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Peterborough Half Marathon – February 28, 2010

Summary: 1:28:05 on the chip | Even Splits | 2/20 in M25-29

I think they used to call this race the “Hypothermic Half Marathon”

Perhaps recent weather trends are responsible for the name change… and in any case, I’m not complaining.

There was nothing hypothermic about this race yesterday, and conditions were perfect aside from a strong headwind for a few kilometres on after the turn-around.

The object of the race was to test my fitness and see where I was at after an off-season of short workouts and plenty of excuses for staying indoors…  Could I comfortably hold a sub-90 half marathon pace for 21.1km?

Training through a race is always interesting… I’ve been back on a “schedule” of sorts since January 1, but logged plenty of hours this past week leading up to the race.  Another thing I wanted to do with this race was to make sure that I was running it at least a little bit “tired”

I did use Saturday to re-charge a little bit though… and I’m sure that helped.

The pace I wanted was 4:10 / km and I was a little quick for the first km at 4:05 but settled right in after that, splitting at every 2km trying to stay as close to 8:20 as possible… usually landing anywhere between 8:18 and 8:22 through the first 2/3 of the race.

The route was lonely with the exception of a few aid stations and some easy-access points where dedicated spectators had jumped in their cars from the starting line and made it out to an intersection at the 7/14 km marker.

Hanging onto the 4:10 pace was great.  And I was happy with how manageable it was.  The exceptions were a few kilometres out by the airport where winds were super-heavy. 

A few guys that I had been running along with tucked into a nice straight line behind me “drafting off of the tall guy”.

Checking the 2km split after fighting the headwinds let me know that I’d fallen off the pace a bit, but I was pretty certain my legs were okay for a nice strong close.

To make up for the lost time, I managed to close the last three kilometres on a 4:00 pace with plenty of steam for a speedy finish grabbing a few more positions over the last 500 – 600 metres.

The plan to run a smooth and balanced race worked well with 44:19 at the turn-around and 1:28:10 on the finish clock… 

It was exciting to see so many fast guys up ahead in what I had envisioned would be more of a “small town” race.  There were four finishers under 1:20 with the overall winner crossing in 1:14 and change.

It’s also exciting to think about running a half marathon A-race with a planned taper sometime in the fall… 1:25:xx maybe?  

Maybe I’m dreaming…

Happy training.



I’m 26 years old. I have a beautiful girlfriend who doesn’t mind coming out to long races in the extreme heat or pouring rain, and splitting the grocery bill with me and my 4000 calorie / day vegan diet. I’m a triathlete from the ankles up. I started out as a very biomechanically inefficient runner… the worst you’ve ever seen, I guarantee. I’ve somehow managed to drag my pancake-flat feet through marathons, triathlons, and even a 400 kilometre 10-day charity fundraiser run. Shifting the focus away from running though, and training as a triathlete has helped to keep me injury free for the last 3 years. It’s even made me a little faster on my feet. Aside from swimming, cycling and running, I like travel, yoga, and surfing. In 2006, my girlfriend and I lived in Japan and went surfing every week… unfortunately, there is no surfing in Markham.

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  • Awesome job Derek! Finishing the last 3kms with a 4:00 pace too!
    Congratulations on a great winter run 🙂

    What was your fuel for the days leading up to the race?

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