Thursday, March 25, 2010

around the bay ..... 30k ATB road race in Hamilton on sunday... I feel tired already

So the Around The Bay road race is now just 4 days away. For those that don't live around the Toronto area ATB is a 30k race held at the end of March every year in Hamilton Ontario. This is a pretty tough race but for some crazy reason local runners love this kind of particular torture. Although I have only run Around The Bay once before, 2 years ago, I am really looking forward to it again this year. That is saying something as I would rank my ATB racing experience 2 years ago as the second most painful race I have ever run.

Hey but that's part of the fun. Maybe the fact that I had never run 30k before that race even in training might have had something to do with it (do you think) or possibly that I had done zero hill training may have been a factor as well. I kind of chalked it up to the screaming pain in my knee but hell that's just me. I was definitely not amused by the grim reaper at all and that race was probably the closest that I have ever come to seriously considering dropping out.

So what makes ATB such a tough race? Well there is the unpredictable weather, March in Hamilton can be kind of sloppy / cold/ rainy / snowy but even more then that its got to be the hills. Its not just the hills but their sinister placement on the course. You get a nice 21k of flat fast course to lull you to sleep before you move in to the next 5k of “rolling hills” (I use that term lightly) with one big ass hill right at the 26k mark. Once you get to the top of that hill its all flat or slightly downhill until the end but of course your legs are too demoed to take advantage of this.

Last year I missed out as I was doing the Paris Marathon so redemption had to wait until this year. I should be able to PB barring injury but by how much is the real question. My original plan was to run a 2:20 but I think that may be a bit too quick based on my current fitness level so I will shoot for a 2:22 to 2:25. I am going to be much smarter here and stay cautious early so that I don't blow up real good like I did in the Peterborough HM (disclaimer: racing plan subject to change at any given time due to new developments such as losing my mind at the start line or just being foolish). Unlike my first time at Around The Bay I have trained hills like crazy and have lots of long runs under my belt so I am hoping for a good race.

Kim will be running this race for the first time but has trained hard and is sufficiently worried / scared of the hill section so I think she will have a decent race as well.


  1. Have a great race!!! I'll be there too, but doing the 15k relay with a friend -- I told her about the hill, she has yet to decide which half she wants!! :) Let's hope the rain holds off, it rained last year :(

  2. Wow Chris looks like you are really cranking up the mileage this year!

    Good luck this weekend.

  3. Good luck!! I'm sure both you and Kim will do great.


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