So initially I had no intention of racing this run due to my lack of running mojo/preparation...but that quickly went out the window when I got a wee bit caught up in all the excitement and ended up going for it. Hee hee! The race was a hop, skip and a jump away from my house which was wonderful, and the half marathon started at 9am so I didn't have to get up at the crack of dawn. I knew the venue well as it's one of the locations that we do our morning bootcamps at...the main event was on the soccer pitch, and the race courses (5K, 10K and half mary) wound all through the Langford area in Victoria. I got there fairly early, checked in my stuff (Hubs couldn't come to this one, and since I was going to use it as a training run I gave him a free pass) and headed down to the starting line amidst a sea of estrogen packed energy! I have to say, it was pretty cool...a lot of fun to see all the wild and crazy costumes...sparkle skirts, tiaras, and lots and LOTS of pink. A great energy!
Promptly at 9am, we started...and oh my, what a start!
0 - 7K
Um....OK I don't know who came up with the race course, but immediately after the start there was a pretty darn big hill! I admit...I didn't pace myself terribly well this race and started out of the gate fairly fast considering I really haven't been doing any speedwork or training all that seriously. It started to get sunny soon, and it was pretty hot even at only 9am and I was glad I'd decided to go with shorts and a singlet.
1K 6:02 (not bad for crazy opening hill!)
So far, so good!
8 - 13K
Second hill came around at the 8K point...I managed to run the whole thing but it wasn't easy! I have to thank Jason (one of my bootcamp instructors) for all the hillwork that he makes us do because if I didn't have that, this race wouldn't have been that great. After the second hill I still managed to keep a pretty good pace, and was on target at the 10K split for a sub 2 hour finish. I have to say...the volunteers at this race were awesome...there were only a few at each aid station, but man they made you feel good! Cheering and keeping you going...it was fantastic. The other thing I really liked is that the aid stations were spaced really well. I took my own water just in case, but they were at regular intervals and well situated. Two thumbs up!
10K split 56:50 (target 56:52...a whole two second buffer!)
14 - 21.1K
Soooo...this is where things got ugly. Another big long hill that had three uphill portions ...and it fooled me because you'd finish the first undulation and it would flatten out and you'd think, great it's over! Then the next one would come and then you'd think, thank goodness that's done! After the third and final uphill portion, I was losing my will to live and was seriously considering running into the bushes, curling up in the fetal position and calling it a day. By the end, my legs were pretty much trashed and I could barely keep them going even on flat portions.
Luckily the rest of the course was a slight downhill, so after awhile my legs recovered a bit and I got a bit of energy thinking how close I was to the finish. As I rounded down the final 0.3K straightaway to the finish line, it honestly felt like I was never going to get there. The best thing was the people cheering me on and clapping...it was pretty awesome and I was able to find a final push in my legs and had a fairly good last split.
Age group: 33/92
Average pace: 5:55
Overall, I'm pretty happy with my time considering my lack of training and all the hills! This run has me all juiced up for the Scotiabank at the end of the month, where I hear it's a net downhill...woohooo! I'm targetting a sub 2 hour finish there and think I might have a fighting chance to make it.
Oh...and the bling?
Overall, a great race and very well organized. This is definitely a must do for me again next year, and I'd highly recommend it for anyone else wanting to come visit our neck of the woods. The venue was great, there was ample parking, lots of porta-potties (important!!) and the volunteers were great. I'm sure there were hiccups as there are with any event, but the large majority of the people had a great time and pretty much all the feedback I heard was positive. And now I can tell people I'm a goddess!
Oh. And peanut butter Gu? Best.thing.ever.