The 10K that turned into a 5K: Ottawa Race Weekend 5K 2013

So the title of this post says pretty much what happened on Saturday (and some of you may have seen my run update on Twitter) – that I decided at the very last minute (i.e. 10 minutes before the race) to switch from the 10K race to the 5K race. Basically what happened was the my right leg cramped up big time on Friday – I could barely walk up the stairs without limping and when attempting to run, my run was so off that I wasn’t running properly which would have resulted in more injury. Knowing that I could easily run/walk a 5K, I opted to do that, so that if anything happened I would walk the race. I know I could have walked the 10K, but considering it takes me over an hour to run a 10K, I wasn’t really wanting to walk for an hour and a half.



Sub 60 10K - LOL's

Sub 60 10K – LOL’s

I picked up my race kit on Friday night. The Ottawa Race Weekend crew definitely have their stuff together in terms of race kit pickup. It took me all of 5 minutes to get my bib and then go upstairs to get my shirt. This is in comparison to the Army run where I go from one giant line to the other and the whole process takes over 30 minutes. I’m not sure what it was like on Saturday or during the evening, but for me it was rather smooth. I went upstairs to the Expo and had a good look around – I was right next to John Stanton at one point – pretty cool. I bought a bright orange Saucony shirt at the Expo, as well as some Energy chews.



On Saturday I woke up and my leg was still hurting. So, I texted my friends from school to see if we had any extra bibs from the 70+ students we had running the 5 and 10K races. They were not sure if they would have a bib until literally the last minute, so I made the decision to run a race either way. I rolled, iced and K-taped my leg and it was feeling ok at 4pm. We arrived at the Laurier Street Bridge (our meeting spot) at 4:40 and Mel said she had an extra bib, and that my name was now Matthew. So I quickly got my race stuff together, went to the bathroom and headed to the corrals with a few of the grade nine boys.

Ok – so the corrals. I don’t know what the race organizers could do, or how it is done at bigger races, but the corrals were a freakin madhouse. They wanted to do the 5K in two waves, and I’m not sure whether there was two waves or not. We went towards the start with about 10 minutes to go. By this point we could not even get into the corrals, we would have had to go all the way to the back. I cannot stand starting near the back as I do run continuously during 5K’s and in big races like this I spend way too much time weaving. So, the boys and I stayed right next to the corrals and when people started moving, we jumped over the barriers. One of my issues with corrals is that people end up mixed up and not honouring the system. I was in the 25-30 minute corral and I was doing a stupid amount of weaving and passing. The boys and I basically formed a line and started trying to break from the giant pack and get some space. This is why my first KM was super fast at 4:41. By the time I made it around downtown and onto Colonel By, the crowd had died off a bit and the run was much more reasonable.



I did the opposite and was totally doing positive splits during this race. My leg started acting up more and more and by the time I got to 4K, I was starting to run abnormally again, and basically was thankful that I did not attempt 10K. I completed KM 2, 3 and 4 in 5:07, 5:24, and 5:31. At the 4K mark I grabbed some water and relaxed a bit, because I knew I was heading towards another PB or at least a sub-30. Missing this year was Hose Man – where was he? It was pretty cold, so I guess he helped out somewhere else this time.

While running towards the finish, I saw my friends and waved Hi at them. One was the same friend who passed me during the Mother’s Day Run – but that is ok 🙂 Here is where things got funny. I looked at my Garmin and saw that I was at 4.97KM but still a ways back from the 5K finish. My Garmin sometimes does start up funny, but I know exactly where every KM is on my usual running route – so if my Garmin does start up funny and I am ahead or behind my first KM, I know that when I am ending my run, the 5K mark will be before or after my house – it still measures 5K (if any of this babble makes any sense). So I hit the 5K  mark and paused the Garmin. My Garmin time at 5K which was 26:22, with my last KM at 5:38 – almost a minute faster than my previous 5K PB. My chip time was 27:14, still a PB by a few seconds. So – I am not really sure what happened. I could have started the timer a tad bit early and with all the weaving might have completed 5K. Anyways it doesn’t really matter – I PB’d regardless. Yes – I know it seems ridicolous that I PB’d when I scratched from a longer distance race because my leg was hurting – but seriously I was going to slow down if things started hurting and they didn’t (Thank you Advil???). I wasn’t going to risk a big injury, so I played it safe.

