Race report: 2012 Green Sock Half MarathonPosted: 18 March 2012
This race provided slightly different swag: green technical socks. For me, I preferred them over another technical shirt, of which I have way too many. I entered this race partially as a dress rehearsal for the marathon (now
six seven weeks away), but also to run off-road for a change. The trails around Burnaby Lake aren’t that technical, but it’s different enough from the concrete and asphalt on which I usually run. I also figured that the effort required to expend 21.1 km (at 6:00/km pace) would be about equal to the 30 km at 7:00 pace I originally scheduled for this day.
My goal for this race was to run at my marathon goal pace of 6:10/km (9:55/mi) for most of it and attain a negative split. There were also race lengths of 5 km and 7 miles, but the field was small enough (capped at 300) that everyone started at the same time. After the usual logjam in the first kilometre, the crowd quickly thinned out, while I settled on that goal pace. While I have run on the north-side trails of Burnaby Lake Regional Park, this was the first time I ran on the south side, and thus completing a loop of the park. It was cool and cloudy during the run, with occasional misty bursts; in other words, really nice March running weather.
In order to achieve a negative split, I intended to increase my speed slightly in the first half of the second loop around the lake, then really go for it in the second half. (The race course crosses a small dam across the Brunette River, marking the unofficial split between the two halves of the loop.) I executed that plan perfectly. I did want to break at least 2:06, or 6:00/km (9:39/mi), but as I made my way past the 20 km marker, it didn’t look likely. But I found that I crossed the finish line in under 2:05 – 2:04:43.7 to be precise (PDF of results). The time on my watch was pretty close, but the distance wasn’t: 20.77 km was what my Garmin recorded. Until the race organizers confirm it, I’ll take Mr Garmin as accurate based on the km splits (most of the on-course markers were actually placed 100 m ahead, so that the 8 km marker is actually 8.1 km).
I’m not too fussed right now on the distance discrepancy, since it’s a small race. Considering how well I did in pace management, it’s not that big a deal for me that I didn’t exactly run 21.1 km. How much of a difference in distance (over or under) would get you to complain to the race organizers?
(Updated 03/20/2012, 20:15, because I seemed to be a bit too eager in counting down to the marathon.)