I found a spot to store my stuff and met up with Vancouver runner Catherine Watkins before we headed out on course to do a warm up. Catherine was new to the course, so we ran almost the entire way until I could point out in the distance where the turnaround was so that she would have an idea. We headed back finishing up a good 25 minute warm up, changed into our flats, shorts etc and then headed back to the start which was like a 10 minute walk away. On our way we did some of our drills and strides.
On the race start, I was announced as female race favorite, followed by Kim Doerksen and then Catherine. Oh boy, pressure. I had already figured I was ranked 1st female based on the #6 bib I received. #1-5 went to the boys and then #6-10 I believe to the girls. I did some more strides off the start line and then lined up with the crew.
The race started off fast, which of course is normal, especially for a 5km. I saw some ladies shot out real fast and wondered if I had taken off too slow. I looked at my Garmin and saw 3:07 at one point so I told myself to reel it in and relax. The first km was 3:14 and then I stopped looking at my watch. By the 1st km I believe I was lead female but I could feel Kim right on my shoulder. I kept pressing on, or so I thought, but it turns out I slowed my 2nd km to 3:21. Whoops. There is a slight incline in the road though, so maybe that is why I never felt like I actually slowed.
About 1.5 to 2 km Kim and her pacer Nic Browne passed me and she gapped me slightly. I don’t think she ever got more than 5m ahead of me. As we approached the turnaround I was hoping for a much speeder 180 turn than last year where I practically stopped after running into the person in front of me. This year was better, but I still lost a lot of speed. At 3km, I saw Trent and Hilary Stellingwerff standing there and he yelled out 10 flat. My Garmin auto lapped around there at a 3:22km. Whoops again.
We started heading back and once the course plateaued over the small incline, I pressed on pulling up right behind and eventually beside Kim. I brought that km down to 3:18. With 1km left I kept pressing as it appeared as though Kim was tiring. I kept pressing hoping that I had more left than she did. The legs were burning but I still felt strong. Chris (Athletics Illustrated) on the bike beside me at this point told me she wasn’t giving up so I kept pressing.
With about 200m left I heard my coach Matt on the sidelines. When I hit the 100m mat I tried to pick it up even more so, while I watched the clock tick closer to and then over my ultimate 16:30 goal. I crossed the line with an auto lap of 3:14 for the final km. Bob Reid announced me at 16:33 and I was happy, but slightly disappointed to miss that time goal. Turns out I was 16:34.60 which rounds up to 16:35 officially. Doh!
Start of the final 100m
I didn’t have much time to really celebrate my new PB though, as I was off to find Matt so he could advise what my post-race workout was going to be. Off I went on my workout and surprisingly it felt pretty good. I hit a pretty great time for my tempo considering it was post-race. A good sign of things to come that is for sure!
Overall winners (with Geoff Martinson)
Results are found here.
Post-race article here.
Video of the race
Up next, another delayed race report. St.Patricks Day 5km!