So the day finally arrived! The weather has been very up and down of late, with three major snowstorms hitting nearby in the last couple of months and we have had several weeks where the temperature has gone from 20c to -2c within 24 hours. However, St Patrick definitely pulled it out of the bag and gave us a lovely warm, dry and sunny day for our 8K race. (This is all the more awesome because it has been freezing cold and raining again for the two days since the race….)
The race started at 7.45am which meant dragging ourselves out of bed and getting dressed in our shorts in the dark, however we were rewarded by the chance to see the sunrise at the oceanfront which, although a little cloudy, still looked pretty spectacular and set the tone for the rest of the morning.
When I originally signed up for this race, I was required to submit a predicted finish time, which I put at around 58 minutes, in the hope that I could realistically finish it in under an hour. We ended up changing this predicted time to 50 minutes, which I thought was a little optimistic, having only bettered this time once or twice and completely wearing myself out in the process, but decided to go with it and see what I could do. Being at the oceanfront, the course was completely flat and quite roomy, despite the thousands of participants, as we were running along a four-lane width of road for most of it, so there was no problem in overtaking slower participants. I had been a little concerned as I’d had some knee pain during my final week and I had run a practice 5k that had totally worn me out, so I was just hoping to finish the race in a not-too-embarrassing time and in one piece. Amazingly, my knee pain disappeared for the race (it has since come back!) and my usual hip problem (which manifests itself around the 5k mark) didn’t materialise at all. Furthermore, I usually run out of breath within a couple of km and have to resort to hand signals only as it is really a choice between speaking or breathing from that point onwards. On race day, however, I could talk fairly easily for the majority of the race, despite assurances that we were running at our usual (breathless for me) pace. I sprinted the last hundred metres or so and was totally worn out at the finish though. However, it was worth it! The official timing was 48 minutes and 29 seconds, which is equal to my personal best, and my results were:
2197 out of 8310 finishers
146 out of 783 in my age group
I have to say that I was probably spurred on by the promise of free beer, food and music at the finish line. That is the first time in my life I have ever done stretches and a cool down while holding a pint of beer! Next goal is the 10k in October….