Tuesday, May 17, 2011

May 14, 2011 New Hamburg Hamburger Hill 7 mile road race - Race Report (sort of)

I say this is "sort of" my race report, because it wasn't really much of a race for me.   The prior day, I did a 4K Ironman swim, a 135k bike ride and a 10K brick run off of the bike.   In addition, since I wanted to get a long run of about 21K in this weekend, I decided to do this race twice.   Doing it once and then turning around and doing it again wasn't really what I wanted to do, so I decided to run it before the race.   I got to the race site at the New Hamburg Wilmot arena a little more than an hour early.   I was one of the first ones to get my timing chip and race number, and then I got ready to head out and do the race course once before coming back for the official 9am start time.

I left the arena about 8:10am planning to arrive back at the start line with about 5 minutes to spare before the race start.   The weather wasn't very good this day, and it off and on rained quite steadily.   The one good thing was that it wasn't too cold and it wasn't too windy.   There was a slight headwind heading east towards Sandhills road, but it wasn't too bad.

I was taking it fairly easy (about a 4:28/km pace), and after reaching the 5K marker of the race (the turn around point is just past 5.5K) I simply decided to turn around and head back to make the first run an even 10K.

With about 5-10 minutes to the official start of the race, I got back to the arena and put my water bottle that I was carrying for the first lap in my car, put on my race belt and jogged over to the starting line.   The race was a few minutes late to start, but eventually it got going.    

Last year, I won the Wilmot township division for fastest male, finishing just over 43 minutes I think (or about a 3:51/km pace).   This was not an option this year, as I just would not have been able to run that fast with all the training I've been doing (distance vs. speed).   I was happy to just take it easy and run comfortably.   I ran the first 4K of the race with George Clark, a friend of mine from Kitchener.   We were together until the big climb at Sandhills, where my legs started to get fatigued, so I encouraged George to carry on, while I back off the pace a bit.   Up until this point, I was doing about a 4:16/K pace, which quickly dropped off as I made my way up the hill on Sandhills road.   From this point forward, I was on my own.   There really was nobody to catch, and there wasn't anyone coming up on me from behind to run with.    So I decided to just run comfortably back to the arena and give words of encouragement and a few hand slaps to all the people I knew.

There was one other runner that stayed about 30-50m back of me for most of the return trip back to the finish line.   I kept watching to see if she was coming up, but she never really gained much ground, so I just kept trucking along back to the finish line.

The rain continued off and on throughout the race, but it didn't really matter.   Once you were wet, you were wet and it didn't really impact things at all.

Crossing the finish line, I was all smiles and barely out of breath.   I knew there was another runner from Baden (another small town in Wilmot township)that was well ahead of me in the race, so there was no chance of even "accidentally" winning the Wilmot township division this year.   As it turns out, there were two speedy guys from Baden, both finishing within about 45 seconds of each other, and about 5 or 6 minutes ahead of me.   In the end, I still got 3rd place in the Wilmot Township division in a time of 48:59 (last year I ran 43:26).   I really didn't care what my time was, as I just wanted the distance today, after yesterday's big training day.   Getting 3rd was just a bonus.

The following link are the race results:

Hamburger Hill 7 mile road race - Wilmot Township division

The great thing about this race is after the race.   One of the ice pads from the twin pad arena in town has the ice taken out, so everyone gets to relax and refuel inside out of the elements.    There was massage and some ART provided by the race sponsors.   I got some ART from Adam Willliamson of Dearborn Health.   This is actually who I go to see normally, so it was great to get the "free" session after the race.

In addition, the post race food here is some of the best around.   There was lot's of gatorade, chili, pizza, fruit, bagels, buns, cookies, etc.   Honestly, as the race director, Ted Seyler has told me, "This is the best race you have never heard of".   The turn-out is never too big, despite the challenging course and awesome venue for the post race activities.   There was also sufficient shower facilities if you wanted to get cleaned up after being out in the rain.   This year, there was a 200 m and 1K kids fun run which both my kids participated in, a 3K, 5K and the 7mile race, so lot's of different variety and something for everyone.   Overall, there was likely only about 200 or so people that participated across all three races (not including the kids races).   Hopefully in the future, we'll get better weather for this and the turnout can be much higher.

So overall, I was pleased with the day, and glad that a pretty large training weekend was done.   Between the brick run the night before and the double race, I did 31K of running to go along with 135K biking and 4K swimming, and making another decent step towards Ironman Austria on July 3, 2011.

Here's my Garmin data for the "race"

Hamburger Hill 7 mile road race - Garmin Data

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