Saturday, July 18, 2009

5 Peaks 2009 - RattleSnake Point Enduro

Bang! the right side of my face, shoulder and knee landed on the wet board... I stood up, it's dark in the woods, the board walk was wet and slippery after the thunder storm. I managed to keep up with all the muddy trail and jumped over countless slippery rocks, but the boardwalk took me down, this is rattlesnake enduro.

Weather forecast said it is going to rain, it wasn't until I got to Milton then it started to rain and lightening as well. We stood in the rain waiting to check-in and pick up the race kit. They have annouced due to lighenting the race is delayed for 30mins and if the lightening kept on going till certain time, then the race would be cancelled. It didn't look good at all as it was pouring, but it didn't last long and lightening stopped, just before the race started the sky was clear.

So I've heard rattlesnake is the most difficult out of 5peaks in southern Ontario region, it is a rocky trail. It wasn't exactly as I expected, or I would say I have under estimated how a rocky trail would be like. The thunder shower made the terrain even more challenging, where the rocky parts were slippery and the rest were no better as it was muddy. It was difficult to run on rocks, you need to determine the nexy steatdy rock with the right size for your foot to land on, so from time to time I would have to jump instead of run. In trail run it makes more sense to change your pace according to the terrain rather than keeping a consistent pace, which makes a bit difficult to keep track how well you are doing in a race, but I believe I was keeping up with a reasonable pace as I have been passing people with exception of a few sport course racers that passed me. Approaching 6k mark, there were a few enduro runner turning back, not sure if they were injuried or changed their mind decided to finish the sport course instead, not surprised due to the condition... Things were going well other than my legs seem to be a bit sore since the beginning of the race, probably the after effect of running faster than my normal pace in indy 2.8k two days ago. For a while the runners in front of me were pulling away and the ones behind me were drifting away, I was running by myself and entered the board walk area. I totally didn't pay attention how slippery the board can be, I've avoided falling on the mud and rocks, but the next thing I know I fell on the board walk, and landed on my face too! I stood up and wiped my face, no blood that was a good thing. The runners behind me were approching into my sight, I guess they didn't see my embrarrassing moment. I started running again, I was fine util a little later I felt the sharp pain in my calves... I knew what was going on from the midsummer night 30k experience last year, if I kept on going at the same or faster pace, my calves would be screaming and cramping all the way. From that point, I took a little easy, I ran a bit slower and walk some of the hills... I stay on the right side when it's a double track and let some runners to pass me... I've decided to go easy until the 12k mark, the give it all on the last 700-800m. I wasn't sure if I missed read the 12k mark or the 12k marker was misplaced... It didn't feel like a 700m as my split was only 1:07 min!!! There was no way I would be able to run 700m in that time, that's some world record... I sprint to the finish and passed the only guy in front of me around 200m before the finish, sorry I didn't mean to pretend to go slow and then out kick someone like that but it was to prevent my calves from cramping and also to give it all with a safer distance remaining in the race. However, just as I was bursting into all out speed, my calves started to seized up, I had to slow down to the finish line.

This time I stayed till the end of the event, just hoping to win a lucky draw. The post race events were fun, they were giving out those cool Salomon trail running shoes, there were push-up and orange eating contests.  Lots prizes for the draw, then the lucky ones get to pick stuff off the prizes table. Finally, my number was called! I picked a nice Salmon cap, forget about the race result, I was a happy guy.

Race result wasn't that bad, still somehow able to pull an above average overall ranking. Can't wait for the next 5peak race - next prize draw!!! :-)

Something weird about the race result, on the race day it was:
142/298     1:16:20.6
a week later...
141/301     1:17:295

1.0 05:47.83 05:47.83 05:47.83 178 05:47.83
2.0 04:48.08 04:48.08 05:17.96 179 10:35.91
3.0 05:40.87 05:40.87 05:25.59 181 16:16.78
4.0 05:13.35 05:13.35 05:22.53 182 21:30.13
5.0 07:09.70 07:09.70 05:43.97 183 28:39.83
6.0 07:13.12 07:13.12 05:58.83 182 35:52.95
7.0 05:44.70 05:44.70 05:56.81 172 41:37.65
8.0 05:57.03 05:57.03 05:56.84 179 47:34.68
9.0 08:05.90 08:05.90 06:11.18 182 55:40.58
10.0 05:29.05 05:29.05 06:06.96 179 01:09.63
11.0 06:55.83 06:55.83 06:11.41 178 01:08:05
12.0 07:07.74 07:07.74 06:16.10 179 01:15:13
12.7 01:07.20 01:41.82 06:01.80 185 01:16:20

141/301 FELIX WU THORNHILL 9577 1:17:29.5 6:07 M30-39 42/64

Saturday, July 11, 2009

2009 - Honda Indy 2.8k

Just found out about this race in less than a week before the race. Its a short distance run and walk, I've asked a few friends and colleagues to see if anyone wants to run on indy track, unique distance and cool course! but no takers, not surprised since my sales skill is horrible. My 5peak Rattle Snake Point enduro is coming up this Sat, but a short 2.8 is not taxing at all, as long as I don't go too intensive and kill myself.

