Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Slainte 5K Race Report - Finally Placed in a 5K

Talk about a crazy weekend. Its bad enough that I attempted to race two different 5k's back to back but just to make it more interesting someone “Up There” decided to throw in some nasty weather conditions just to make it all the more interesting. Was it fun? Yes. Was it crazy? Yes. Will I do something as dumb as running 2 races in the same weekend again? More then likely? ( I really want to say no but that's just to close to lying for me). Here is Day 1, the Slainte Race Report. I will post the Achilles report in the very near future.

Slainte 5k

The first sign of trouble came early when I began to watch the weather forecasts mid week. It didn't look good at all with wind, rain, and small furry animals falling from the sky being predicted for the next four days. I wasn't worried however as the weather channel seems to always get this kind of thing wrong.

The second sign was that my cold was bad on Thursday and didn't seem to be in a rush to get better. Hey its only 5k I should be able to run that far without breathing right?

I still held out hope that things would be much better come Saturday morning. I mean I saw the movie and there are definitely 7 signs before the apocalypse, 2 is just some kind of minor inconvenience.

When Saturday morning arrived I checked the weather. Forecast for Hamilton looked good with pouring rain all day and 50KM winds gusting to 68KM, awesome! I really didn't want to play anymore but what are you going to do. Rob Campbell came over to pick Kim and I up, she was smarter then me (usually is) and was not running. She insisted that one race a weekend was going to be plenty for her. We scooped up Roger Moss and headed off to Hamilton. As we drove further into the monsoon Rob tried to convince me that we might get a window of decent weather during the race. I figured that we had about the same chance of a window as me winning this race .... that would be none, but I wanted to be optimistic.

We got to Pub that the race was hosted out of (hosted out of a pub, you got to like that), picked up our race kits and changed. Runners were then bused up to the start line as this is a point to point race. Even though it was wet and cold I opted for shorts which made waiting for the bus a slightly uncomfortable experience. It continued to pour rain which was pretty much falling sideways at this point. Where the heck is Robs window. Soon we were on the bus headed to the start. I was surprised how much downhill there was. I had been told there was a large downhill section but hearing about it and seeing it are two different things.

Once we got to the start there was a nice dry, warm school for us to hang out in while we waited for other buses to arrive. I was not looking forward to doing my warmup at all (today it would be more of a cold up). Still NO WINDOW. As I headed out to do the warmup I ran into George Hubbard who had done this race a couple of times. He told me that he knew a secret warm up area so I followed him back into the bowels of the school where we found a 70 meter long hall that nobody seemed to know about but us. We did a short warmup here to at least get part of it in without getting wet and then headed out to the start line. I did a few more minutes of running mainly to stay warm until they were ready to start the race, then lined up and we were off.

The Race
Right from the start this thing was tough as we headed right into the 50KM wind. What, no window? I had decided much earlier that a really good time taking advantage of the downhill to grab a fast PB was not going to happen. Instead I would just run this thing as fast as possible given the crappy conditions. I also knew that with my cold still hanging in there getting O2 was going to be challenging. On the other hand I have never had to run in really bad weather during a race ( in more then 40 races) so I have been pretty lucky. Time to suck it up.

First KM of the course was flat and windy, felt like I was running okay but was still slow at the 1KM marker. Was it actual raining harder? Somewhere between the first in second KM we turned a corner in front of a large condo and suddenly were getting slammed by the wind. I kid you not my legs were moving but I was standing still. It was like running on a tread mill. This only lasted for about 50 to 100 meters but it was really intense, definitely some swearing was going on in my head at this point. Just after I climbed out of the wind tunnel my cold kicked in as I started coughing and wheezing. Yikes, coughing and running just don't mix well but luckily it soon became just wheezing.

I raced as hard as I could from the 1 to 3KM point but man was that oxygen hard to come by. At 3KM we turned into the downhill section and none too soon. For the next KM or so it was all downhill so I was able make up some time in this section. As we approached the last stretch the road evened out again. I felt very tired at this point but tried to maintain pace. I knew it was almost over and I was very close to PBing. I turned into the last 200 meters and could hear both Roger and George yelling at me to finish strong. I could see the guy just in front of me who looked to be around the same age as me so I dug for a final push. Man did it hurt, I mean badly. I actually swore out loud (one choice four letter word) as I passed the guy. I hope he didn't think I was swearing at him. As far as I can remember this would be the first time I have sworn out load at a finish line but I have cursed many times in my head during races and out loud during training runs. Swearing aside I was pretty happy with my finish and managed to run 21:03 which was an 11 second PB.

Post Race
We all headed to the mini van and got changed then when into the pub for chilly, beer and the awards. As I went back past the finish line I saw some poor girl looking really bad. Her boyfriend was trying to encourage her to walk the last 15 meters to the finish. That was no easy task as she was completely out of it, totally spaced out and throwing up as she walked. Yikes.

Got into the nice warm bar and found the other Longboaters already into the beer. Once again we took a pile of awards. Roger Moss finished 3 overall and Rob Campbell placed first in his age group. All together we ended up with 8 runners placing in their age groups.

For the first time ever it turns out that I was one of them placing 2rd in my age group which came as a big surprise. I will take it tho given the course conditions. As it turns out the guy I passed at the end was in my age group so the pain was worth it.

Final Results
Time : 21:03
Overall Place : 44/495
Age Group : 2/23


  1. On the podium for your Age Group - rock on dude!

  2. Well done, PB and podium! Especially with insane wind and weather

  3. Congrats on a new PB and 2nd in your AG, that's awesome!

  4. Frist of all congratson the 2nd placing in your age group. That is awesome! Secondly, you're nuts!

    It was good meeting you at the St.Patty's 5k as well.

  5. Amazing finish and once again a gripping report!

  6. A 5K PB in those conditions is nothing short of amazing. You must have been burning it! Congrats on 2nd place too!!

  7. Congrats!! A PR and an AG award :) I def agree, outkicking your competition to take 2nd is huge. Love that.

  8. Congrats! We ran in Hamilton/Burlington in that on the full Bay route. It bit.
    I do like me some Slainte....

  9. Great race! Congrats on the PB! I also ran a race last weekend. That weather was nuts. But yes, it was fun and crazy and I'm glad we did it.

  10. "Forecast for Hamilton looked good with pouring rain all day and 50KM winds gusting to 68KM, awesome!"

    That is just hysterical, but it must've been quite the crazy experience!! Can't believe you PBd in these conditions, wow.

    Congrats on placing 2nd and on the Amazing 21:03 PB!!!!!!!!!!!!


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