The last race of 2018 is in the books!
On Saturday I ran La course des Patriotes 10KM-ish race (more on the ish below) in Stittsville. The race is based out of Paul Desmarais – a French Catholic school about 15 minutes away from my house. I signed up for the obvious reason that it was close, but also because it was affordable, supported a local high school and was a 10km race. The event fee was $20 (free for students in that school board). There wasn’t a t-shirt but we did receive a nice medal, a slice of pizza and a $20 off coupon for a local sporting store.
On Saturday morning, I slept in a bit and headed towards the school. I think I left my house with an hour to go before the race start – I love local races! Bib pickup was done at the school and there was plenty of parking with volunteers out to direct traffic. I met up with some Run Ottawa friends and used the washroom about 3 times before the start. I figure I would attempt a PB – but knew that even if it was a PB race, it would be a small PB as I had barely run in the past 2 weeks. The race start/finish was on the trails/roads just outside the high school. It was a cold morning, so we were lucky to have a nice school to stay warm in. About 10 minutes to go, they told us to go to the start. The race featured both a 5K and a 10K. Both races started at the same time. The race featured a decent sized crowd – there was over 200 runners for the 5K and about 45 for the 10K (which I didn’t know at the time – more on that below).
Soon enough – the race started and we were running through the trail. The race started on the TCT (Trans Canada Trail) – starting on a segment that I regularly run on. It was the first time that I’ve ever felt crowded on the trail! We proceeded to Shea road and ran on the left hand shoulder of the road (which had a big bike lane). After the trail portion, we were a bit more spread out so the race didn’t feel overly crowded. From KM 2-4ish, I had a young boy running just in front of me. Every time he saw me in the corner of his eye, he took off. Guess I was pacing him? We then turned onto Fernbank which was partially closed. This was a good thing because I was able to avoid the slant on the road. What I wasn’t able to avoid was the wind. So much wind! This portion of Fernbank is currently a rural road (it won’t be for long – it is turning into more suburban housing and a new high school). I was definitely not prepared for this 10K race – so I started feeling it in my legs around the 4K mark. I saw just up ahead my Run Ottawa Friends, Lisa and Vicki. Lisa was aiming for a big 5K PB with Vicki pacing (and then continuing to run the 10K). I did eventually catch up to them, but with some encouragement, Lisa finished strong and ran past me to finish her race.
Vicki and I continued through to run another lap of the 5K route. this is when I noticed that there was a very large gap between the start line and the finish line. I knew then that the course would be long. We were already measuring about 100m long, so I now knew I would be at least 300m long, which is over 1.5 minutes of extra time. I saw my PB float away at this point. There since we were running on a path/along the shoulder of the road, there was no weaving/running the tangents that could have helped. Ideally the race would have had the 10K at a different time/spot but knowing the route it would be a hard change to fix. I actually just LOL’d at Strava as even the Strava Segment shows the course a bit long.
Anyways – back to the race. Vicki surged head and I eventually passed another young runner on the trail. These were the only two people I saw for the rest of the race. It was a very weird feeling to have no one really in front or behind you. I just concentrated on staying steady and not stopping. I definitely wanted to take a walking break during KM 7-8 but I didn’t. That wind returned for the 9th KM and I ran my slowest KM at 5:34. My KM splits were not bad for an unprepared race:
KM 1 – 5:25
KM 2 – 5:15
KM 3 – 5:12
KM 4 – 5:19
KM 5 – 5:18
KM 6 – 5:17
KM 7 – 5:20
KM 8 – 5:25
KM 9 – 5:34
KM 10 – 5:19
The last 450m – 2:13 lol
Following two photos were taken by Judy Piel
Anyways – although I hit 10KM at 53:07 – I actually crossed the finish at 55:36. I’m assuming that I would have been more like 53:45 as my watch was beeping about 100m ahead of the KM marking. Although technically I guess you could say that I did get a PB – I am not counting it as I always go by the official results for PB times. Kind of annoying, but what can you do?
I finished 5th female and 18th overall. After the race we were treated with water, homemade muffins, bananas and a nice slice of pizza. Overall the race was fun and I will probably be back next year, but for the 5K 😉
That is the end of the 2018 season!