Thursday, 3 December 2015

2015 Awards

Every year I've been a runner has had high and not so high moments. 2015 maybe even more so. Even the clouds came with a silver lining, often of my own making rather than random luck. 

Here then is a rundown of category winners for my running year of 2015. Each category had only one nominee. 

Hardest Grind 
St Patrick's 5k. As luck would have it, this year's race was dry (it's often icy), offering good conditions to test oneself. Rebuilding after burning out the previous autumn, I aimed to get a sub-20 which at the time was a tall order. I had a hard battle on my hands for the last 1.5k, in the end finishing with 10 seconds in hand. 

Biggest Achievement 
Calgary Marathon 50k Ultra. An unusually warm day for my first ever race beyond the 42.2 kilometre marathon distance. I got into significant cramping trouble at 29km, enough to have a couple of medics check on me. I managed however to guide myself smartly home for the remaining distance (half marathon equivalent). So much so that I actually felt better at the finish. This, along with the action of completing my longest ever distance was my greatest accomplishment of the year.
My thanks to Neil Zeller for the photo of me at the finish, a very apt expression. 

Most Surprisingly Rewarding
Banff 10k. 3 weeks post-ultra, I was a pace bunny for a group of my wife's friends. Most them achieved PBs because I was there to slow them down for the first half of the race, a true demonstration of the negative split. 

Best Performance 
Stampede Road Race 5k. Before nearly every race I run, I have no idea how well it will go. Not this time. In the 5 weeks between the 50k and Stampede, I saw mounting evidence that a PB was achievable despite the undulating course. Despite forgetting to start my watch when the horn sounded, I lowered my PB by 3 seconds to 19:15. The icing on the cake was winning my age group. 
My thanks to Neil Zeller for the photo. 

Most Meaningful 
Torbay 10k. England bound for my Dad's 70th. Staying in his boyhood home of Torquay, it just so happened that his birthday fell on a sunday, the day of a race along the seafront. And so my Dad, brother and I ran. On a holiday beset by rain, it was bright and sunny on race day. 

Best New Experience  
5 Peaks Fish Creek. My first trail race, a great novelty. It was also a fine way to get in a long training run as I chose not to go all out, except the finish on more familiar tarmac when I came piling past 2 others. 

Most Yucktastic Weather
Harvest Half Marathon. Driving cold rain and wind for my 7th Harvest in a row. Despite not running through any deep puddles, my shoes started squelching at the half way point. I'll be back next year of course. 

Biggest letdown 
MEC Race 7 half marathon. I wasn't sure about it before starting, and at 14k my hamstrings cried enough. Fortunately, I knew when to stop, and was plotting my comeback before the day was out. 

Greatest Planning 
2016 is going to be a year of fun, while training seriously. Preparation began on November 1, after a 2 week running break. 
I suffered from late-season burnout, just like the year before. My weakest link seems to be hip/ glute strength - addressing that should unlock more performance. 
Regardless of all obstacles, keep training.  

1 comment:

  1. That's a fantastic pic with your Dad & brother. Congrats on an amazing year, can't wait to see what trouble you get into in 2016 :)