On Sunday November 2nd 2014, I ran the Hamilton Road2Hope Half-Marathon on the point to point course starting in Dofasco Park, Stoney Creek, down the Red Hill Valley Parkway, through some city streets, on a hilly gravel trail, out and back on the Waterfront Trail that finally led to the finish at Confederation Park in Hamilton. This race was a last-minute decision to hopefully end my 2014 season with a bang after my Toronto Waterfront Half-Marathon race two weeks ago didn’t go as planned due to a cramp but still resulted in a nice PB anyways. For this event I had my mom and good friend and training partner, Brendan Hancock, to keep me company for the drive to Hamilton and cheer me on at the start and finish. To have a better pre-race routine then I had in Toronto, I woke up 3 hours before race start time of 8:15am, had my morning bottle of water and then VEGA Energizer drink 20 minutes before the race started and dressed warmer with my New Balance gloves and CEP Canada Edition compression socks. However, what I did fail to do is make it to the event with enough time to get ready due to getting lost on my way. So I had to get a short warm up in, quickly pin the bib to my Canada inspired Health & Performance club singlet by New Balance, throw on my New Balance 1400v2 shoes, and get myself to the start line with seconds to go till the gun went off.
Toeing the line with me included Toronto Black Toe Running/ Pace & Mind’s Rejean Chiasson, Canadian-Kenyan’s Fred Karanja and Victor Gatundu, and my friend of the Cambridge Harrier’s Mitch Free. We started the first kilometer roughly together before the separation began with me running a 3:14/K which is too fast for my race pace due to the adrenaline. A guy named Trevor Zimak and Fred took the lead, Rejean close by, with Victor and I stride for stride behind them all. This lasted for the next 4K with a consistent pace of 3:20-3:23/K until I hit the highway at 5K which was a slight downhill. I couldn’t help but run 3:11-3:16/K for the first 3K stretch of the highway battling back and forth with Victor with the other guys with a sizable gap ahead but in sight. Eventually I put a small space ahead of Victor and he didn’t respond so I was left alone the last 3K of this highway and slowed to 3:27, 3:27, and 3:35/K. Once I saw my pace go above 3:30/K I knew I was off half-marathon pace but my average was still well under my goal with me hitting the 10K sign in 32:58 which is 3:18/K (would be a PB). So being about halfway done the race I just maintained this speed to the best of my ability since it will be hard to pick the pace back up now that I am getting off the fast highway and running solo for the rest of the race as far as I could see. 3:30-3:40/K would take me through the rest of the race which was the 2.5K rolling Red Hill Trail section with a short bridge crossing before hitting the Waterfront Trail paved path. This part was a flat-out and back part so I got to see all the runners behind me on my was towards the finish line as they start run the last 7K. It wasn’t till 1K to go that I heard someone behind me so I only looked over my shoulder once before getting my butt in gear to close in a 3:27/K. I was met by Brendan cheering and running along with me for the last 500M with my big backpack on him which looked so funny, around the corner and straight to the finish line, gritting my teeth as I cruise in to a new half-marathon PB.
My first two 5K’s were in 16:44/16:14 with my last two in 18:01/18:04 each, so it just shows how much of a positive split I made with a super fast first half and holding on for dear life in the last half. My time was 1:13:28 (3:28/K) with Mitch Free being the guy 25 seconds behind me in a PB for himself too and Rejean Chiasson won the event in 1:08:46. I am really happy about my race and my only minor complaints would be the cold weather with wind on the open sections, and those kilometers on the gravel trail that took away from it being an even faster road only race. This is my last serious race of the season and I’m happy to end 2014 with a bang and with little to no regrets. My plans moving forward now are to keep training with my Health & Performance Club in Waterloo, and practice my hilly trail training in Shade’s Mills Conservation Area to prepare for my annual Canada winter trip to Kenya in Africa for 3 months of high altitude running in Iten (Home Of Champions).
Until next time, thanks for tuning into my race report, and keep on running my friends. If you ever have any questions or comments please feel free to ask away!
#CantWontStop #TrainHardWinEasy #MakeExcellentHappen #ItsPossible #Runday #RunForLife #1Sport1Love #LongMayWeRun #TwendeMzungu 🙂
Race = Hamilton Road2Hope
Distance = Half-Marathon (21.1K)
Time = 1:13:28 (PB)
Pace = 3:29/K
Overall Place = 5th/1707
Age Group = 1st/40
Event Photos = https://www.facebook.com/hamiltonmarathon/photos_stream?tab=photos_albums
Race Results = http://www.chiptimeresults.com/resultsreader.php?y=2014&r=hamiltonmarathonsunH.htm
CBC Hamilton Article = http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilton/news/hamilton-road2hope-marathon-draws-5-000-runners-1.2820908
Event Website = http://hamiltonmarathon.ca/
My Strava Activity = http://www.strava.com/activities/214891147
Facebook = https://www.facebook.com/RunnerRob4Life
Twitter = https://twitter.com//RunnerRob4Life
Email = email@example.com
Robert Brouillette 😀