. This happened to me at the chilly HM as well. Thought I did a good enough warm up but maybe not.

Next few kms 7-10 head south through a nice area, mostly flat, some downhill one small uphill. Splits were still looking good and things seemed to be going okay as my calf loosened up around 8k. At 10k you hit the one major hill in the course which is steep but not too bad (not ATB bad) and is about 800 meters long.

Course continues pretty much south from 10k to 16k with the full marathon splitting off and heading west again around 14k. Was still running okay but around the split I felt my legs beginning to tire. I think it was at this point that I realized I would not be hitting my time goal. My quads were just too burnt out to keep up the pace. I should have and actually did learn my lesson from last year. I burnt out at the end of Missy last year after running the mostly downhill Sporting Life 10k the weekend before. I swore that this year I would not do Sporting Life but alas I got a free entry so ended up running it anyway.

As I hit the 16k mark I could feel my legs starting to slow down. Somewhere around this point Steve ended up dropping off and I was running alone so I just tried to suck it up and keep reminding myself only 5k left.

Last 5k go back east right along the lakefront trail. Might be a nice run along here if I wasn't gasping for breath and trying to convince my legs to keep on working hard. Then we were around the last corner and headed down the last 200 meters to the finish. Man I was happy to see that finish line. Finished in 1:44:22 not great but not bad either and overall was fairly happy with the results. Had to wait to get my chip cut off as I was unsure of whether I might puke or not which for me is a good sign that I ran hard. Last thing I wanted to do was throw up on some poor volunteer as they cut my chip off.

Post Race
Steve finish 2 minutes behind me. I am pleased but my victory is tainted as he was (supposedly ??... LOL) running on a bad ankle. No worries man I will get you at the Runway Run. Kim also ran well taking 4 minutes off her PB.

A lot of Longboat Roadrunners ran this race again this year. With many of them putting up amazing times including at 5 members that placed in the top 3 in their age categories. You guys/ girls are amazing. Fastest Longboater of the day was Roger Moss who finished 12th overall in 1:16:22. Don’t worry Roger I will catch you all I need is a few more years of training and a rule change that allows me to take a cab to the finish line.

The good. I like this course and its well organized race.
A couple of gripes.
Metals and shirts were not nearly as nice as last year and this is an expensive race. Come on guys your shirts and metals were some of the nicest I saw last year. The cynic in me has to believe that you got this year's versions for a cheaper price.

Bag check. Guys your bag check was completely unattended. Bags laid out in the open and runners helped themselves. I could have walked away with anyone else’s bag. That should not be the way a bag check works.

Still... thumbs up to this race once again this year.

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