Whitby 5k Race Report

on Saturday, December 5, 2009 at 11:50 PM

Ran this race 2 weekend's ago.  They also hold a 10k and a 10 miler.  It's a bit strange since the same location also hosts a half marathon in the the summer along with a 5k and 10k.  So i did a Whitby 5k race back in July and this race is called the same thing.  Confusing.

Long story short is I finished in 20:26 and i'm pretty sure the course was short.  It was a different route than the short 5k i ran in July, but it was still short nonetheless. Garmin measured it at 3.06 miles which is about 75m short.  Mapped it out in Google Earth and it says its even shorter than that.  As usual, i ran into HR issues.  I wore the HR monitor but put electrical tape on the readout cause I didn't want the readout bothering me during the race.  Was okay for the first 2 km which were right on pace (4:00, 3:59), started to slow down during km 3 (4:11), had a miserable 4th km (4:33) and then was able to speed up for the last km (3:40 for .58km about 3:58 pace).  Felt like crap during the 4th km.  Checking out the HR afterwards, my HR spiked just after the 2km mark and then returned to normal just before the 4th km marker which would explain the slow down in the middle of the race and the speed up at the end.  But then again, all my 5k's tend to follow this trend so i don't know if it's a result of the HR thing or not.  It would make sense though. A 5k is run at the limits of ones VO2Max and anything that can change that obviously will have a big impact on performance.  The HR monitor slid down off my chest with about 500m to go so that's what the drop in HR right at the end.

Finished 15th overall and 5th in my age group.  They gave out a nifty orange toque.  Not really nifty in the sense that I would wear it in public(maybe i'd wear it in a race), but nice to get something other than a t-shirt. They had soup and sandwiches afterwards.  They used a completely different route this year for the 10k and 10 miler.  Apparently they didn't have anyone telling people where to turn around for the 10k so a lot of the 10k'ers ran longer than they should have.  There was one woman at the finish line who was really pissed of about it and complaining to anyone that would listen.  Yikes, I just smiled, nodded my head and moved along. 

Though i didn't win any prize at the event, i received an email a few days after telling me I had won something and should send them my address.  I had signed up for Road Warrior program a while back.  It was started by the guy who organized the pace bunnies for the Scotiabnk waterfront races.  The program offers a grading system where you basically race against yourself but your improvement in times is compared to other Road Warrior participants at a given race.  They basically average your times over the past year to an equivalent 5k time and if you are able to run faster times than that you are more likely to place higher in the Road Warrior standings. In theory, this sounds great, but unfortunately it's idiots like me who intentionally run slow during a lot of races that end up screwing up the curve.  Prior to this race, the Road Warrior program had me as a 23:58 5k runner. This was due to my races at the beginning of the year when I was practicing to be a pace bunny and also due to someone who was accidentally given my bib and chip who ran a 38 minute 5k back in June. So when it comes to race day, and I'm able to put down a 20-something 5k, the program thinks I had a great improvement and ranks me high.  Very easy to game the system.  I didn't respond to the email asking for my address cause it felt like I had cheated and didn't deserve the prize which was a pair of socks. 

I was contemplating trying another 5k before years end, but I have a blood donation appointment next week which when combined with the fact I haven't run in two weeks means I'm probably not going to be in racing shape before the new year.  I guess, it'll just have to be another goal for the new year.


Robin said...

Thanks for the encouragement on my blog. I ran the 10 miler in Whitby as well. It was pretty unorganized on the route and very easy to go short or long for that matter depending on where you ran. I've heard they already apologized and said they will change it again next year. I ran the 10K last year and it was short. Seems they have trouble getting it right. Oh well, it was a great day.

Funny about the Road Warrior program, I'm registered as well.