Sunday, April 24, 2016

MEC Race 2 - 5K at the Halifax Citadel (a week later)

So here we are a week later and I finally have the time to sit down and do a quick write up on the race I did last Sunday.

MEC's second race of the year was held at the Halifax Citadel and this is my 5th year doing this race. Not a race where PB is to be had, this race covers a crazy assortment of terrain, and finally after a 2 year absence we were back to running the full course again. The last 2 seasons saw too much water and or snow limit where we could run.

The weather was great. The wind had died back a bit from the day before, the temp was above 10C and the sun was peaking out. I thought about shorts but opted for light weight tights and short sleeves.

I took my spot at the start of the race with the other speedsters and soon we were off with the shot of a gun, fun times in the National Historic Site.

Very quickly we rounded the inside of the fort on a light gravel and took off for the main gate of the site.

I found a good pace and fell into fourth place overall. Then it was onto asphalt as we rounded the fort and then took a steep dive to street level below before coming back up the hill. I was now in third and easily catching second place.

Before we hit the next down hill section I took over second place and the gap settled to Peter in first, who was running great. As we headed back up the hill I caught up to peter and felt the pace we were both running now was great for me, hard but doable. I thought I could have surged forward, but we were only 3 km in and had more than enough crazy adventures to come so I stayed where I was.

As we rounded the fort again we popped into the back entrance and through a dark tunnel with oddly positioned stairs. It was blinding going from bright to dark to bright again, but it was fast. We then hit the second tunnel and it was worse  with a wet floor, tiny stairs down and a low ceiling. With a large lead at this point, peter and I slowed right down and shuffled through and out into the ditch (dry moat).

So now we were running on spongy grass and leaping over various divots and holes. I briefly took the lead at this point as I had run this a few times and told Peter to tuck in behind me. We then popped out of the ditch and onto the main road again to finish rounding the fort for a final time.

As we started back into the main gate Peter took the lead but then we were presented with a giant stair case up. I decided with about 0.5 km to go I better make my move and took the steps 2 at a time, taking the lead and surging onto the ramparts. Now I just needed to hang on, but this area is hard to pass in with guns (canons) and steps up and down before a final downward ramp to the finish.

I picked up the pace at the ramp and cross the finish line in first place, the site of my first win 4 years ago (this place likes me). Peter came zipping over the line less than 10 seconds later. I finished in 17:46.

 This shot shows Peter and I after the finish  as seen from the ramparts. Yes, they are high up.

Now back to training and getting ready for the Bluenose 10K in May. Many aches and pains to clean up and address, but it is nice being in my 40's and still finding some speed.