Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Race Report: Midsummer Night's 30km

As part of my marathon training our coaches have encouraged us to participate in what is known as a "Tune-Up Race". Otherwise known as the "let's get real and see if you can get shit done out there" race. I was glad that they had chosen the Midsummer Night's Run because a) I had already registered for it (early birds can win prizes!) and b) for many reasons I actually really like this race (as opposed to the many that I don't).

The MNR offers two running distances - a 15km or a 30km and also a 15km walk. I ran the 15km last year and despite the intense exhaustion and the fact that I was running at NIGHT in AUGUST I had a great time. Last time I ran alone - didn't know a soul, no one to cheer me on except for my doting bf at the finish line. This time I had several new running friends, both from the clinic and also from the Pride RUN so it was great to cheer and be cheered on whilst in the thick of it all.

First things first: pre-race. Picking up the race kit was smooth as silk and the easiest pickup that I have ever made. Not only that but the race shirts are ADORABLE! SO much better than last year. AND they're purple! It couldn't get any better. Oh but wait - there was also a 45km pin recognizing the total distance that I had run with MNR. LOVE IT!

Race day: Unlike last year (which was delayed because of lengthy lines at bag check and the toilets) everything at the start line seemed to go off without a hitch. There were plenty of pre-race fluids available and dropping off my bag was easy breezy. All the road closures seemed secure and the announcements at the start line could be heard even in the back.

The actual race: At this point most of the race is a warm, fuzzy haze and from what I can recall there were no real moments of losing my shit. Figuratively or literally (thank you Tums). At the Around the Bay race in March I totally psyched myself out before I got to the start line - I wasn't kidding about the crying. This time around I was pretty confident, at least that I could finish. I gave myself tons of leeway just in case I couldn't hit my marathon race pace but I ended up needing to slow myself down every once in awhile and by the end I had so much energy that I was cheering on the people I was passing (I know, how smug and annoying am I?) and I was amazed that I could actually speed up in the last kilometre.

I made sure to continuously hydrate with Gatorade throughout the race and probably downed around 36 ounces of fluid and two energy gels from start to finish. On the advice of a runners nutrition book that I'm currently reading I also sipped Gatorade in the hours leading up to the race. I think that the combination of all this hydration was enough to keep me going for 3 hours and 8 minutes - a whole 4 minutes faster than my time five months ago!

Because we were meeting a friend for dinner we had to flee the scene pretty much as soon as I crossed the finish - but I'm hoping that next year I'll be able to partake in the beer gardens scene. It looked like a runner's version of the prom in there - all pimped out in intimidating race jackets. Who knows, if things keep going this well maybe I'll have my own pimped out race gear next year ;)

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