Only 1-week into 2018, and I have already raced. This was my second year running the pioneer 8km, it is the first race of the Island Race series. This year had a brand new course, said to be flat and fast. It also had horrendous West Coast January weather, it was dark, pouring rain, and windy. It may not be a polar vortex, but in contrast to the day before, 8C and sunny, it was pretty brutal. Poor weather or not, we had committed and had a race to run.
The races in this series start pretty late, at 11am, to give people from out of town a chance to get there. We arrived just after 10am, we had to grab our bibs, one of us still needed to register, and of course we had to do our warm-up. After some moaning and groaning, we left the warm school and began our 20-minute warm-up. The start was about 1km from the school, so we did get to see a bit of the course, enough to see that it was not totally flat. After a few strides, we stood under some trees with our team-mates waiting to line up.
We threw off our jackets at the last second and huddled together just behind the mat, waiting to go. In spite of being close to the front, it was quite congested for the first km. We were running down a country road, but it wasn’t very wide. My plan was to start off between 4:20-30. The first km was just under 4:20, fine, but I decided to pull back a little. Unfortunately, the km markers weren’t matching my watches’ km’s, I would pass the markers and a few m later, my watch would show completing another km. Not my favourite, but what do you do?
The second km was about 4:30, this included some incline. The third km was about 4:40, not good, more incline and wind. Finally there was some downhill taking us to the turn-around point, km four was about 4:23, back on track. Except then, there was the largest incline of the whole race and it was tiring. So, the fifth km was just under 5:00. Not good, but I knew I could make it up. I did just that and the sixth km was under 4:15. The seventh was about 4:25. The final km was 4:02. I was very happy to cross that mat and be done! Be done with the race that is, there was still the cool-down to do.
My overall pace was 4:29, and time was 35:50. Not bad. This has reinforced the idea that I need to do hill-training in preparation for Boston!! A necessary evil.
Next-up: Cobble Hill 10km on January 21.