Saturday, September 24, 2011

Melissa's 22km Road Race 2011

I was eager to run this race again this summer after doing it last year. It's a local race, if you can call a 3 hour drive  from Jasper to Banff local. When living in the national parks there aren't too many races on your door step. So this is local! Plus it was a tough race and great preparation for the Amsterdam Marathon 3 weeks later. 

I went to the race with my Banff buddy Ellie who was running in the 10km race.  The weather was great, really sunny but maybe a bit too hot as the race had a 10.30am start. After watching the start of the 10km, we were off 10 mins later for the 22km.  For a low key race, a large field of 1,300 runners lined up at the start.  Once again, my strategy was to start off steady for the first kilometre and then slowly pick up the pace (like I did in the Mount Robson Marathon).

The plan worked perfectly and I found myself passing runners throughout the whole race and am finding this to be such a great motivator.  I distinctly remember starting too fast last year in this race and really suffering in the second half. 

Pre race smiles with Ellie
Another issue is that Banff is 400m higher in elevation than Jasper and boy did it catch me out last year in this race. I was finding it hard get enough oxygen into my lungs.  So my cunning plan this year was to do a pre-race acclimatisation run the night before the race (I travelled over the Banff the day before the race) and, as mentioned, start slowly!!
My plan seemed to work well and I ran a good race. It did get pretty hot towards the end and there were some issues with lack of water being available on the course but I was very happy to cross the finishing line in 1hr 35mins in 59th place overall.  

Now it's onto Amsterdam Marathon on 16th October:)

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