October 23rd was the date of the first annual 9 Run Run event. The race took place here in Stittsville, so I really had no excuse NOT to run – although I did leave it until a few weeks before the race to actually sign up. They offered a 3km family run and a half marathon distance race. I opted for the longer distance while Amy took the kids on the family run. Due to the fact that the half marathon started before the family run, I wasn’t able to do both unfortunately.
Race day was a bit chilly, but pretty much ideal running weather. As usual, I was fighting off a bit of a cold for a couple days before the race, and when I got up race day morning, I was feeling less than 100%. In the end though, I’m happy to report, that didn’t seem to make much difference.
In the interests of keeping this post short, I’ll try to sum up the race pretty quick. I managed a personal best at the half marathon distance with a time of 1:38:07, which is an improvement of over 6 minutes on my previous PB from back in May. I’m ecstatic about that result!
|45||KEVIN HAGGERTY||STITTSVILLE||2608||1:38:13.5||1:38:07.5||4:40||Men 30 – 39||8/54||37/211|
As for the race itself, there wasn’t much to speak of – it just sort of happened. I had set up RK on my iPhone to a target pace of 4:44 / km, which would have gotten me a time of around 1:40:00, which was my goal time. As expected, I started out a bit fast. At around km 3, I met Eric, who was also looking for a time between 1:40:00 and 1:42:00. I mentioned to him that we were a bit fast on our pace, but Eric said that he was feeling good so I eventually let him go ahead while I decided to keep it a bit more conservative. I kept my eye on him though, and he never got more than 50 to 100 feet ahead of me.
The final 8km or so of the race were on the TransCanada Trail that I run on way too much, so it felt familiar. Just as I turned onto the trail, there was an aid station. One young volunteer was holding out an energy gel, which I went to grab, but at the last second she pulled it away from me. I looked at her as if to say, “Huh?!” and she immediately said, “Sorry! I’ll run it up to you!” I told her not to worry about it. Thinking about it later, I figure this is what happened: I turned onto the trail and saw the aid station. I must have been expecting water and so when I saw the gel, I hesitated a bit and must have pulled my arm back just a tad before realizing it was a gel and that I did in fact want it. I figure that slight hesitation must have been interpreted as me not wanting the gel so she pulled it away. Anyway, it didn’t really matter, and I had a good chuckle about it. What really made me smile was the fact that one of the volunteers DID run a gel up to me! He indicated that he had wanted to do the run himself, so he was happy to get some running in. I was really grateful and chatted with him for a few minutes while I ran.
The only other funny thing I saw was again, just after I turned onto the trail. As I mentioned, I had been keeping my eyes on Eric, and had been slowly reeling him back in as the race went on. When we got to the trail, he was maybe 30 feet ahead of me. I saw him move to the right of the trail and then take a tumble. I wondered what that was all about… Due to the tumble, I caught up with him sooner rather than later and told him as I was running by that we were still ahead of pace for a 1:40:00. He tucked in behind him and then eventually came back up beside me. We finished the last 5 km of the race side by side, pushing each other. I asked him after the race what happened, why the tumble? He told me that he had stashed a gel flask on the side of the trail the night before, and that in his mind the pick-up went a lot smoother. :)
All in all a fantastic race – can’t wait to see how much quicker I can run the half in May.
RK track can be found here.
Full race results here.
Oh and good luck to Eric who is running Boston next year! I’ll get there eventually…