I was talked into this race, so have tried to fit it into training. The results are done by company team, with companies in divisions according to size.
Teams were either 4 or 6. In our group of 6, I figured I was the second fastest, after Ken, right, who has 2 sub-3 hour marathons to his name.
Also lining up was Rich (above, in yellow) with a different company. We have very similar PBs, apart from the marathon in which he's 5 minutes ahead.
It was seemingly the last day of summer, with a 3 day winter preview the very next day. I was sweating at the startline for this though.
Inclines and twists everywhere except the first 2k and the second from last k were going to make for a tough race. I didn't take up running because it was easy. Roar.
One of the most crowded startlines I've been in.
A chicane, and the road down to the pathway to the dam. The end of the race would be back up this road.
Remembering the angle of the decline would have been a great help for the finish. Like for many others perhaps, that kind of thing only works if it's in my mind before the start gun.
Over the dam, over Glenmore Trail, then along twisty up and down pathways which must be thrilling on a bike. For a 10k they're a bit energy sapping.
Turnaround, wave to Rich, back the way we all came and then up Glenmore Trail's never ending slight incline. Just under 20 minutes at halfway, I felt that I would probably miss a sub-40. The leader, no doubt cheating, was already heading over the second bridge back over Glenmore Trail, 1.5k ahead.
About 100 metres of down-ishhill, then more climbing to ensure that over 40 minute time. During all this I was gradually narrowing the gap to Rich. As I was doing so I thought "he's more fatigued than me." By the time I was right with him at the second bridge I thought, "I'm in much worse shape than him."
Coming off the bridge I actually dropped back a little. Now on the only other section without an incline, I checked my form and made good use of the downhill to catch up again when we left the road to the path which rejoined the start of the course after about 200m.
On the way down to rejoin the main road, we both had one runner in the middle of the side road to pass. There were cars coming the other way, so I went the other side of Rich and sped up to overtake and tuck back in safely. In doing this I passed Rich. "Oh, I'm doing this now?"
Turning onto the main road, about 500 metres to go and it was a lot steeper than it had been the other way at the start. I had already figured I'd burned too many matches by 6k, now I knew I was burning my last one. With what seemed to me like the hill getting steeper, I let my pace drop. Alongside came Ken whom I had seen at the second bridge catching up. Some motivating words from him which I can't exactly remember had me pick the pace back up while saying "override" to myself. 10 seconds later, my breathing quickened. Override. A few more seconds and I was almost hyperventilating. "Override" only works for so long, but I am honestly glad for the experience and discovery. I am my own lab on legs.
Rich also came past with a nice finishing kick. "Come on Peter!" "Huurrrch." 40:22 was in the end about what I had been expecting. Catching Rich had made me keep my speed up for the second half of the race. He later said that me joining him, and later having me to overtake at the end kept him pushing.
Ken had used me as a target to catch, and might have otherwise backed off a little too, so he said.
Rich's company won its division. We have a history of trying to beat the other, and it's about even. When we do battle, we tend to both finish with a better time than we would have got otherwise.
Could I have beaten him if I had stayed behind up the hill? Perhaps. I also went too early in the Banff Ekiden last year and was passed on the final hill. So either pass very early with a high pace, easier said than done, or wait until the end. The shorter the race, the shorter the finishing kick? It's not an aspect of running I'm that expert on. Next race that I'm in this position, hopefully I'll have a timely flashback. The below photo is probably what'll end up coming to mind, so that's up in the air.
My company won its division by 1:20, and pushing hard might then have made the difference. Our next guy, Garrett was a minute further back. Star of the team for me was Jennifer who finished in around 42:40. Our other ladies achieved the aims, including Diana, getting 1:01 in her first ever 10k. A winning team, and also my first non-relay team event. When's the next one?