TeamRunningFree pic
TeamRunningFree info

Sudbury Rocks for Diabetes Half Marathon

Race Description: Marathon, 1/2 Marathon, 10 & 5km, 1km Kids Fun Run
Race Date: May 6, 2007
Race Location: Sudbury, Ontario
Race Name: Sudbury Rocks for Diabetes
Race Website:
Sport: Road Running

This report has been a LONG time in the making, but better late than never, right!? I am currently suffering from a bad case of poison ivy resulting in a forced “vacation” from work for a couple days, so I am finally able to take the time to catch up on my race reports!!

I was so excited about this race, my very first 1/2 marathon! As an added bonus, the race was raising funds for Diabetes, a disease which has afflicted my older sister since the age of 6 and is therefore a cause close to my heart!

I felt very prepared heading into the race. My spring 5km & 10km races had gone extremely well, and I had been completing weekly long runs since the end of February, ranging between 17-32km’s on the hills around my home. I really had no idea what to expect in terms of times or how to handle the longer race distance from a nutritional aspect, my main goals were to have fun, and run a smart race to finish strong!

Race morning dawned bright and cool, I opted to wear shorts, a t-shirt and gloves (tendency to cold hands, which I hate!). I also slipped a gu in my pocket, “just in case”!
My race plan involved starting easy and speeding up throughout the race…this is my usual plan in all my races, but especially important today as I was unsure how the distance would feel! The half marathon was a loop course which appeared relatively flat according to the website’s course profile. I do not recall any hills in the first 10km with some gentle inclines and small rolling hills later on in the course. I DO recall some nice flat to slightly downhill sections perfect for cruising along and feeling fast!

After a good warm up and several porta-potty breaks, we were off! One lady jumped out to the front right from the start, but staying true to my plan, I started out at what felt like an easy pace. As long as I made sure to keep her within a reasonable distance, there would be plenty of time to reel her in later in the race. I found myself running easily beside another female runner. We were cruising along, not even breathing hard, and passed through the first 5km in about 21mins or so. This was faster than I had expected, but I was feeling good, so I kept up the pace. After the 5km marker, the lady beside me dropped back, and I didn’t see her again. Now running alone, I set my sights on the top runner and slowly began to reel her in. By 10km we were running side by side. Her with her MP3 player, and me with my….thoughts! (it just seems so wrong to me to race with music!) As I caught her, she suprised me by asking what pace I was aiming for. I replied honestly that I had no idea since this was my first 1/2 (my secret goal was to break 90mins). I asked her what her goal was and she replied that it had been a year or so since her last 1/2 so she wasn’t sure. Obviously neither of us was willing to share any potentially helpful information with the other! (did I mention the $500 top prize up for grabs!?) We passed through the 10km in mark in 41:41, again much faster than expected, but still feeling good. We ran together for another km before passing through a water station at 11km. So far my plan was working: over halfway done and I was feeling strong and happy. I remember thinking, “only 10km more to go! No problem! I can race 10km in my sleep!” It was time for the real racing to begin!! As we passed through the station I moved ahead in order to grab a couple gulps of water and then immediately increased my pace. Initially I could hear her footsteps behind me but gradually the sound diminished until all I could was my own breathing (now quite a bit heavier!). Paranoid that she was still there but not wanting to look back, I continued to pour on the pace. At one point we passed by a long glass building and I glanced over to see if I could see her behind me in the glass…no where in sight. I was on my own. While the “real” race started at 11km, the pain set in at about the 16-17km mark. The km marker countdown to the finish had begun. I was working hard, and trying to maintain a fast turnover. Even though it hurt, I still felt very strong. Between 11-17km I caught the backend of the marathon runners, which was motivating since many offered words of support and encouragement as I went by. Things got a lot quieter in the last few km’s of the race, I was pretty much alone the whole time, with one or two marathoners here and there. I remember some hills towards the end and that my knees were starting to get sore. I remember thinking that I would never have been able to do a 2nd lap! I also remember using a lot of positive self-talk (“you can do it, you can achieve” over and over again) as well as imagining that my legs were the pistons on a train, maintaining a consistent turnover. Heading into the finish I discovered that I had reeled in another 1/2 marathoner and worked hard to catch him, finishing only 5 seconds behind him. I ended up with a finishing time of 1:24:34; 1st Female; 8th overall out of 229 finishers. Needless to say, I was stoked!! It was a perfect day: gorgeous weather, a negative split, an awesome finishing time, and $500 smackers in my pocket!
A note on the nutrition aspect: I didn’t end up using my gu since my energy felt good throughout, but felt safer knowing it was with me, and took only sips of water at every station except for the first and last ones. This worked out well as I had no issues with cramps or the dreaded “sloshy stomach” throughout the race. I did get up about 4hours before the race and had my normal big pre-race breaky of oatmeal with cinn, raisins, walnuts, yogurt, PB and banana, which seemed to hold me over just fine.

And thats the story of my 1st 1/2 marathon! What a great experience! I can’t wait to do another.

I should also mention for the marathoners out there that the Sudbury Rocks Marathon is the only age-graded marathon in Canada. A staggered start by age and gender with prizing and finishing based on the adjusted times make sure that any age – male or female – can win! This year prizes of $2000 to $250 were given to the top 3 finishers…the third place finisher was in the 60+ category! An interesting and challenging twist if you’re thinking of trying something different!

A great race for a worthy cause!

Related Posts

No related posts found.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.