Monday, September 27, 2010

Rum Runners Relay - Race Recap

Well it happened this past weekend. I joined up with a relay style running team. No not the baton carrying kind that runs in circles. The kind that races all day over an insane distance, approx. 10K at a time.

The team I joined was and the race was the historic Nova Scotian Rum Runners Relay.

I was pegged to do Leg 6 for this team of people who just like to run, and whose moto is have fun first. Due to injuries and last minute things, I was asked to join in by a couple of my friends (Mike and Ian) who were already on the team.

Leg 6 starts in Hubbards at the Yacht Club which is down a short but really steep hill (see above). When the starter said go off I went, zipping up that hill like a fool possessed. Luckily all that strength training I have been doing lately paid off and the hill meant nothing to me. While I took the lead of the race early, that lasted for a mere 0.5 kms or so when I was easily passed by Parker V (see guy next to me in above photo as well). This followed a few more people eventually passing me.

But I was smart and kept to my pace. I assumed that was going to be a 4:45 or maybe a 4:30 at best for this distance (oh by the way it was 10.7 K). That seemed like something I could do. But I also wanted to stay within my Team number (#16) as that was a little challenge some of my team mates had. Eventually when the 8th runner passed me I decided not to let him get away. I pushed a little harder and fell in line with him.
See above for how I actually matched this guys footsteps for the longest time to make sure I matched his pace. That seemed to work as I followed him for probably 5 kms before I finally saw the finish line. The finish was down hill. At a certain point my muscles started to yell at my brain that they were very excited and needed to go faster. My brain said, hey wait a minute we need to play this smart and not go charging too soon. Seconds later my brain gave up as I charged ahead into my horrifying downhill sprint. Sadly I seemed to have very little control of my speed as I approached what I assumed was a slight turn off the road. But alas it as a 90 degree turn downhill and a probably 50 meters to the finish line from the turn. I was way out of control, made the turn barely and sped through the finish line for a total time of 46:13 and a pace well above expectations at 4:19. Oh and it turns out the guy behind me never picked up his pace. I practically killed myself, though judging from some pictures I saw I did so with flair and a stunning 8th place finish out of 60 entrants.

The rest of the day was spent watching the other runners take off and finish and cheering them on. Thanks to Mike and his boys we had a blast riding, taking photos and playing the vuvuzela all day.

Congrats to the other team members who all ran wonderfully. We finished the day in 34th place overall out of 60 teams. Great stuff.

Oh and as I like to try new things before any given race, my new socks performed great.
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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Rum Running - A little something new

Okay, so a pure running race isn't something entirely new to me. I have been entering a few of those the past couple of years. To be accurate, I think I have entered a grand total of 5. So while I am not a "runner" per se, I am not a total newb.

Running is also not my favorite sporting event. That is probably because it isn't my strongest sport. When coupled with cycling though I find it makes for a dandy weekend bit of fun.

But I got the call from my friend Ian M. He said his relay team for the Rum Runners event was down a few members due to injury. So I stepped up and decided to take on a leg. This is my first time in a team style event like this that takes place as an all day event over numerous legs. It certainly does sound like fun and the distances offered for most legs fit within my skill level.

I am by no means a long distance runner. I have never run more than 12K, and that was one day this past winter when I was out for a training run. I am more used to 10K and 5K events. So a distance of 10.2K for Leg 6 of the Rum Runners sounded just about right.

I will be travelling with Mike M and his boys for most of the day (he is running Leg 4) and hanging out with the rest of the team and probably others whom I have met over the past couple of years since taking up running and triathlon / duathlon.

There is a virtual TNS (Tri Nova Scotia) Rum Runners team being put together by Andrew D as a  fun sort of what if scenario. I gotta say that it is this sort of fun that made me not regret leaving the world of pure cycling. Runners just seem to have fun and so many of the TNS members seem to be runners at heart. Who knows maybe I will head towards more running events in the future as well.

But lets not get ahead of ourselves. First things first, get this event out of the way, have fun and sleep in on Sunday.