The Army Run in Ottawa is probably the fastest growing race in Canada. This year there were 22,000 participants between the 5km and Half-Marathon. It was an opportunity to represent the Canadian Armed Forces, visit family in Ottawa, and connect with friends. It’s a great race as Canada comes out in force to support the Cdn Army but really the Cdn Armed Forces in general.
I was coming off a solid week and change of building for Kona with 570kms of biking put in over the last week and a bit. I knew I was not in top running shape coming into the race. I have been fighting a chest cold for about four weeks so I knew a PB was most definitely not in the cards for the day. The chest cold coupled with some serious bike mileage was sure to have wrecked some havoc to my body.
|Today's Support Crew: Pre-race with Dad, Mom, and my oldest sister Kelly|
I flew into Ottawa on Friday and then did race package pick-up on Saturday morning. I expected there to be at least a little line-up but there were none. Great! The expo was well not much of an expo at all. It was actually quite disappointing when you compare it to the expo at the Ottawa Race Weekend.
Sunday morning I was up early for breakfast and then retired for another hour. Dad, Mom, Kelly, and I headed downtown at 0730hrs (for a 0900hrs start time) and were shocked by the number of 5km participants still getting downtown (the 5km race started at 0800hrs). I lined up in the blue coral right at the front. I wanted to get out front fast and then quickly settle into a pace. My rationale for getting out front was to get away from any crowds, test the legs and lungs, and then settle into my own race. When the Howitzer went off it was a bolt out of the starting line up Elgin and onto Wellington St. As soon as I was up and onto Wellington street I backed off the pace and started settling into my pace. It took me about 2kms to settle in a bit and let a few of the faster runners pass. Normally I would attack and try and go with them but I knew today was not that day.
|Me leading the charge off the line. The lead lasted for all of maybe 500m before Dave and Nick went flying by!|
My right quad had been really tight on Saturday’s interval run (2 x 3kms at HMP) so I was anxious to see if that would start to tighten up. And of course that is exactly what started to happen…it would continue to tighten up even more as the kms ticked by. I felt a little restricted in my breathing, the legs felt fatigued, and the right quad tight, so I knew it was going to be a bit of a battle to stay engaged. I enjoyed passing the “Soldier On” personnel and passing along my words of encouragement. It’s great to see our injured soldiers (“Soldier On”) out and physically battling through their injuries. I just felt fortunate that I could run and share such a great experience with these amazing folks. One individual in particular deserves recognition and that’s MCpl Chris Downey. The Ottawa citizen did up a great article the other day on Chris. As if the battles Chris has gone through are not enough Chris elected to run the ½ Marathon on Sunday while dragging a tire with him. This is one tough guy.
So who really cares about my race. This race was not about me, but rather the fine folks that serve our country on a daily basis. I am just privileged to serve alongside many of them. I stayed pretty consistent for pace for the majority of the race and was thankful that Jason Dunkerley (a visually impaired athlete ) and his guide passed me at around the 10km mark. I paced off him for the next 7km and then finally closed the gap and opened my own in the last few kilometers of the race. I was pretty spent after the race. Legs are even more sore and tired now. Happy to have put a 1:18:15 in the books but it’s always a bit of a hard pill to swallow knowing that you didn’t do as well as you could have. I just have to keep reminding myself that this was a “fun” race. A good tempo run with 10,000 of my friends. The focus is Kona.
|Post Race with Jason and his guide. Congrats to Jason on a fantastic first 1/2 Marthon Race.|
Not bad for a training race. 12th Overall and 1st in the M30-34.
Big Congrats to Dave Lacombe and Alex Boule on their 2nd and 3rd place overall finishes in the race. Two first class CAF athletes.