At the start corral I met Boris again! similar to last year, he was standing just a few people next to me. The weather is quite opposite to last year, I remember I was shivering last year at the start line and it was so windy, this year I am with sleeveless shirts, it was a really nice day.
The gun goes off and we ran, this race has - a lot of runners that don't seem to know how to place and pace themselves, probably a lot of new runners. I had to let a lot of people pass me, which I was going at 4:40 and 4:29 for the first two km, already, these people were running like 4:00 or sub 4:00 pace, I am not sure why they thought they could maintain that pace for 8k. Then I started to pass those people after the 1 or 2k mark. All I wanted to do is to maintain a 4:45 pace and see what happens for the last 4k. From 3-4k is the worst part of this race to me, my pace was slipped to 5:18 and it drained all my energy just like last year, I had to keep slow the next k to recover, thanks to the downhill, I started to pick up my pace with 4:55 and 4:46 after. Still unable to get back to the 4:45 pace, there comes another small hill around 7k, my pace got stuck at 4:59. Half way into 7k, now the last hill comes in sight, I can hear the beep on top of the hill as runners finished the race, I started my kick. I am an everyday average runner started from the backpack, finishing kick is my only speciality, usually on a flat course, I could get under 3:00 or 2:30 pace for the last 400m-200m, but this was a crazy energy draining uphill. My sprint was down to 3:26 pace, the hill is longer than I remembered, I started fading, I tried to kick-in again, was only able to get to 4:08. Finally I got up to the hill and heard the beep of the chip scanner, I thought I finished the race, I stopped running and stopped the watch. I was such an idiot, then I saw people kept on going, there was a turn and the finish banner is around 80m-100m ahead! I've done this race before but why didn't I remember any of these? probably because my brain was in serious oxygen debt. Why is there another chip scanner about 100m before the real finish line? this has confused me in Toronto Marathon as well, I am not sure what's the purpose of it... I started my watch again, squeeze out the last bit of me to sprint - 3:46min/k then everything seem to go into slow motion. I faded to the finish line, I thought I was going to black out. Gun time - 39:18
After the race, met up with many familiar faces - my blazing fast colleague J.B. age category #3, H. from runningfree marathon clinic, J.L. who trained with me in dark cold winter mornings, K.W. who also had a PB that day, Boris told me about this washroom breaks PB 8k :-)
Chip time - 39:07, a 23 sec PB of this course from last year... still couldn't beat my Alfie 8k PB in 2008, I hate this course!
Thanks to dad for the nice pix.