Sunday, May 20, 2012

2012 Hamburger Hill 7 Mile Road Race - Race Report

Being a race in my hometown, I did not have to get up any earlier then I normally would have.   After getting up, I got a bit of food in me and then headed out on my mountain bike to just “wake up” the legs and get a bit of blood flowing.

The kids were also racing today, so once we got everyone packed up, we headed over to the Wilmot Recreation Complex where the race took place.  

After arriving, we quickly looked up our bib numbers and got our race kits.   You’d think that with how many races I’ve done, I’d have this process down pat, but for some reason, I forgot to grab my timing chip.   I didn’t notice this until about 5 minutes before the start when someone pointed it out and I had to quickly run inside and grab it.   Luckily, it wasn’t far, and it didn’t take long before I was back at the starting line.

Prior to the race, I just spent some time hanging out and talking with people and doing some stretching and warming up.

This year’s race was the third time I’ve done this race, so I know the course well.   It starts out flat for about 1.5K, and then it’s basically hilly the rest of the way.

At just after 9am, the horn of the local fire department truck went off, and the race was on!   Here are a few pictures from the start.

For the first K of the race, we enjoyed a slight tailwind and the pace was pretty quick.   There was a group of 4 of us that took off out front as I basically lead the small pack through 1K.   In this group was myself, Matthew Ort, Ken MacAlpine and Joe Harker.   Joe is from another small town in Wilmot township called Baden, and he won the Wilmot Township division last year with a pretty quick time.   I wasn’t really competing for that last year, as I did the race twice as a long training run in preparation for Ironman Austria.   This year I wanted to compete for the win!

After 1K, Ken started to pull away for the three of us as we headed downhill past Erb transport.   Joe and Matthew also started to pull away from myself, leaving me in 4th place.  

As we turned right onto Sandhills and faced the steepest climb of the race, Matthew began pulling away from Joe and I started to slowly gain some ground on him.   Up and over Sandhills, I slowly picked away at the distance between Joe and myself.   After Sandhills, it is a fast decent to the turn-around point at about the 5.5K marker.   At the turn-around, I was only about 10 meters behind Joe.

Not long after making the turn, I caught up to Joe and began pulling away from him as we began the climb back up to the top of Sandhills.   This left me in 3rd place, and Matthew Ort also caught and passed Ken, leaving him in second place.

Before the race, Ken told me he ran the Toronto marathon the weekend before in 2:47 (smoking fast!) so I was hoping there was a chance his legs were going to get heavy and maybe I could catch him.  

I worked hard on the downhill section after Sandhills and back towards the Rec Complex as we fought a bit of a tough headwind.   By the time we reached the climb in front of Erb transport, I was within about 50 or 75 meters of Ken and I had put about 300-400 meters on Joe, sitting comfortably in 3rd place.

Amazingly, Ken’s legs stayed strong, as I worked as hard as I could really, but could not catch him before the finish.   He finished 2nd and I got 3rd overall out of 59 runners in a time of 41:38, for a 3:43/K pace and captured the fastest Wilmot male category, which is what I was really after today!

Here is the 7 mile race results:

Here is my garmin data from the race:

As I said previously, my kids were also racing.   Holden did the 3K race, where he did great again and finished 8th out of 51 runners with another sub 14 minute 3K.   Below is a link to the 3K race results:

2012 New Hamburg 3K road race results

Below are some pictures of the kids doing their race.   Tate, who is only 4 did the 1K and did an amazing job.   He ran the whole way and was very determined to push hard when he was starting to get tired.   Amazingly he even beat a bunch of kids that were 9 years old!   Awesome job Taters!!!

Next up for me is the Victoria's Duathlon, which is actually tomorrow, since it took me a week to get around to doing this race report.   The weather is looking awesome so I'm hoping it will be a great race.   I finally got my TT bike from Braun's and so I hope I can hammer out a fast 30K at the race tomorrow.   We'll see how it goes!

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