Race: Around The Bay
Date: Sunday March 25, 2007.
Location: Hamilton, Ontario
Description: 30 km
Sport: Running Race
On the drive to Hamilton, I enjoyed a tall travel mug of Peet’s Major Dickason’s coffee (about 3 cups). It’s the best. Of course, the only problem with drinking so much coffee is that I needed to make a major pit stop before the race. Once I parked the car and got dressed for the race, I went on the hunt for a washroom. After doing what I needed to do, there was only 2 minutes until the start of the race. So I got my warm-up by running from the far end of Jackson’s Square to the start line just in the nick of time.The start was slightly crowded and it took a few minutes to get to the timing mats. After crossing the mats I settled into my pace. My goals for the day were to stay aerobic (150-165 b/min), hold a 55 minute pace for the first 10 km, go slightly faster for the second 10 km, and a bit faster for the last 10 km to finish under 2:45. The idea is to get my body to adapt to a comfortable pace I can maintain for a decent Ironman marathon in July and August.
The weather was cloudy and a bit chilly. I wore a Mizuno Breath Thermo long sleeve ½ zip, Louis Garneau jacket, Team Running Free Vest, and CWX Insulator Tights. This ended up being a bit too much clothing but I prefer to be extra warm than uncomfortably cold. I sweated a ton. When I changed out of my clothes after the race my tops weighed at least 5 lbs. In fact, I weighed 180 lbs before the race (at least 5 lbs too much right now) and 174 lbs after the race.
The race went according to plan and I finished in a time of 2:43:39. I stayed aerobic for 27 km and only slipped into the 170’s with 3 km remaining. My average heart rate was 162 b/min. I felt comfortable, fuelling was sufficient (1 gel at 10 km and another at 20 km, along with Gatorade at each aid station), and I am confident I could have maintained that pace for another 12 km. This means a 3:50ish marathon and I would gladly take that time for an Ironman. But the Ironman race is a different animal and all best laid plans can easily go up in smoke.
This was my first time doing this classic race and it was a great experience. I had no complaints. I guess after 113 years they know what they are doing. I’ve always heard about the dreaded last 10 km and while it was tough it was not too bad. If you prepare for the hills they should not be an issue. Although, the downhill sections likely played a role in making my quads extra sore the next day. If you have never done this race you must give it a try. It is the oldest race in North America, it is well organized, and it is a great way to kick off the season. I’d like to do this race again but I will probably only do so if I train specifically for it and try to finish in the 2:30’s or less. By the way, it was great to see the many Team Running Free members out there and representing. Well done. I hope you had as good a time as I did.