Thursday, October 14, 2010

Victoria 1/2 Marathon - Race Report

Victoria 1/2 Marathon 2010


First chance to run this course finally. It winds through the downtown for about the first 4k before heading out towards Oak Bay on a long out and back. The winds on Dallas Road weren't very pretty on the way back.

Woke up at 430am, race start at 730am. Was jacked, had a coffee, some mini wheats and a piece of toast, maybe a banana too, cant remember. Was fairly nervous as my long training runs were at medium or slower paces and the 20k I ran I melted down and suffered to a 2hour plus finish.

Drive in to downtown Vic, which has free parking on Sundays (refreshing change after Vancouver...).  We parked quite far away so a long warm up walk was in order.  Like a km away. No I did not add this to my total. Walking down suddenly my bladder sends a piercing pain out and I am buckling and searching out any alley I can find. Stumble into a walkway and drain out what seemed like 2 litres of piss, surely I got it all out at least and can line up at the start in peace.


Get to the start, 6800 other people all lined up, ugly. Near the back and stuck waiting 8 minutes for the gun. The gun goes, and we wait another 3 minutes of not moving, just waiting for the line to start shuffling forward. Suddenly my stomach knifes me again and Im thinking Im about to instantly piss my shorts (wtf?). I send the wife on her way (on her first ever 1/2 marathon!) as the crowd just starts to crawl forward and I dive into a nearby portapotty. Yet another 2 litre piss, before the mornings food said 'screw this,  we're outta here too' and I expunged all nutrients.

Sprint out of the toilet and Im in a wasteland, LAST RUNNER STANDING. I hear the announcer calling for any more 1/2 marathoners and he see's me trotting up towards the start line making mention that it mustve been the portapotty lineup. Classy.

The problem with lining up behind 6800 people is that I'm reasonably sure that I will finish faster than half of them, just judging from previous times. That's 3400 people to pass.  Easily my most frustrating 12k to start a race, it was an interval, fartlek, sprint, run up, get blocked, nearly stop, find ANY way around the people, sprint, blocked, search for a way around, jump on sidewalk, run, blocked, down to road, more people, up onto grassy boulevard, sprint risking ankle going sideways, block, down.. etc.. Oh well, my own fault for not lining up where I should've.  If I run this again I'll definitely show up way earlier just to line up with my pacing group.  My buddy who ran a 1:29 at this said even though he lined up near-ish to the front, there were a ton of people lined in front of him with zero idea of ethics in a race, walking along, holding hands across the course..

Elevation Chart of the Victoria 1/2 Marathon Course

At about 12k I ate my vanilla bean Gu gel, and at 13 or 14 ate a chocolate powergel, cup of water and cup of gatorade at every station. Coming back onto Dallas Road facing the wind I was hurting and so was the blister I had grown at km 3 (my old shoes suddenly kicked the bucket, so I'm in my new shoes with 20k logged on them so far).  My stride became fairly awkward, the wind breaking peoples spirits.. but I used it to push past their weaknesses and use their pain as my strength (it made sense as a motivational tool at the time).   I always find in a distance event that you see people truly stripped down at this point, emotionally that is, and it's rare to see some competitive a-hole.  I ran by a lady who had an M-dot tattoo on her leg, and I'll be politically incorrect here, she didn't look like an IM.  Thats the beauty of the IM though, not every finisher looks like Macca, but they all had to put in months of work and had the drive and determination to make it there.  She was a very positive person and had just completed IMC 2010 and was going back again in 2012.

The final km's, I ran hard, no heart rate strap (lost it the week of the event) but it was definitely around 190.  Crossed the finish exactly ONE second faster than my Van 1/2 marathon time 2 years ago (didnt know it at the time, didnt care). Stumbled, stopped, dizzy... then a volunteer saw me holding my puffer which I always carry in hand not pocket, and she ushered me into the medical tent, did I look that bad?

Got in and iced up, killed a chocolate milk, tried to stop shaking. It was freezing by the end.

All told, best I couldve done. My avg pace on the garmin said 5:01/k, and the final k or so I pushed it to 4:03.  Brahmas to celebrate later.

Pace chart

Vic 1/2 2010 1:47:08 (Splits approx 53:00/54:08)
**note** Gun time of 1:54+ indicates I took over 7minutes to get to the start line

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