HBC Run for Canada

Well Canada Day has come and gone and with it the HBC Run for Canada. I first heard about this race from Grant who told me that he and Bonnie would be running in it. Apparently they had heard about it from Alyssa who was also going to run the race. Everyone was hoping to improve on their times from the NCM. Grant has a specific goal of 42:28 in mind and I thought this would be as good an opportunity as I’ve had to finally beat Grant in a distance race. Boy was I wrong – more on that later.

I had three weeks to prepare for the race but since I had just run a marathon, I figured that was more than enough time. Grant gave me a website that would spit out a training program given the time available and the number of days a week you wanted to run. I put in Grant’s time of 42:28 as my ‘goal’ time and I got my training program. It didn’t look that bad.

I pretty much stuck to the program as best I could. Unfortunately the program called for me to run on Wednesdays, which is one of the nights I play ultimate, so I reasoned that since I was playing I didn’t need to do Wednesday’s run. One week I missed my Wednesday game (due to work) so I ended up doing the run that was called for. It involved repeats and you can read about how that went in my previous post.

Race day came and I met the Lawsons at their place at 0630 on Canada Day. The first news I got was that Alyssa had decided to bail on the race. Boo! I tried calling her to give her a hard time but she didn’t answer – can’t say I blame her since it was 0630. After picking up Bonnie’s sister Angela, we made our way to the start line which was at the base of the Alexandra bridge on the Quebec side of the river. We got there early which meant we had time to do a warm up jog. Not something I normally do but since Grant wanted to do it, I figured what the hell. We probably jogged for about 15 minutes before lining up to start the race.

As expected, the start of the race was super annoying. Crawling along, weaving in and out of a huge pack of runners, trying to get some space to run at the pace you want. I just planned to run with Grant the whole time but before we even got across the bridge we were separated. I found him again as we turned onto MacKenzie Ave and then pretty much followed him until around the 3 km mark. Since things were so crowded at the start of the race, both Grant and I figured we had to speed things up to make up the lost time on the first km. Thing was, I wasn’t used to running at that pace and by the time I got to kilometer 3, I was already tired.

I kept plugging along and just before I got to the turn around point, I saw Grant on his way back – I figured by that point we was probably about 2 minutes ahead of me and we still had 3 and a half to 4 km to go. He mumbled something as he passed me but I didn’t quite catch it. At around the 7 km mark I heard some guys talking about the ironman in Hawaii. One of the guys told the other guy he had to speed up a bit to catch up with his son so that he didn’t beat him which meant the other guy was left alone. I decided to chat a bit with the guy that was left behind and I ended up talking to him for the next two kilometers or so before I had to drop back a bit. By that point I only had one km to go and it wasn’t looking like I was going to make the 45 minute goal I had been hoping for.

In the end I came in at 46:30, a full minute and a half over my goal, but on the plus side, a personal best for me (since it was my first) and about 9 minutes faster than I ran the first 10 km of the marathon. Grant finished well before his goal of 42:28, in fact he came in at 41:18! Nice work Grant! Bonnie also beat her goal time of 1 hour, coming in at 58:38.

Here are the vital stats on my run:
Place(overall): 228/1248
Gun time: 0:47:35.8
Pace: 4:46
Chip time: 0:46:30.1
Gender Place: 174/585
Category Place (Men 30-39): 79/197

Full results here.

Chatting with Grant after the race, turns out he didn’t think I should have been able to carry on a conversation during the race. Perhaps I’m just not pushing hard enough. I’ll keep that in mind for the next one.

Next race? Unknown at this time…

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