Thursday, June 18, 2009

Airport 5k race report and last weeks training

Last weeks training unfolded like this

Sunday - 20 mile long run
This was my first 20 miler since Paris. The run was about 4 miles on trail and the rest on the road. Same 20 mile route that I was running last summer which includes running up to ravine by the brickyard then back through Mount Pleasant Cemetery along the beltline and ravine then back home again. Got the mileage math right this time so didn’t have to add on at the end.

Monday – sweet sweet rest.

Tuesday – 9 miles (trails)
Ran the trails in High Park at easy pace. No run ins with snakes or worms.. Yawn.

Wednesday -11 miles
On the Lakeshore with Longboat. Ran the first 7 miles at a moderate pace with a 10 minute interval run hard (7:20 pace) then finished the run at an easier pace.

Thursday – 9 miles
I decided to run on the road instead of trail with the airport 5k coming up on Saturday. Decent run at usual recovery pace.

Friday – 3 miles
That’s right 3 miles. Thought I would play it safe with a race on Saturday so just did a very slow and low mileage workout. Got to save those legs for tomorrow. That’s my story and I am sticking to it.

Saturday – 4 miles
Small warm up and 5k race. Actually way to small a warm up. For more details see race report.

Total mileage 56
I originally had planned to do 60 miles but cut back on Fridays run. Expect to go to 60 this coming week.

Runway Run 5k Race Report
Saturday was the second running of the Toronto Airport 5k runway run. Oddly this was also the second time I had run this race. I ran it last year and really liked it so I signed up to do it again.

This race is run on one of the main runways at Pearson Airport. No you don’t have to really dodge planes. They actually shut done on of the main runways for the morning while flights are still taking off and landing on the other runways. As you can imagine this course is flat and can be fast but it’s also unsheltered so wind, heat and the sun can be a factor.

Last year I liked this race because it was small capped at 400 it think and it had a very different feel and unique vibe to it. This year it was much larger more then 1000 runners and the many many walkers.

Pre race
Kim and I meet up with Steve and drove out to the Airport. Nearly got run off the road by a charter bus on the 407. Bus was in the fastest lane and then decided it wanted to move over. We were in the middle lane going 100 km. Bus tried to pass us instead of slowing down and merging. When it couldn’t it beeped its horn at us and then cut into our lane forcing us into the other lane. We were about half way down the bus when this idiot tried this. Good thing Steve is a decent driver and there was no traffic. Then bus then proceeded to cut across 3 lanes in front of us. Now you would think this was the move of someone trying to get across for an exit lane but you would be wrong. We used the exit lane the bus just keep on going straight. Guy must be a cab driver in his spare time.

Got to the race in plenty of time and picked up our race kits. No bag check again this year. This race is now close to 2000 people so it should really have a bag check. Had planned to do a good 20 minute warm up which is what I really need to get the body working right. I had planned to do this before we were escorted out onto the runway but heard that they were going to take people out 30 minutes before the start. Since I believed this I did a 5 minute warm up and then lined up to go out on the airfield. We waited and waited. Then we waited some more. After 25 minutes of waiting they lead us out. That meant no warm up. Grrrrrrrr.

We got out and lined up at the starting mat and then waited some more. The race ended up being delayed by 10 minutes. I was cursing my lack of warm up. Just before the starting gun an F16 fighter did a low level fly over which is a pretty big deal in Canada because I think we only have one so kind of cool. Then we were off.

The race
The course starts about 3/4s of the way down the runway. You run from the start a short distance to the end of the runway then turn run all the way down the full runway turn back again and run back up the tarmac to the start / now finish point.

Started off well and was on the pace I was looking for during the first part and into the first turn around. There was however a bit of a headwind. After the first turn headed back down the length of the runway. Was in good shape at 2k and felt okay but that didn’t last. Somewhere around 2.5k I felt myself beginning to struggle a bit. Pace dropped slightly. Worse then that my hamstring was a bit tight, wonder why… GRRRR.

Held on to this pace for a while but began to struggle a lot more. By the time I made the second turn and headed back towards the finish line my pace had dropped of even more. Even worse then that mentally I was not sharp at all. Instead of focusing on form, trying to reel people in and push I was thinking “I’m dying here”. GRRRR

The last section of the course I could really feel the headwind which made it tough. Also was running ragged. Finished the last 400 meters really strong but was not happy at all.

Post race.
Finished in 22:41 which is 45 seconds slower then my PB but is also still my second fastest 5k. Finished in 77th place out of 1100. Not as disappointed in my time as I was with my run. Bad warm up, bad ragged form and no focus at all left me wondering what the heck happened out there.

