Sunday, February 10, 2013

'First Half' Half Marathon 2013

I am proud to be a member of such a great running club as Pacific Road Runners in  Vancouver.  Not only a great bunch of people but also a very well organised and socialable club.  The First Half is a race that has been organised by PRR now for 24 years and it is probably the best half marathon in Vancouver.  It sells out in a matter of hours every year and is a well organised and super scenic flat fast course.  This years event has raised $50,000 to Variety Childrens Charity.
I came into this race on the back of only 5 weeks training after taking off the whole of November due to my Thailand trip and only a hand full of runs throughout a very festive December.  Therefore, I was not expecting to break any records but hoped for a decent run.  However, as a lot of fellow runners will appreciate, it's hard sometimes going into a race knowing you can't use top gear and having to keep the brakes on when all you want to do is 'let the horses run'. But after my horrendous Nottingham Half Marathon experience last year, I was determined to keep my head this time around.

I arrived at the start  line to see lots of my fellow club members volunteering and many others helping to organise the race.  It was great to see so many familiar faces and receive lots of encouragement and good luck wishes.  The weather was perfect, blue skies and cool temperature.  I positioned myself halfway back in the start line of 2,000 runners in order to stop myself from galloping off too quick with the speedy guys at the front. Nice and easy does it....

The first three miles went by in a flash and my pace was good, maybe a little too fast at 7 min/mile.  I was not going for a sub 1hr 30min this time, so I eased off a little and settled into a 7min 15sec/mile pace.  OK, this feels good.  I knocked off the next few miles at this pace.  I had been training lots on the same route that the race takes around the seawall as it's so close to my home in the West End. So I was telling myself to think of it was just another training run and relax.

By mile 10, I could feel my pace slowly a little, time to dig in.  Each of the last 3 miles were a little slower than the last but still a decent pace.  I crossed the finishing line in 1hr 36mins.  I was a little disappointed as I had hoped for a sub 1hr 35min but not too much. It was a solid run and a good work out.  Bearing in mind my last two half marathon times were 1hr 45mins at Scotiabank Half and 1hr 40mins at Nottingham Half.  This result was not too shabby.

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