Today was my second attempt at being a pace bunny, the first was in last year’s Army Run 5km race. This year I moved up to the half marathon and my task was a 1:50 run/walk.
I was downtown pretty early this morning in order to drop my wife off for the 5 km race. It was still cool out but right away it felt like it was going to be a great day for running with the sun shining.
I managed to get lined up in the corrals about 20 minutes before the half-marathon started. As to be expected off the start it was crowded as we wound our way past the War Memorial and on to Wellington. The crowd started to thin out a bit once we hit the Ottawa River Parkway, about 2 km in, and from that point I had no difficulty hitting my goal pace for the race which was just under 5:00/km. From this point I seemed to build a group of runners who would follow for most of the rest of the to the finish line.
As we headed into Rockliffe Park, around 14-15 km, I noticed I was a bit ahead of my goal time and slowed my pace as we turned around and headed back up the hill by Rideau Hall.
The crowd around me seemed to grow bigger once we were back along the canal and heading toward the Pretoria Bridge, about 18-20 km. From that point on I knew I was going to come in pretty close to my goal time. After we passed the 20 km sign I let everyone around me know that we were on track to finish just under 1:50 according to my chip time.
In the end I crossed the finish line with a gun time of 1:50:30 and a chip time of 1:49:09.
The best part of the day was having runners come up to me and thank me after we crossed the finish line. It was great to see that the runners who had followed me to the finish line were so happy with their results. That in itself made the whole day worthwhile for me.
This is definitely something I could turn into a yearly routine if the opportunity presents itself.