Aka the race that I almost PR'd without even trying to.
After running this race last year, I knew that I had to run it again. It's very well organized and has some amazing volunteers on the course. It also fit really well into my marathon training plan, which was more fun than just going out and running 21.1kms by myself :)
I picked my race package up on the Wednesday before the race. I work really close to downtown, so I just ran to pick it up during my lunch hour. I ended up having to leave some of the goodies behind (I only brought a small Camelbak with me), so my package included my number, long sleeve t-shirt and a Clifbar.
The race starts at 10am, which is awesome. Lots of time to sleep in, drive downtown and find parking. I ended up getting there around 9:30am, which gave me time for a quick bathroom stop and then headed out to the start line. It was mighty cold and windy that morning, but I was hoping the wind would die down. I had no goals going into the race, but knew that I wanted to race it as per Solana's instructions.
The course is very flat and heads out from Eau Claire and turns out around at the tennis courts at Shouldice Park.
Kilometer one to five
Feeling pretty good at this part and decided to keep going to see how long I could keep up this pace.
Kilometer six to ten
Still feeling pretty good, but the pathways turned to snow and knew the turn around was coming up. My plan was to stop and eat my gel near the turn around
Kilometer eleven to fifteen
Just after the turn around, the wind picked up and it felt like I was moving backwards and not forwards! It was so hard mentally that I started walking more often.
Kilometer sixteen to twenty one
Total time: 1:55:06 (average pace of 5:26/km)
If that wind wasn't there in the second half, I know that I would have gotten a new PR. Or if I paid more attention to my Garmin and took less walk breaks. Oh well, pretty darn happy with that time considering I am in the middle of marathon training.
After the race, I grabbed water, chocolate milk and some delicious pancakes! My stomach wasn't 100%, so I didn't end up eating all of them. It was a bit off for the rest of the afternoon, but was fine the next day.
Overall, pretty happy with how the race went and will definitely be running it again next year!