Saturday, 11 May 2013

Race Report: BMO April Fools Half Marathon - April 1st, 2012

Half Marathon - Gibsons to Sechelt, BC (
Short version: I ran. Had fun. Got PB. Enjoyed sun. Drank beer.
We decided to take the car so we could go and explore after the race so woke up ridiculously early to make the ferry. Made a reservation but as it turns out there weren’t all that many people leaving at 7:20am on a Sunday morning anyway. Ah well, better safe than sorry, and at least there was actually a Blenz open at that uncivilized hour.
Weather was mainly overcast and cool. Perfect. Once on the ferry though I started hearing murmurs of “snow in Sechelt.” That would just make it more interesting. (Turns out any snow had long since disappeared by the time we got there).
I went in to the race hoping to meet my PB from Scotia Half last year (1:38:22). The Vancouver First Half Half Marathon in February was my“testing the waters post-injury” run, where I felt pretty comfortable running a 1:41:52. I’ve been running well since then and all injuries seem to have settled down, so I figured I was up for a strong race. 

It was a chilly morning and I was looking forward to a nice cool run. Met up with the Broadway Posse (Kristine, Pargol, Julie, et al) as we waited for the start in the warmth of the community centre.
There’s a short little climb right at the start which really helps to cool-your-jets. Everything was feeling good other than a bit of tightness in both shins (tibialis anterior). Fortunately they settled down quickly… apparently they just needed a little warming up.  I was a little concerned when I started hitting some sub-4:20 km's in first few km (didn’t want to make my usual mistake of going out too fast) but with the net downhill rolling course as it was, they averaged out pretty quickly.
Kristine was running strong so I knew if I could keep her in my sights I would be in good condition. Right up to 10k I was feeling strong and hit the 10k marker comfortably at 45 minutes. If I could make time down the hills and remember my Nanton training for the 14 to 17k section it was looking like I would be on track for my goal time.
It’s a lovely scenic route, heading to the bridge at Roberts Creek, towards the “big climb” between 14 and 17km. Was definitely working hard on the short, steep climb (not Nanton steep) at Marlene Road heading toward 15k marker. There were a couple of sections where you could look out over the water towards the fresh snow on the mountains, with sun starting to break through the overcast. Stunning views. Almost enough to make me forget I was still climbing.
I knew that 17km was basically the summit where the rest of the course plunges towards the finish. I was slowing down a little bit but remaining steady by this point. Kristine had really powered up the hills but I could still see her around 30 seconds ahead. Knowing the finish was nearing I tried to stay focused.  

As I started to head down the final stretch between 19 & the finish, a runner went cruising past me, but she urged me on, urging me to keep “her” going! It gave me the extra kick-in-the-pants I needed and I tried to stay on her heels as long as possible. I was definitely not used to working that hard downhill and I could feel my quads burning.
The sun started to peek out in those last km’s and it felt great to cross the finish line with a new PB, great food, friends and sunshine.
Official Results 
Time: 1:37:24 (Gun time) 
Overall place: 83/457
Males: 60/181
M40-44: 10/24

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