Toronto Peace Marathon 10k Race Report

on Saturday, September 27, 2014 at 8:56 PM

Did the Toronto Peace Marathon today, which is not really a marathon, but either a 10k or 5k race. This was the second tune-up race in the Pfitz schedule of three race. As I mentioned in a previous post, I had some doubts as to how much of a "race" this was going to be and it didn't help that I didn't receive a single email after registering about race day logistics.  In fact, I wasn't even sure where I was supposed to go since the English version of the website simply says the race takes place in Sunnybrook park, which is not exactly a small neighborhood type park.

Start line is somewhere in here.


The race is put on by the Korean Canadian Cultural Association and I did some more surfing around on their website and the Korean version of the site had a bit more information and more importantly an image (in English) identifying the route as starting at "Picnic Area #2". Of course, they still didn't have a map of where the start line actually was so I had to do a bit more googling to find out where Picnic Area #2 was.  Race started at 9am and I was there about 8am to check out the landscape. Sighed a bit of relief when I saw the sportstats timing van, a finish line and a packet pickup.  Proceeded to pickup my kit which was only a bib and a shoe timing chip.  The bib's weren't the conventional ones that you pin to your shirt, but rather actually bib's that you have to tie on.   I guess on the plus side you have you bib number on both the front and the back. 

Tie on Bib's! How novel!

Proceeded to tie it on and do some warming up. Like the 5k race two weeks ago, I decided to walk out to the 1k mark to check to see if the course was marked.  Turned on the watch to measure out 0.62 miles (1km) and proceeded to check the course out which was marked at 1k at the 0.60 mile mark according to my watch.  Close enough.  Proceeded to walk back to the start line and then started my jog warmup and I quickly found that I hated the bib. The shoulder straps would constantly slip down on one side, something that I'm sure women find annoying all the time with their skinny strap tops, but I've never experienced.  With about 5 minutes to go, I decided to head back to my car to get the safety pins that I had brought along so that I could pin the straps to my shirt.  Didn't leave me much time so I was in a bit of a rush to get to the start line. When I arrive back at the start, people had already started to line-up and they even had pacers!. Unfortunately the fastest pacer they had was 1 hr pacer and he was right at the start line.  I started a little ways back, but wasn't too worried about the mass of 1 hr 10k'ers in front of me since the first part is on some wide paths where it's easy to pass.

The race starts and I try to maintain a nice steady pace.  I was trying to run by feel somewhere between 5k pace and my LT pace. Based on the 5k race 2 weeks ago, I thought that I might be able to pull off a faster than 6:50min/mi (4:15/km) pace 10k which would be about a 42:30 10K. Though I had tried to practice this pace during the week, it's hard to remember the pace on race day.  I also ran without the HR showing on my watch so I was going solely by feel.

As I approach the (maybe slightly short) 1k mark, I had passed quite a few people. Hit the lap timer and the watch reads 3:56. Crap. Way too fast. This was faster than the first km in the 5k I did two weeks ago.  Oh well whatever. I try to settle down a bit and decide that I'm going to try to gradually reel some people in by pulling up to, following for a bit and then passing individuals.  Pull up to the 2nd km marker and the lap button reads 4:11.  A little better and I think I'm finding my groove. Km 3 has a bit of a wrinkle in that has this steel bridge that passes under a road. The bridge has a steep climb and then a steep descent and is slippery because the morning dew is still on the steel surface.  Hit the 3km marker at 4:31, but I think this may have been a bit long. 

Into km 4, my HR spiked which I didn't know at the time, but it clearly evident in my HR profile. Up until then, I was a little over 180, which is what I think it should be since just below 180 is my LT pace and mid 185 is probably 5k pace. It jumped 30 beats to over 200.  Oh well I move on.  The km 4 marker was way too soon and I hit that at 2:24. Through to the turnaround point (and km 5) I think I pass one last person who had the courtesy to pull off to the side to let me pass. Approaching the turnaround, I'm on the lookout to see who is ahead of me and I count only one that I could see who was wearing a bib.  There were some other people on there who didn't look to be going particularly fast and weren't wearing any bibs so I'm not sure if they were in the race or not.  By the time I reach the turnaround point, I realize the guy ahead of me has about a minute on me and that unless he completely falls apart, there's very little chance I'm going to catch him.

Reach the turnaround point, and they have a guy there stamping your hand which I suppose makes sense to make sure that you didn't turnaround early. These guys are taking this pretty seriously.  The back half of the course was pretty lonely. Not lonely, in that I was by myself because I was passing all the people still heading towards the turnaround point, but I had no one to run and race against. No one passed me and I didn't pass anyone else. One thing I should mention is that everyone was yelling words of encouragement in Korean, which I didn't understand, but I would nod and wave in appreciation.  I did think I recognized some words that sounded like "faster" in Chinese so maybe that's what they were saying. Who knows?  So the splits in reverse were :

2:27 for km 7 (the short one), forgot to hit lap button at turnaround since I was too busy trying to figure out where to run, read the sign about getting hand stamped and getting the hand stamped
4:57 for km 8 (had the big hill, had to slow way down on this to get up the hill)
4:25 for km 9
4:11 for km 10.

So I cross the finish line at 44:02 and pick up a finishers medal (wow they were handing out medals). Not only that but they handed out a little food packet that contained a bannana, a Korean bean stuffed pastry and a bottle of water, plus they had an insulated stainless steel travel mug.  Wow. quite the SWAG bag for $25 entry fee. They were also handing out a raffle ticket.

I'm pretty sure the course was long. GPS had it measured at 6.40 miles.  Measured out manually in Google Earth has it at about 245m long so that  equates to about a 43 minute 10k or about 6:55 min/mile pace.

Now I thought I had finished 2nd overall since there was only the one guy that I saw at the turnaround so I wasn't sure if they were handing out prizes.  If they were handing out age group awards, I was pretty sure I was going to win something since the no double-dipping rule means I was guaranteed to win something being second overall. i don't run races for the prizes and this was no different as I'm not generally fast enough to be competitive in these things, but I do sort of feel that if you do win a prize, you should stick around for the prize ceremonies, if only so that the organizers aren't put into an awkward position of calling your name and no one stepping forward. So I stuck around waiting to see when the sportstats guys would post the results, but they never did. They handed the organizer some paper and he want off to talk with someone else so I wasn't sure what was happening.  I decided to check out the sportstats site on my phone to see if maybe they had wirelessly posted the results and sure enough they did.

I finished 4th overall and 2nd in my age group.

huh?? Maybe I hadn't counted properly but I don't understand how I would have missed 2 other people on the way back.  I tried doing some searches and of the three guys who finished ahead of me, only one of them has any race history and is probably the guy that I knew that was ahead of me. In any event, this meant that I probably wasn't going to win a prize now because I wasn't top three overall.

Anyhow, I was just mulling about and everyone starts leaving, so I guess they aren't handed out prizes.  I ended up giving my raffle ticket to someone else but then I realize they had not handed out the raffle prizes yet so they were probably handing them out somewhere else and maybe that's where they are handing out the prizes.  Oh well, I decided in the end, it wasn't worth the bother though I read in someone elses blog that the prize draws for this are pretty sweet included TV's and round trip flights to Korea so I guess I missed out.  With my rotten luck, the guy I gave my ticket too, probably ended up winning.

Oh well, karma will give it back to me at some point, right?

Anyhow, a good race to run, fairly cheap and okay organization. WOuld do it again, but next time, I'll have to go with someone Korean who can translate for me!

One more tune-up race in two weeks time.  There really isn't anything nearby on the day in question so I may just end up doing a tempo run of some sort.

Polar Race Info