I went through the finishing chute, grabbed my medal and some gatorade then proceeded to make my way through Confederation Park. Before you could only enter the park if you had a bib. I really think they need to go back to this as the park because way too crowded and people crowd the one entrance. It took me 15 minutes to find P and Max. Also – the finishing snacks were fruit leathers and yoghurt. The last thing I want when finishing a race is yoghurt (dairy and running = well…use your imagination) and the fruit leather was kind of gross. Not going to lie, I see some race reviews of races that have amazing food and lately Ottawa Race food has been a big disappointment.


Of course my leg today feels ok – and now I’m thinking whether I could have actually run the 10K or not. Oh well – I will make up for it soon. My next race is supposed to be Emilie’s Run, but due to something that might come up, I might have to do a race exchange and sign up for another race with Somersault – we will see.

That is my race recap of the Ottawa Race Weekend 5K 🙂

Did you race this weekend? 

If you ran the Ottawa Race Weekend races, which one did you run?

What is your fave after race snack?

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  1. Kim

    Congrats on the run 🙂 Hope the leg feels better.

  2. Nikki

    I did the 5K and actually found the corrals and seeding better than the Army Run, although I did spend the first half of the race weaving (I pretty much spent the entire 5K doing that at the Army Run.) I’m not sure how to make that better without actually penning people into corrals, which has a lot of potential for disaster. I PR’d so I can’t complain too much! 🙂

    I liked the fruit leathers but totally agree about the yogurt. Blech. My husband did the half and got a banana as well, which I would have enjoyed!

    1. Rebecca (Post author)

      I ran the Army Run Half this year and my friends and I stayed well back, so I didn’t feel cramped. I was cramped on Saturday though – but I also did try and get me and the kids up at the front as much as possible. My co-worker and her family were in the back and they said it was really bad in terms of weaving.

      Banana!! Lucky Ducky!

  3. Nikki

    P.S. Congrats on the PR! 🙂

    1. Rebecca (Post author)

      Thanks 🙂


    Congrats on a strange ~ but legit PB!
    I don’t know why people don’t line themselves up where they belong in a race. I don’t get it.

  5. Kristi

    Hi Rebecca,
    I was looking for other Race Weekend reviews and found your blog. I did 2 races this weekend ( have never done that before!) as I ran the 5k with my 10 year old son and then did the half marathon on Sunday. It was also my first time doing 2 half marathons in 2 weeks – like you I was at the Day Before Mother’s Day race too. Needless to say I am a little tired right now!
    I’ve looked at some of your other posts and it looks like we do a lot of the same races. I haven’t decided if I am going to do Emilie’s Run this year but I will definitely be at some of the other Somersault races.
    Congrats on your PB! In many ways I find 5 and 10k races harder than the half marathons…at least on the halfs I can slow my pace down 🙂
    I’m an Ottawa running blogger too (and also a teacher by the way). Come check out my blog out if you can, though you are ahead of me, I haven’t written a full race review yet. Now that I have found it I will follow your blog to see your reviews of local races.

    1. Rebecca (Post author)

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

      Good job on doing two races this weekend! If I was feeling a bit better, I might have attempted both the 5K and the 10K on Saturday (some of the other teachers do back to backs).

  6. Krist

    On the Ottawa Race Weekend facebook page one person mentioned her friend was running the 5, 10 and half marathon on the weekend! I think if I did that I would be walking a fair bit of the half!

    1. Rebecca (Post author)


  7. Jesica @rUnladylike

    Way to listen to your body and not push yourself to do the 10K and possibly get hurt when your leg was saying No! And congrats on a PB despite how you were feeling. Awesome job! Looks like a good race.

    1. Rebecca (Post author)

      It is a good race – one of my faves!

  8. Anna

    That’s a great time! I’m sorry your leg was giving you trouble. That’s not a good combination with pre-race jitters!

    Running a shorter distance probably saved you from an injury 🙂

    1. Rebecca (Post author)

      lol – no it wasn’t. I was antsy all day because of it.

      I think so too – I started to hobble at 4K, so I figured it was a good call 🙂

  9. NIcole

    Wow great job on the PR with a sore leg! That race sounds nuts! Sometimes the smaller races are better.

    I’m sure you will have no problem breaking 60 minutes at your next 10K race.

    1. Rebecca (Post author)

      I hope so 🙂

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