It’s up to me now (NYC Half report)

By March 22, 2011News

Sorry if there was anyone anxiously awaiting an update following the race. I got a bit lazy and slept through all of Sunday afternoon, and then yesterday was a bit of a nightmare getting back to Vancouver with cancelled flights and lost luggage!

Sunday’s race at the NYC half in NYC was about as good as I could have asked for: 1:02:14 for 11th place. I think that is #3 on Canadian all-time list (although I am not sure it counts, I seem to have a knack for choosing races on courses that are net downhill 🙂 ). Funny, it shows you how deep this sport is, and what great work the crew at New York Road Runners (NYRR) does in putting together a race, I was 11th in a single race, yet ran one of the fastest times by a Canadian ever. My best prior to this was 1:03:54, so a 1:40 PB.

I think generally the course ran pretty fast on race day. We had a good tailwind the last 3 miles and a lot of guys were pleasantly surprised with their results (not common among us runners). It was pretty cold at the start, which might have been a blessing in disguise as the pace was slow for the first mile. It seemed no one wanted to take off straight away in the cold and into the wind.

The lead pack finally started rolling after 5k. I managed to float around the back of the pack for a mile or so. I was making a good effort to stick with the pack, yet trying to be sensible. I thought the pace might continue to yo-yo (go fast for a few minutes then slow back down), so I didn’t want to lose contact straight away if they did decide to ease of the pace again. I figured the longer I could be dragged along like that the better. But, around 4 miles my attempts became too much and I just tried to find my own rhythm. I was on my own at that point, with a small group forming about 20metres back.

I was feeling good so really focused on running strong up and down the hills in Central Park from miles 4-6. I just managed to keep it rolling from there focusing on catching a few guys that fell off the lead pack including Meb Keflezighi (Olympic silver medalist and NYC marathon champ) who was having a tough day. Admittedly it was a pretty cool feeling to roll up on Meb, he’s definitely someone I really admire in the sport, heck I’m even reading his book right now. He had tones of supporters lining the course and that sort of motivated me to keep pushing and pulling him along. But I broke him at about 8 miles coming out of central park as I threw in a good surge on the downhill into Time Square.

I was continually telling myself to keep pushing, yet try to relax some at the same time. By about 10 miles I feared blowing up, so tried to ease off a little bit from 10-11 miles. That mile seemed to take forever and I was getting scared it was going to be a long last few miles. I was caught near to the 11 mile mark by a Mexican – Alejandro Suarez. I let him lead a little from 11-12 cause I was feeling a bit rough and had been leading (my solo pack) for 8 miles at that point. That mile went by super quick and I knew I wasn’t going to blow-up at all so I took off on him with a mile to go and managed to hold him off all the way to the finish.

For a few minutes I was disappointed cause I didn’t break 1:02. But, soon after I realized I had run well. I did exactly what I had hoped to – compete. And in the end the time came to me too. It was sort of nice to confirm my result from CIM with a solid run here. I’m definitely running with a lot more confidence out there. And this was certainly a fun race, especially since I got to run against so many great guys that I usually just read about on 🙂  Big thanks to David Monti, Sam Grotewold and everyone at NYRR for inviting me and putting on such a great event.

I didn’t wear a watch, and wasn’t conscious of a ton of splits, besides the first mile.

The results show 5k splits of 15:05, 29:47 (14:42), 44:24 (14:37), 59:06 (14:42).

You can watch the taped live broadcast here. My mizuno racing singlet is orange this year. You might be able to pick me out in the first few miles, as I seem to be a bit taller than most!?!

Also, check out Galen Rupp’s mask, meant to help warm the air before entering his lungs, to avoid aggravating his asthma (Boyd’s taking notes here). The guy is an amazing runner for whom I have a huge amount of respect, but the mask puzzled me. As we were being walked to the start line this guy popped into my peripheral vision that looked like some sort of ninja. I thought it was just some jogger joking around, and didn’t realize it was Rupp for another 2 or 3 minutes. Hey, it worked for the guy – he finished 3rd more than 90 secs ahead of me!

Anyways, hopefully I come off this race with my body feeling ok and can roll into the next block of training without much trouble. Next up is the Vancouver Sun Run on April 17. I need to redeem myself out there after last years subpar performance.

Pretty cool pic of me crossing the finish line