Kim ran pretty well missing her PB by 12 seconds even though she had been out the night before indulging. Steve came in at just over 23 minutes.

Also congratulations to Longboater Rob Campbell who finished 4th overall, second masters.

Still this is a decent race and if you haven’t done it before you might want to give it a try. I thought it lost a bit of its charm in its second year with a bigger field and maybe its just because I had done it before. Not sure if I would run this a third time but glad I ran it the first 2 times.

Will post some pics once I get them.

Think I may do the wine run next year instead. Drinking and running at the same time in the heat on a very hilly course what could go wrong.


  1. Great run even though you didn't get a PR...I can relate getting to a race late and not being able to settle myself and stretch (happened with my 1st marathon), it gets in my head.

    Running and drinking, sounds like an adventure. After a few glasses of wine I often feel like I could peel off 10-15 miles, but that's just the alcohol talking :)

  2. sounds like quite the adventure getting there, but glad you made it safely! I had wanted to do that run last year, but was sold out and of course this year a no-go with the injury.. maybe the 3rd year is the charm for me! Congrats on a speedy race! Have a great weekend.

  3. Great post, bus driver must be a cabbie...hilarious! A great running week, too bad about no warm-up..that's essential in a shorter race, you did great!

  4. Dodging planes might make it more fun!

  5. Congrats on the race placing despite the bad run. I don't know if I could have run after the bus experience. My god! If he wasn't a cab driver, he must have learned (or not) to drive in Georgia!

    LOL about the bag check-in. In GA, I have yet to do a race that has that. And I've only done one race that is chipped time, properly.

  6. Great race re-cap. Congrats and the 77th place finish and great time! The F16 fly over sounds cool too.

    Running and drinking...ugh...don't even want to think about it.

  7. Man that's a big ass moose in that picture below. I wouldn't want to meet that on the highway.

    Thanks for visiting me. BTW why did you ever leave NB for TO?

  8. Congratulations. I´m looking forward to the photos. Strange they´re not checking bags before you enter.
    Greetings from Germany

  9. Great job on the 5K! Especially with all the pre-race "fun". So weird they don't offer a bag check.

  10. Congratulations on a great race!

  11. you know, 45 secs off of your PR the week of a 20 mile long run is pretty awesome! congrats on a strong race!

  12. Nice race. Watch out for the bus next time!

  13. That's a pretty good race! Not every race can bring a PR, and with the poor info leading to no warmup you did great!

  14. Thanks for your recent comment Chris. I just read a bit of your blog and I'm happy to know I've now got a man in Canada. All the best with your running. I'll drop by again.

  15. Great post!
    Running and drinking.WWAAHHH Come out to the Las Vegas Marathon .....people drunk off their arse running a marathon. Makes that whole "bob and weave" expression very real! LOL ;P

  16. nice run, that is still a super speedy time. good job. and clearly NOTHING could go wrong with a wine induced hot and hilly 10k... ;)

  17. Man that is a busy week. Good job on your race!

  18. Wow - you're a speedster! Wish my 5K times were comparable. :) Sorry your run didn't go as smoothly as you wanted. I hate it when I'm thinking about how lousy I feel instead of focusing on what I need to focus on. Amazing how the mind can really mess with your runs!

  19. Hi Chris

    Thanks for visiting my blog and the kind comment. I read your profile, PBs, etc. and you are quite an accomplished runner.

    Congrats on the 5k and look forward to seeing what you do next.


  20. Tanks for stopping by my blog! I am like you -I *really* enjoy the challenge of the weeks in training. The race is just the reward.

    Great race report! One thing I've learned - we can't peak for *every* race....

  21. Great race! Congrats on the run. I would be very happy with that time...especially as you did that on a week when you ran 56 miles!!! Awesome!

  22. Very impressive !!! I'd thought you might be running at a small local airport but at Pearson. Wow, that is a major international airport. Its too bad that a 747 engines didn't provide enough blast toward your back. You could have easily done a PR. That would have helped!

    P.S. I did a 5K at a local airport which is nothing compared to Pearson.

  23. Wow, what a great finish!!! And in spite of the delays and all!!

    You made me laugh so hard about The F16 flyover, ha.

    I can see what you mean about the race getting to big, but sounds like it's still pretty neat. Might try this next year.

  24. Sorry for the late comment - Congrats on a good race! The wind on an airport must always be a factor given that planes use it, and airports are (I assume) designed to maximize this resource.

  25. Running on the airport runway must be really cool! I wanted to do this one but it conflicted with 5peaks Durham Forest :-(


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