Sunday, September 18, 2011

Detroit Zoo Run For The Wild 10km, Huntington Woods, MI - 18th September 2011

Detroit Zoo Run For The Wild

This won't be quite as detailed as previous race posts as it wasn't quite as eventful as the previous ones have bee.

Up bright and early as usual for race day although my preparations, which involved carb loading a few beers the previous evening were less than perfect. The weather was gorgeous and we headed out to the zoo. I was a wee bit concerned about parking as the 5km was starting at 8am, while the 10km wasn't until 8:45am, but they were completely unfounded as we got parked in the multi-storey, no problem.

The place we bedlam, with people milling about all over. 5km  runners were starting to appear and we decided to just head down to the starting line after a short sojourn to the rest room. I was feeling pretty good about the run as myself and Bren had decided to drive the course the previous day, when I was picking up my packet. The course is very flat, through a nice residential neighborhood of established homes, all in all very civilized. This was going to be my biggest race to date, with over 600 runners expected in the 10km.

At exactly 8:45am, the race got underway, I started quite near the front which I suspect was my undoing, psychologically. I didn't start particularly fast, but I wasn't concerned as I planned on keeping some energy in the bag for my big kick, later. The first mile was nice and straight, I put in a solid 8:44, which works fine for me. The bizarre thing is that people kept passing me, I must have started in front of the faster runners and they were catching up. I then started something that I have managed to avoid over the past few weeks, what I like to call pace creep, when my pace gets slower and slower with each mile. Mile two comes in at 9:09, three at 9:29 then four at 9:38, five comes along at 9:49. Now this isn't as bad a creep as I used to do, which was a solid 30s per mile, but it is still concerning. For at least the first four miles, people kept passing me and I think it was getting to me, I even had a couple of minutes of doubt, around mile 3.5, when I wondered if it should be out there at all. When I start mile six I decide that this can't continue and I make a concerted effort to try and up my pace and finish strong as opposed to my usual finish that typically involves the use of defibrillator. I did manage to run the whole way, which has been a goal of mine, which was nice.

A couple of general comments on the event as a whole;

  • Three water stations was nice and they were perfectly situated
  • Plenty course marshalls kept the traffic away
  • Beautiful area for running
  • A tech shirt as opposed to a regular t-shirt would have been nice
  • What was the deal with running out of water just after I crossed the finish line, it also took me a good two or three minutes to find water? The info that there was plenty inside the zoo, a ten minute walk away wasn't much consolation.
Cotton shirt
I'd do it again, though.

Here's how the Garmin saw it -

Results are in - I'll take it, overall 293 out of 630, 183 out of 256 men, 29th out of 41 in my age group,

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