It has been awhile since my last big race – but it is finally time for my 2nd “must-do” race of the year – Army Run! This year is a special year as it is the 10th year of Army Run and with that comes a new race (the 10K) and a new challenge (Vimy Challenge). I originally registered for the Commander’s Challenge (5K + the Half), but quickly changed to the Vimy Challenge (5K and 10K) when they announced the new addition. I’m looking forward to the race as Army Run organizes a great race and like Ottawa Race Weekend, it seems like everyone is racing it.
For Vimy Challenge participants, we get a special shirt and coin at the end of the race, in addition to the dog tags medals. For Commander’s Challenge participants, they get a special coin and shirt, but also a hat and pull-over. If you are running the half marathon, you will also get a beer at the finish line! The 10K race is new to the Army Run and from what I understand, this year might be the only time the race is offered. The Vimy Challenge participants will pretty much run the race back to back. The 5K starts at 8am and the 10K starts at 8:45am. For the most part, that means finishing the 5K, and quickly making the trek to the 10K start. Luckily they have created a “transition” zone right after the medal so we can quickly make our way back to the start. For those new to Ottawa races, the park where the recovery area is located tends to be clogged with people and can take 10-15 minutes to get out off – the transition zone will only be used by Vimy/Commander’s Challenge participants.
My goal for the Vimy Challenge has always been to warm-up with the 5K and try to PB the 10K. I am not even going to attempt trying to run fast for the 5K as that will most likely result in another calf strain. Not worth it – and I’m not in 5K PB shape as I haven’t been training specifically for a 5K. I have a pretty good chance of PBing the 10K – but even that will depend on the heat. If you have been paying attention to the weather, you know that Ottawa finally got some summer weather. Once again, Ottawa runners who have been running their long-runs in under 10C weather (I ran on Sunday in 7C weather in a long sleeved shirt), are now going to be racing in at least 15C weather. Not ideal for many of us. BUT – I still think I can work through a decent 10K race regardless. We shall see!
I would like to run the 5K in 27-29 minutes and run the 10K in just under 54 minutes. Definitely possible – but again, the heat could play a role in being a bit slower. I’ve had a solid few weeks of running – but I haven’t been doing speed work and have just concentrated on running efficiently and safely so I do not strain my calves (again). I’ve run up to 12KM in a long run and have been running continuously (not 10 and 1’s), only stopping to quickly grab a drink of water. I ran the Grimsby 10K (my current PB) with little training, so who knows what will happen.
Regardless, I’m just going to enjoy the Army Run. It is a great race that is different from other races. The expo is fantastic and there is lots to do, even for kids. Max has been asking for weeks when the Army race was happening because he loves visiting all the military vehicles (and the bouncy tents!). I’m looking forward to seeing some running friends and having a good time. Let me know what you are racing and maybe I will see you there!