The Forest City Road Races was a terrific event.
I first want to thank all the exceptional volunteers that came out to make the event possible. I also want to thank race director Steve Ryall and his team for organizing the event. It was a pleasure to meat you and see how much this event means to you.
Second, I want to congratulate the guys from my alma matter Fanshawe College and the cross country team who swept the event with wins in the 5K, 10K, and half marathon.
- Half Marathon - Josh Lumani - 1:14:44
- 10K - Clinton Smith – 33:18
- 5K - Kyle Golovchenko – 18:03
So how did my race go?
One thing that you can never prepare for is the start of your first race. Running in traffic really can be challenging, after months of picking your pace, being stuck behind a line of people can really test your patience.
It was great to see Bill Deys at the start, he was sitting out the half marathon because of a foot injury acquired during the Around the Bay 30K. He gave me a tip, start 2/3 of the way back in the pack to prevent adrenaline from causing you to take off too fast and wasting energy.
It worked. I felt the pace was too slow, almost a slow jog, but my splits indicate we were going much faster than I had thought.
It was just over one kilometer in before the pack started to thin out as we headed into the steepest of the descents on the course, with room to run, I took my opportunity to start passing some slower traffic.
The next 1.5K was pretty flat and everyone settled into their own pace. At about the half way mark there was a well stocked water station and porta potties. Very little passing occurred in this section other than a few people who had started walking.
At the 3K mark was where you started to find out who was prepared and who wasn’t. I had run the course a week ahead of time to check out the hills, and I’m glad I did. Talbot street is a pretty steady incline that saw many unprepared people walking.
After the Talbot hill, it was a left turn towards Victoria Park and the finish line where I had enough gas left in the tank for a strong 29:54 finish.
My Twitter stream followed my progress and I think it shows a pretty even pace for the entire race.
I was happy to see my wife waiting for me just beyond the finish line.
The after race food was pretty good too. Plenty of water, bananas, bagels, yogurt, granola bars, and juice boxes were available.
We walked around for a bit, saying hi to some of the runners we know as well as the race director and one of the London Free Press photographers I have talked to on Twitter.
My only minor disappointment was that my time was ‘gun time’ (time from the starter saying go, to finish line). My ‘chip time’ (time from crossing the start line to finish line) may have been 20 seconds faster, not a big deal. The 10K and half marathon had both chip times and gun times listed. if you want to see how other people faired you can see results on the Forest City Road Races website.
A great event that I will return to next year, although probably at a longer distance.