On Friday May 30th 2014, I ran the Guelph Speed River Inferno Downtown Mile on the streets around a local market. This was a 1st annual race in the Speed River Inferno Festival presented by New Balance and happened in the evening unlike typical morning road races which was a nice change. However, races later in the day means I need to be more careful with what I eat, making sure I’m rested, and not letting the nerves get to me as I’m waiting all day to let loose at the race. Tomorrow (Saturday) will be the elite outdoor track races at the Guelph University Alumni Stadium featuring events like hurdle sprints, 200M, 400M, 800M, 1500M, 5000M, and 3000M steeplechase. Going into this race it would be my third short distance race (less the 5K) in my life and only my second time attempting the mile with my first time being almost 1 year ago for the Cambridge Classic Mile on a gravel high school track in 5:00 minutes flat (which I’m racing again this year). I arrived to the event with my friends Yves Sikuwabo of Guelph University, Mo of Ottawa University (racing the 1500M tomorrow), and Johana Kariankei of Iten, Kenya who has come back to Canada again this year for some road racing and visit his Canadian friends. Johana is my good friend who hosted me in Kenya for my last two high altitude running training trips over there this past summer and then winter for 2 months each time. In the road mile I noticed it would be some guys from the LPC club (triathletes), Chris from my club H&P, and Johana competing for the top spots. Going into this mile race I felt very relaxed , happy, and not nervous one bit because this is not my specialty distance and it will all be over before I know it. Also because my mile PB from almost a year ago I was sure to improve on and feeling confident in getting a PB makes me race even better. Anyways, Johana and I set out on our easy 20 minute warm up before heading back to the start line to put on our racing flats and singlets (it’s funny how I wore a Kenya singlet being a Canadian and Johana wore a New Balance Canada singlet being a Kenyan). This was my first race with the new Garmin Forerunner 10 I got so that I could sync my workouts with a running site called STRAVA, so I was interested to see how it would work for me. The gun went off and so did we all, sprinting straight out to get a good place (I ended up forgetting to start my GPS watch but some other friends confirmed later that it was an accurate course). The course was two 800M road loops which started out flat, then a slight downhill before the steep uphill, and then it flattens out before doing that one more time. The way I saw the race play out was that Johana and Chris Moyer of LPC club went out in the lead with me just behind them in 5th place which we all held for the first lap. Now going into the second lap I got myself into 4th place and Johana was in 2nd place behind Chris but going into the final stretch I managed to close the gap on the 3rd place guy and finish just 7 milliseconds behind him for 4th place overall in 4:43 minutes, a new PB. Johana also closed the gap on Chris in the closest finish I’ve ever seen (from pictures later), where both guys jumped across the finish line with the same right foot at the same time. The foot timing chip later showed the result was Johana had won by a 10th of a second which is as close as it gets. Just thinking that their 4:31 minute mile came down to milliseconds is scary but shows us that every single moment of a race matters so we need to run smart. All in all I really had no idea what to expect in this race but will leave happy with my new mile PB, lots of Speed River Inferno swag and some quicker legs then I thought I had from this long distance runner that I am. Next up is the Mississauga Bread & Honey 5K next Sunday which is a fast/flat road race, followed by the Cambridge Classic Mile on the GCI High school gravel track in two weeks.
Race = Guelph Speed River Inferno Downtown
Distance = 1 Mile (road)
Time = 4:43 min.
Pace = 2:56/K
Overall Place = 4th/47
Race Photos = http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152461055818874.1073741865.511403873&type=1&l=1f6a9eae5b
SpeedRiverTiming Results = http://www.speedrivertiming.com/res/imileres.htm
Race Website = speedriverinferno.weebly.com/road-mile.html
Race Article = http://www.guelphmercury.com/sports-story/4551421-inferno-festival-starts-with-photo-finish-in-downtown-mile
Strava GPS Stats = http://www.strava.com/activities/147499787
My Twitter = twitter.com/RunnerRob4Life
Email = firstname.lastname@example.org
* Pictures taken by Michael Moran