Saturday, March 16, 2013

St Patrick's Day 5K 2013

I decided to run this race for the second time, the first being back in 2009 which was my first ever 5k race.  I remember it being a fun local event on a flat fast and scenic course around Stanley Park.  I haven't run a 5k race since, so I thought it would be a good measure of the speed in my legs in my come back after an injury plagued 2012 and, not forgetting, being four years older now!
The weather on race day was cool with light rain. Not bad after having some heavy rain fall consistently in the week leading up to the race.  I live close to Stanley Park, so I warmed up by running down to the race start area.

In such a short race, I find it hard to know what pace to run at.  I had a rough idea of the pace that I should be able to maintain but maybe I could run faster?  Tricky! So I decided to run on how I felt and see what happens....good plan!

On the start line, I positioned myself near the front, just between a couple of elf's and a leprechaun. After a countdown, we were off. A nice downhill start and I cruised the first mile and noted the timing clock situated at mile 1 just  reaching 6mins 10secs. Great, a good pace and not too difficult.  Then we were on the seawall and I was passing a few other runners and felt good.  I wasn't looking at my Garmin, just keep going and give it my all. 

At the 4km marker, I could feel a little tiredness creeping into my legs, so  time to dig in.  Then the course left the seawall and headed back into Stanley Park for the finish.  I could see the route ahead taking us up a long uphill finish which was a rather unpleasant surprise.  I am sure the finish in 2009 was flat.  As I am not a very good uphill runner, I could feel my pace slowing as we made our was up. It was tough but I knew that the finish was getting close.  I managed a bit of a sprint finish as course flattened off just before the line and I stopped my Garmin at 19mins 42secs. First reaction....Damn, missed a PB by 4 seconds.  Second reaction....that's a pretty good time for me.  Happy St Patrick's Day run:)

As I was leaving, I heard the race commentator announce an interesting statistic, that there were more Chinese entrants in the race than Irish. I wondered if there were any Chinese Irish runners in the race? Now that would be something... To be sure to be sure!

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