Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Around the Bay 30K Road Race Report

Better late than never, right? Well, it's been 2 days only, but they felt more like a week. Let's get this report started!

Sunday morning alarm clock went off at 6:45am and something had been telling me that it would be too late as Hamiliton is about a 65km/45min drive away. We had some apple pie and banana bread with Nutella for breakfast (we love our homemade baked goods, shut up) then drove to the nearest Tim Hortons for coffee on our way to Hamilton. Without surprise, once we got there, all parking lots were full. We were just 30min away from the race start and I was getting increasingly panicked because I had nowhere to park the car. I thought about leaving it at a bank or a coffee shop, but overzealous vigilantes were roaming around, ready to jump on any opportunity to see cars towed. So much fun, right! Anyway, I told hubbs (name is Zin) to walk to the starting line, it was more important for him to get there on time than for me, only that I needed to get in the bus that would take me to the half point and the deadline to catch one of those was 9:15am, 15 min before the start! I let him go then I went circling once more and wheeee, found one last spot in a school's parking lot. I managed to run down close to the starting line and jump in the last bus, good luck sign for was yet to come.

The gun went off while our bus was on its way to the mid-point and from that moment on I started following hubbs with Runkeeper Live, which was way too cool for anyone around me. At the half point I tried my best to stay relaxed and warm while keeping on eye on Runkeeper Live and taking bathroom breaks. I saw Reid Coolsaet, one of our two Canadian marathoners competing at the Olympic Games this summer, and Kibet, the guy who was ahead of him at that point, zooming by, and snapped of photo of each. Here they are:

Go, Reid, go!

Reid ended up winning the race in 1h33, pretty much twice faster than us mortals. Read his race report here. I didn't see Kibet anywhere in the standings.

As to hubbs, he started with a pace of 5:04min/km and I was afraid that'd be a bit too fast for him, but he ended by staying strong on this pace for over 10km, then slightly slowing down to finish his 15km split in 1h27 and an overall pace of 5:47min/km (including the transition time). The chip transition must have taken us about a minute to a minute and a half, then off I went, a bit apprehensive to run on the lift bridge, but thankfully preoccupied with my fuel belt that had detached, my earbuds' cord tangled around me and the Runkeeper app that refused to start for about 1km in the run. I managed to get everything back in working order and eventually started concentrating on the run. Another km down and my Runkeeper tells me that I'm doing a 5:45 pace and I went whaaaa?? Runkeeper must have bonked again. Waited for another km and the pace didn't change. Damn!! I must be really going that fast then, but how is it possible, I am not breathing harder and my legs are flying. Alright... keep doing what you're doing and stop thinking.

(I'm not the only one to find this course scenic, the girl in front just took a photo as well)

Then the rolling hills started up and down, up and down, hands in the air, smile for the camera!! Lots of people on the roads to cheer us on, beautiful weather, this run was already awesome from the start, if only I could keep the awesome strong until the end despite all the elevation's ups and downs.  Like a rollercoaster ride, this one was a lot of fun until I reached "heartbreak hill". Again, I didn't think twice, I attacked the beast and told myself - you shall not stop, you can do this, it's just 400m, this will be over in a blink. And indeed, without much pain, but with 30m of altitude gain, I made it to the top then worked on my breathing for a little while so I didn't have to think too much again.

Here's the Valley Inn Road, aka "heartbreak hill", the climb starts on the right and ends at the top left where the train tracks are. There was one man collapsed on the bridge just ahead of us, I hope he's ok.

Met the "reaper" (a guy in costume, he must be famous by now) on my way back to the city, but didn't stop for a photo because it would have been tempting the devil too much. I stayed focused, then on the last 3k I picked up the pace and with a grin from ear to ear, arrived at Copps Coliseum and let a scream out as I was crossing the finish line in 1:26:54, my best time ever by 18 minutes since last year's run on the same course!! Our total time was 2:54:40, under 3h!! Woooo hoooooo!!

I don't have a photo of me finishing, but here's one from the chute while making my way towards the "food and medals" area.

After meeting with hubbs, we had someone snap this picture of us then we drove back home and relaxed for the rest of the day. We even sneaked in a long walk for coffee in the afternoon because it seems to be working well for when you're hungry and you don't necessarily want to eat a cow. What a great day this was!! I hope to share this experience again with my Zin. All I know for sure, is that I married a runner!! Who knew? To the infinity and beyooooond!!


  1. Sounds like we both had an amazing race/run! Nice to meet you! What's your goal for Mississauga? I'm running my first full with a goal of 4hrs, but we'll see how it goes.

    thanks for stoping by the blog.

  2. I know, right? I saw your pictures and read the report, you looked so happy!! I also noticed you're faster than me, so Mississauga in 4h sounds like a great goal. I am thinking more around the lines of "under 5h if I don't die" :-)