Melissa’s Road Race in Banff is becoming somewhat of a tradition for me as this was my third year running the race. This isn’t an easy race at all but nothing beats the beauty of the course. I left Calgary a few minutes later than I wanted to, and since they decided to pave part or Highway 1 in Canmore and direct traffic into one lane that meant that I was cutting things really close. By the time I parked, made a quick pit stop and got to the race site I had 7 minutes before go time. I quickly checked my bag, saw a few friends and it was go time.
I didn’t have any thoughts of a PR in my head because my run training has been pretty sporadic. Sure, I’ve been getting my speed work in, but that is about it. Just to give you an idea of the course, here is the elevation profile:
The beginning of the race was crowded! I stuck to the edge of the road and tried to run past some of the slower folks as I didn’t want to get stuck behind them. Before I knew it we were at Tunnel Mountain. Time to start climbing! My goal was to run all the way up the mountain. What I didn’t realize was that the route had changed slightly and we now had to run farther up the mountain than before. As we turned a corner and I still couldn’t see where the turn around was I may have said some not nice things about the course, but most of the people around me felt the same way! I saw my teammate James and he was already on the way down the hill and was looking strong! Finally I hit the turnaround and it was time to head downhill.
Yippee! Running down the hill was fun and I just let my legs go as fast as they wanted to. I had expected things to open up by now but the course was still really crowded around me. I hit the 5K mark in 30:21.
As the course flattened out it also narrowed. I wound up getting stuck behind some folks that were going just a teeny bit slower than I wanted to go, but because it was so narrow it was too tough to pass them. One thing about the course change that I did like was that the last half of the course was quite flat. Previously we’ve run down a very narrow out and back section along Cave and Basin road. You run down, then on the uphill on the way out it gets really clogged as people stop to walk and there is no way to pass them. I was really happy about this section being taken out!
There was absolutely no shot of a PR on this day. My legs were toast near the end. So much so that I didn’t even have the ability to sprint it in to the finish. I was blown past by a ton of people as they all sprinted it in and I chugged along. Final time? 59:16. That means I did something today that I have never done before in a 10K race. Negative splits! And something else that I really like:
Mile 4: 9:37
Mile 5: 9:34
Mile 6: 9:27
Progressively getting faster in the last half of the race. Not too bad eh? So while it may not have been a PR I think I executed the race pretty well.
Chip Time: 59:16
Overall 948 out of 2959
433 out of 2002 Females (Wow, there were a lot more women runners out there than men!!)
Women 30-39 179 out of 793
And one other interesting tid bit? I raced in running shorts for the first time since April 2006! I think I still like racing in running skirts better though!