Sunday, 23 October 2011

Robert Hamilton Memorial Road Race report

Retro time. I was persuaded (by myself) into one last race before the snow and ice hits. The Robert Hamilton Memorial Road Race has been going for around 30 years, mostly as a 10 miler, though there's also now a 5 miler.
Just 3 weeks after the Harvest Half, I felt I couldn't do the 10 miles justice. I had done an 8k race last year, and knew I could beat the 34.19 time I set. Under 33 minutes was the aim, so I set my garmin at 3:55-4:05/km pace.
We lined up on the grass, I think my camera is getting a couple of inquisitive looks in this picture. (The unusual pose of the lady in grey is partly a stretch and partly to talk to someone behind me)
 As starts go, it seemed as frantic as any other, though being a Calgary Road Runners event with knowledgeable participants, all runners were able to make it orderly and bump free.  
 While the course is marked in miles, my garmin and I still run in kilometres. I only rolled my sleeves up at about the 1 mile sign, so didn't see I'd done the first k in 3:39.
 The guy in the white shirt was a constant presence just in front for the entire race. I believe this is the first time I've had such a pacemaker from flag to finish. The race winner, above in black, has already done the turnaround. I had decided after the turnaround to sing a couple of lines to my headcam and match it up with a song upon editing the short movie. I did, but just barely.
There were some great spindly shadows going back north to the finish line.
The other unusual sight greeting me was my watch saying I'd just done the first 5k in 19:29. My PB in a 5k race is 19:48. There's a dip on pace on the 5 k mark in my pace chart below - I remember thinking about it enough that I slowed down, prompting my garmin to tell me to move it.  
The next k was nevertheless the slowest of the race. I could feel my stride getting a little shorter.
That didn't last for too long, though looking at the graph and table, the "finishing kick" amounts to only just under goal race pace. That's proof that I essentially ran the quickest race that I could have.
I held on for 10 place overall out of 52. 31:02 is much faster than I had been expecting. A sub-40 10k now looks doable.
This race had the best medals I've ever seen, freshly baked gingerbread men. I finished 3rd in my male age group. There was only 4 of us I've now learned. 1st and 2nd men in their 30s had gone home already, so I hammed it up a bit. I ate a leg, and thought I was going to get booed, then I hopped away..
There's nothing like surprising yourself.
So, to the headcam vid. I will need to work on steadying the shot over winter, it's nothing that ebay can't fix. That said, I hope you enjoy the genius cover version of "You Are My Sunshine" by the Chinese band Reflector. (try the link, if below doesn't work)

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