Wednesday, 10 June 2015

2015 Niagara Falls Women's HM race report

I would have never guessed, after all the races I've done, that NFWHM would be the one where I have the most meaningful streak going.  I've done ATB and the Chilly HM more times, but I have run Niagara Women's since the inaugural race in 2012.  

Went to pick up race kits for Kim and myself, and couldn't pass up a chance to run the southern terminus of the Bruce Trail.  The cairn is located near Brock's Monument at Queenston Heights.  My Canadian history interests have mainly focused on WWI, but I started reading about the War of 1812 after visiting the monument and it was fascinating.  In no other war have the Americans had their asses kicked so many times by the British/Canadians! and very close to home, Burlington Heights is as far as the Americans have ever invaded into Canada. /end history lesson.
A guy took pity on me contorting to get a selfie at the cairn and graciously offered to take my picture.
Race morning, Kim was late picking me up because she took the wrong exit off the highway, and there was a loooong lineup of cars to get into the parking lot. (everyone who didn't pre-pay for the parking pass at kit pickup, shame on you!) We both really had to go and when we parked with 10 minutes to race start, decided not to risk porta-potty lineups and went in the bushes.

The race start was delayed several minutes due to the number of people still arriving, so I didn't manage to seed myself correctly; I was ahead of the 2:10 pacer in the corral. 

I chose to use my new Garmin Fenix, uh because it's new, instead of my old reliable 210.  Support for intervals on the Fenix must be added manually, and I didn't have a chance to test it out before the race.  So at the race start, I was fumbling with the buttons, and didn't figure out how to turn on the intervals until 3K in.  I ran the first 2 sets of run/walk "manually" and if you look at the splits, it was recorded as one big chunk, like a warmup, so I had no idea whether or not my running pace was right.  I ran by feel and that wasn't very reliable, considering the first 3K of the course is downhill, but I hit 5K at 31:xx, so all was good.

We hit the halfway point at exactly 1:07.  I started out with a large group, but one girl (Nicole) was right by my side.  I called her Rebecca in my head. Nicole's Garmin was beeping the 10/1s about 5 seconds before mine and it was driving me loony.  

I'm posting this picture because WTF? why is my tongue sticking out?
Technology got the better of me later on, when I got a FB notification on my Garmin, and accidentally turned it off for a few seconds while trying to dismiss the notification.  So I said to Nicole that we'd go with her 10/1s for the rest of the race.  

Posting this picture because my arms look fucking ripped.  Kettlebells have been paying off!

"A photographer, everybody wave!" That's Nicole in the pink socks.
Making the final turn, the Garmin was showing 2:13:xx so unless I totally walked the last stretch, I would again miss the sweet spot of being < 15s under my goal time.  I'd rather be a lot under than dawdling too much and being 2 seconds over like at Chilly though!  Nicole was the only person who stuck with me to the finish.  Not sure what happened to the rest of the group.  I ran the 2nd half in 1:07:29 so can't fault the pace bunny for being erratic. 

Nicole said she was recovering from hip bursitis, glad she finished strong.
I wore my InknBurn lace singlet that I had originally bought for Sulphur, but gave me horrible pit chafe on a training run.  Thankfully, there were no chafe problems, as I put on about half a stick of glide beforehand.

Kim wanted to go back and take pictures with the cute firefighters. Wasn't gonna argue with that.
Official chip time: 2:14:29
Field placement: 583/2337
AG: 35-39
AG placement: 106/438
Gender placement: 571/2322