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The Beaches Jazz Tune Up 20k

– Date – 7/27/08
– Description – 20k Road “Race”
– Location – Toronto, Ontario
– Race Name – Beaches Jazz Tune Up 20k, 10k & 5kPeterborough 1/2 IM Duathlon
– Sport – Road Race
– Race web site – www.canadianrunningseries.com

I had the pleasure today of leading some future  marathoners in a 20k tune up run in conjunction with the Canadian Running Series and their Pace Bunny program. It was a perfect day down by the beach area on the east side of Toronto where we set out for a fun but organized run along the waterfront. Our goal as pacers was to get to know some of the runners that will be looking to hit their marathon times in the fall and to get them use to the pace they will need to achieve their targets.

I was fortunate enough to have a small group of keen athletes follow me along the Martin Goodman Trail as we tried to maintain a 5:27 per km pace, replicating the required speed to hit 3 hours and 50 minutes for 42.2km on race day.

After the 1km marker, we were a little off target and, in an attempt to move back to our desired tempo, we got moving a little too fast and hit the 2km flag about 20 seconds ahead of my lap timer.

After that, I pulled back the reigns but a lack of markers through the next few kilometres made it a tough task. We continued to cruise along the busy urban course, making our way downtown to the turn around sign close to the Queens Quay and York Street intersection. At this point, we were 1 full minute ahead of time so I told the group to push along as they looked very strong. I then dropped back during the last 10km to join any runners coming up from the rear.

I watched the four men and women smoothly re-trace their tracks and could tell they were going to have no problems hitting the finish line ahead of their goals. With my fellow runners holding their own up ahead I ran solo for much of the final half and got to enjoy the beautiful morning along the lakeshore cheering on the other athletes heading out for their runs at the various distances as the 10k and 5k runs were sent out quite a bit later than our 8:30am start time.

When I reached the 18k marker, I was still 30 seconds quicker than my bunny ear time so I pulled back once more to pick up a few more runners and encouraged them to the finish line. Although, I made the time look very close in the end, I realized that I will need to work a little more on my speed to ensure a more consistent pace come race day for the Scotia Bank Toronto Marathon.

Keep a watch for my pace bunny report this fall!!!
Larry

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