Note: I tried out Energy Bits in this race, review to follow!
I am calling my last few races the "snow series" as no matter what the forecast was initially we ended up with bitter cold and snow. Today was to be -13°C with wind chill of -20° and hard little snow grains. Delightful. The first day of Spring was Thursday, on which we had a snowstorm/blizzard fiesta. Of course.
We leave the house in plenty time to drive to Eau Claire, the underground parking and warm sitting area make us forget it is just a wee bit chilly outside. I manage to miss almost all the people I want to say hello to pre-race.
We are herded out 10 mins before the start then time flies. We're off! I manage to start my Nike+ app, Garmin and IPod simultaneously. We head across Prince's Island to Memorial, the bridge is extremely slippy underfoot. My goal pace is around 7:30min/km but right off the bat the pack is going at slightly below 7min/km. It doesn't feel bad so I keep trekking along with them.
By 5km I still feel good although my calves are numb so I have to lift my knees a bit to get the feeling back. We are about to reach my favourite cheering station from last year - the cross dressing cheerleaders. Whatever will they have this year?
That was fun! I forgot all about my legs for a while. Onward we go across Crowchild Bridge then we pass the race leaders - awesome. Hey was that a guy in a sumo suit?
I reach 10km at 1:10 (7min/km pace), a big improvement! Before you know it we are approaching the turnaround at Shouldice. I feel really good and haven't had any issues or walk breaks. My water tube has frozen twice so far even though I filled my pack with hot water this morning.
As we make our way back we hit a freezing headwind. That explains why some of the people coming toward us had frosty faces. I stop to take a pic and this is where my Nike+ sticks on pause (which I hit by accident) and point blank refuses to start again. Not impressed.
I break down the return journey into sections and concentrate on one at a time, not the overall distance left. This time my water tube has frozen and there's no hope for defrosting - no more Tailwind for me today!
We reach Crowchild Bridge and there's Batman and his wife! After a couple of slower kms I start feeling good and manage to pick up my pace for the last 5km. I am so happy to regularly see under 7km/min on my Garmin.
The rest is quite enjoyable and I trek in at 2:31:56, a 7:12km/min overall pace. A HUGE improvement over my last 3 Halfs. This may have been the first time I've felt so strong over the last 5km of a race.
Kev had headed out to run in with me, except he didn't judge it quite right so I'm left wandering around at the finish until he re-appears. If you saw him out on the course, know that he was not chasing random women...
Then we find Tina!
|Pic from TinaFab - thank you!|
What an awesome race this is! Despite the cold, the volunteers were incredibly energetic and encouraging the whole time. It is so well organized I can't resist it!
Afterwards Cori met us for a lovely warm beverage. She had just been to the doctor to get her leg fracture evaluated, everyone send lots of happy healing vibes her way.