Race starts at 6pm, I had to take off early from work as online registration already closed, I had to register in person. Base on my recent race time, my predicted time was 13:xx. But on the back of my mind I want a 12min finish with this pacing strategy:
1k - 4:20
2k - 4:20
Last 800m - 3:20
or even try a sub 4min pace if miracle happens, just the usual unrealistic goal :-)

The place I work to Exhibition Place is less than 4k - a good distance for warm-up. For some reason I missed the entrance and ended up in Ontario Place, I had to run around the Exhibition Place and going back to find the registration hall, took me all together 30 mins finally get to the regstration place, the good thing about not register online is that I didn't have to pay the extra processing fee! There weren't many people for the race and there was a live band, not bad for a small race. Out of nowhere there were bunch of hooters girls showed up!? then lots cameras were pointing at them and taking shots. Not sure what these hooters girls will be doing here, water stations and cheering for us? That would be nice. There were a few minutes delay of the race, finally everyone were asked to go outside get to the start line. I was surprised that the hooters girls came with us to the start line as well, is this some sort of hooters team challenge? They going to run with us?? I'm afraid I would be faster than them, that would be too bad that I couldn't running behind these nice bodies :-( Soon we were asked to do a "fake start" run through start/finish, more pictures and videos were taken, now that explains why those girls were with us at the start...

I looked around at the runners, already figure out the possible placing, the winner of many races - Praderag Mladenovic was there, and there were 6-7 seem to be elite runners. Then there were possibly around 5 veteran runners that would be faster than me for sure. So I placed myself after these guys. There were a few guys placed themselves with the elites, I don't know what were they thinking... Some of them I can tell they are experienced runners but for sure not at elite level. The real start caught me in surprise a little, it was too soon after the fake start. Pacing was quite difficult at start, cause its such a small race, we were just a few steps behind the elites, you really had to discipline yourself not following the elites and a few other fast ones... But how far to keep away from them? It's hard to tell as I don't have a GPS watch to check my pace, I looked at my watch I already rocked my heart rate to 195!!! Definitely way too fast for the first 800m. One funny thing was within 400m one guy in board shorts that ran with the elites already started walking :-) I also passed all those ones that placed themselves up front but started to fade already. Soon after 800m or so I was running behind this kid, probably around 10-12, I tried to keep up with him, there's no reason to kill myself with a young talented kid. I tried to look for km makers but I didn't see any?! I really couldn't follow my initial pacing strategy... all I was doing was to keep up with this kid since there were nobody else around us. It should be around half way, this lady passed me and the kid as well, I couldn't resist then I picked up my pace, I passed the kid, then the side stitch started as well! It wasn't long that the kid passed me again, then another guy passed us... I was actually a bit surprised that this guy was behind us, I saw him at the start line and I knew this is someone I would have a had time to keep up, I guess this shows that he was disciplined to run his own pace without being affected by the elites. As I was hurting, the kid pulled away. I saw some makers indicated 2, but soon I saw 1?! Defintely a mess up or they are the marker for the Indy car race. Anyhow I totally couldn't pace myself right from the beginning and through out the race. Anther guy passed me, I kept myself within 100m behind him. Wanted to give him some competition at the last 200m if possible. That was a silly thought, when we were around 200m before the finish line, he started giving his last kick although there weren't any runners in front of him... I was 100m behind, way too far and too late to start sprinting... I gave up, the only thing I had to beat was the clock! It was over 12min already, let's make a sub 12:30 at least. I gave my last kick, there weren't anybody in front of me anymore and nobody in sight behind me, a bit boring finish. Much of surprise at the finish line, now I know why hooters girls are here for! They gave me the finisher medal ( didn't even expect a medal for this race ), gave me a water bottle and removed my time chip! What better can you ask for? I'll do this race again just for that! :-) I am surprised they didn't advertised this at all! From now on I'll keep my eyes open for race sponsors - beer sponsors, maxim, hooters and etc will be under my radar :-D

They provided post-race food - sandwiches and chicken wings! never seen any race like this, a bit weird but I finished my supper there :-)

Highlights about this race:
- weird distance
- weird running so close after elites
- cool course but no km markers :-(
- runners or non-runners don't know their corral
- hottest supporting crew! :-)
- chicken wings and sandwiches after the race

Overall: 16/80
Category: 12/32
Gun time: 12:28
Chip time: 12:25