Wednesday, May 12, 2010

2010 Vancouver Sun Run Race Report

0:19:35 (5km split)
0:39:03 (Official Chip Time)!!!
Placed 32 Age group, 235 Overall

(previous pb 39:57 achieved in 2007 Richmond Flatlands 10K)

Check. Check. And Check!!! =)

As a recap, lately leading up to the Sun Run, I’d been engaging in feverish discussions with family, friends and even strangers about just how badly I wanted this goal of sub-40 minutes 10K time. The variables were stacked for me this year, and expectations were high especially after years of missing the mark. Being only nearly half a minute off last year, and equipped with new gadgets this time, such as racing flats and GPS watch, and not to mention more experience with the course and better racing weather in early May, I just couldn’t bear to let everyone down this year. That just wouldn’t be cool by my books.

I'm pleased to inform that the Sun Run this past Sunday went all according to the plan. The missing pieces to the puzzle came together on this great Mother’s Day. What a relief!

I achieved my goal time of sub-40 in smashing fashion with an official time of 39:03. In addition, due to the layout of the Sun Run course with the big hill approach to Burrard Bridge before the 5km mark, I registered a negative split but just barely by a few seconds. In addition, this is my first time pb-ing in the Sun Run, which is not an easy feat especially with the many people obstacles presented in the Sun Run.

Race Morning:

The run started with some minor jitters, but I managed to overcome them. The wait before the cold start got my legs twitching and I had fears that my right foot injury I had a month ago would come back to haunt me and cause more discomfort. Also my pacing partner failed to show up to our meeting spot, and I realized I had to do this alone. Jared Penner and Andrew Wight were also starting with me, but both of them had different goals in mind. Andrew offered a little piece of advice for cracking the prestigious  sub-40 mark by running a negative-split and booking it on the last kilometre when he did his with a blistering 3:40 last km.

As the time crept up to 9am start time, the gun was off and I tried keeping Jared within my sights. He accelerated so fast, I had no chance of keeping right behind his slipstream when I got boxed in by several runners. Instead it was amazing to see how many people you knew running through the first kilometre stretch. Marco Cusano was one of the many, and he was only seconds from breaking sub 40 last year in the Sun Run.

Jared was a great person to chase in the crowd with the awesome UBCTC tech tee. At one point, I received a very generous friendly elbow by a man. It didn’t feel good, but I just kept rolling.

All I was thinking to myself was BANKED TIME, how much time I had on breaking sub-40. Sub-40 is a nice number to work with since the numbers are multiples of 4. My concentration from 2 km onwards was just about racing my own race and was not being distracted by the masses of the crowd.

I felt good with my pace and when my watch instantaneous pace went over 4 min/km, I picked up the pace ever so slightly.

The dreaded uphill approach to Burrard Bridge felt great, as I was maintaining a 4-5minute climbing pace. Passing the 5km mark, I knew I could pick up the pace and booked down the bridge at 3:20s. Only metres after passing the 6km, Jared was starting to move backwards relative to the field and I tried cheering him on.

I ran with the feeling Jared was behind me the entire time and didn’t bother looking back. It’s a trick I learned from climbing uphills on the bike to bear the hurt factor. The run still felt great, as I was still continuing to reel more runners in at every kilometre. Usually I would fade at this point like in previous years.

By the last kilometre, I just emptied the tank and booked it. I realized my GPS watch was short by 20metres for every kilometre on the run course and knew that I still had a healthy amount of banked time to work with.

My last 1.2 km pace was averaging 3:38 min/km pace. I took a peek at the clock time and was under 40 minute gun time! Yipeee! This was definitely a fist pump worthy moment.

Split Times! 

Perhaps next year I should shoot for sub-38 blue qualifier, eh? Until then, UBC Tri is only a week away. I’m so stoked for it.

Big thanks for all the support, really appreciate it.

Big congratulations for all the sun runners and UBCTC team for winning yet another divison title! =D