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Ajax Run the Lake 10km

Race Name: Ajax Run the Lake 5 & 10km

Date: June 16, 2007

Location: Rotary Park, Ajax

Description: 5 & 10km on scenic waterfront trail

Sport: Road Running

Race Website:

Both injury and poison ivy have wreaked havoc on my race schedule the past month.  As a result, my last race was the Sudbury Rocks for Diabetes 1/2 Marathon way back in the beginning of May!  With the Provincial Duathlon Championships at Guelph Lake fast approaching, I went online yesterday in search of a running race to 1. get me back in race mode, and 2. boost my running confidence post-injury prior to Guelph Lake. 

The Ajax Run the Lake 10km was my race of choice (it was either that or travel to Kingston or Ottawa!) so I quickly jotted down the race info given online and headed to bed semi-early on Friday night.  Saturday I was up at my usual 5am to down a big breakfast that would hopefully be digested long before the race start at 9:30am.  I know some people race on an empty stomach or with just fluids or sports bars….I can’t go without my huge bowl of oatmeal….we’re talkin’ HUGE….along with all the fixin’s (yogurt, craisins, walnuts, peanut butter, ground flax, wheat germ, banana, apple… get the picture!)  In order to accomodate the digestion time required by this massive meal however, I have to be up extra early on race mornings!  

Left the house at about 7:15am and made great time heading into Ajax, arriving at 8:15am with plenty of time to register, complete a thorough warm up of jogging, drills, strides & stretching, as well as visit the restroom/bushes several times prior to the start. 

I’d never been to Rotary Park in Ajax, where the race was held.  Great location for a race: pavilion with washrooms, lots of parking & green space, a playground and water park for the kids, plenty of cover for those emergency/last minute bathroom breaks, and scenic waterfront trail to run on!

Now, when I read “waterfront trail” my years of living in Toronto popped into my head and I naturally assumed the course would be pretty much pancake flat running along the water’s edge.  Wrong!  The course was more rolling than flat, with the 2nd 5km being the most challenging with both the hills and heat/lack of shade to contend with!  The 5km and 10km started simultaneously, however at separate locations.  The 10km headed out for 2.5km in one direction before a turnaround which brought us back through the 5km start and onto the 5km route for the second half of the race. 

My plan for the race was to treat it as a tempo workout, which is what I would normally be doing on a Saturday morning of a non-race weekend.  Plus, I had put in a harder training week and wasn’t sure how the legs were going to feel!  Well, I was pleasantly surprised!  The legs felt fine, if a little tight in the hamstrings, but I concentrated on keeping a high turnover throughout the race, which I think really helped me to keep up a strong pace.  I started slowly, as I always do (I am the queen of negative splits!) but found myself in about 3-4th overall for the 1st 2.5km.  By the 5km mark (19:16) I had moved into 2nd overall, but was miles behind the top guy so basically ran the 2nd 5km alone.  But I wasn’t alone!! As I headed OUT on the 5km loop, the 5km runners were heading IN!  Thank you so much to the many runners who offered words of encouragement and support, they really helped to keep me going!  The final few km’s were tough, into the wind with the heat and rolling hills, but now I had the rest of the 10km runners behind me cheering me on and was able to finish strong in a time of 38:14.  I spoke with the race winner afterwards and being from the area he assured me the course length was fairly accurate, so I can be quite happy with my time.  After a month away from racing with my speed and tempo work in the pool instead of the road, I was not quite sure what to expect!  This race definately gave me some needed confidence going into Guelph Lake next weekend. 

Post-race treats included the standard fare: yogurt, bagals & PB, bananas; massage was available, drawprizes doled out, and awards given (gift certificates, plaques, medals).  Many runners found post-race refreshment under the sprinklers in the kid’s water park!!        

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