Sunday, April 02, 2006

Last Long Run Before Boston: race report

What a crazy but fun day! Up early after losing an hour of sleep (remembering to put the clocks ahead last night). On the road by 7:15, after picking up Kurt who only got out of bed at 7:14 and then the 75 minute drive to meet with Dave, my brother-in-law, in Saint John.

Arrived at the end of the road to nowhere past St. Martins in lots of time to get ready for the race, including a pre-race photo with Andrew and Dave. You can tell me by the skinny legs and shorts (what was I thinking?). Temperature was 4C (40F) with northwest winds of 20-30mph, but it's spring, right? No sign of Jonathan and it turned out later that the 'slacker' had some family issues last night with sick kids and no sleep so he canned the long trip here for the race.
Of course we had to turn around and checkout the sign to see if the Fundy Trail park was really closed or not. I think they'll let us runners in though!
Can you believe what my number was? Crazy or what? This was the ultimate in low-key races, no bibs but rather hand numbers, one water stop, and handwritten results that were quickly updated to the Run NB website. Alex and his crew of mostly his family did an awesome job and should be congratulated. There was a post race gathering but we did not have time to attend.
And now a bit about this crazy run which was billed as a "Challenging but beautiful in the Fundy Trail Park". They should have called it "brutal hilly course, with 10-15% grades, quad pounding downhills, spirit-sapping uphills, and awesome views at every corner if you can manage the energy to look up". After the run, Andrew had some choice words for me, saying "What did you get me into Mike? Are you trying to kill me?". You'll need to check his blog for the blow by blow. Here is the course profile from Kurt's Garmin. You can see this was an out and back course with a crazy steep downhill at the halfway that we went all the way down to sea-level before returning back the same way.

The race went well for me, started out a bit fast but then just tried to maintain effort while going by my heartrate monitor since there were no splits along the way and it would have been insane to try to keep with a constant pace with this constant up and down course. This graph shows my heartrate (bottom red line) and percent of max (upper blue line) which averaged around 85-90% for the duration. Ran most of the race in a group of 4 runners with shifting positions from our variation in speeds going up or down the hills. We all seemed to be running our own races, trying to survive this brutal course and were not overly concerned with place and each other. However, in the back of my mind was a plan to try for magic number 7th place and thought it was in the bag at the finish but unfortunately miscounted. Oh well!
The race is now completed and the results are on the Run NB website at LLRBB. Andrew placed 2nd overall with an amazing 1:26:37, while I managed a 1:37:44 for 8th but really wanted that number 7 spot!

Total for the week 60, for month of March 322, YTD 935 and only 14 d xx hours to go! Ready to roll ;-)

10 comments:

Dawn - Pink Chick said...

Awesome stuff. Love the butt shot best of course. Wow Fundy Trail park. I'd love to go there again. Last time was way too many years ago. We were camping and I remeber swimming, the water was soooooooo cold.

Congrats to you and Andrew. He must be tired as he still hasn't posted his "blow by blow".

Andrew said...

Mike! You sneaky @*&^@#$! You won a book! I accepted the award on your behalf saying I ran with you on Sundays (although 50% of those present didn't believe me). I will hold it hostage until you promise me a somewhat easier course for our next race...

robtherunner said...

That looks like a shortened version of an ultra marathon. Some serious elevation gain and loss for a half marathon. Great Job Mike! Boston should be a piece of cake now.

Thomas said...

Those climbs are brutal. You should be well used to all the ups and downs in Boston then.

Marc said...

I enjoyed your proposed race description.

The course profile looks like some sadistic Rorschach test.

runninturnip said...

That looks like a fun race! I really prefer running on trails. Good luck in Boston!!!

D said...

One word comes to mind: OUCH. I think you owe Andrew for this race! Unbelievable elevation chart. Unbelievable finish times for both of you!

olga said...

That's awesome!!! Man, I wish you could have taken 7th! Not that it matters, but fun to talk about:)

Susan said...

How awesome! Hand numbers! Great job Mike.

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