Tuesday morning I ran my latest race. Running a 10 km race on Canada Day has become a bit of a tradition for me. With the races starting early in the morning I find it to be a great way to start the holiday and in my opinion downtown Ottawa with Parliament Hill as a backdrop is the best location for a race on Canada Day.
Last year I ended up finishing this race in 41:00 which at the time was a 10 km pb for me. The plan for this year was to go for another pb in the 10 km meaning I needed to beat 40:30.
The weather can often be a factor for this race because it can be really hot and humid first thing in the morning in early July. This year the race got started at 8:15 which was about an hour later than last year.
The course was two loops of an out and back course along the Ottawa River, starting and finishing at the Canadian War Museum. The course was mainly flat course with the exception of with a small hill at about the midpoint of the course, those of you who have run the Ottawa Marathon in the least few years will know what hill I am talking about.
In addition to the heat and humidity it was also windy this year and given the direction of the course we would have to run into the wind for the forst half of each lap.
I got off to a quick start. One runner took off ahead of me and initially I tried to keep up but realizing quickly that was unrealistic I dropped back and settled into my goal pace of just under 4:00/km.
I really started to feel the heat over the second lap of the race and my pace creeped up over 4:00/km. By the time I hit the 7 km mark I was pretty sure that my attempt at a pb was not going to be succesful but I still felt I could keep close to last year’s time. I gave myself a bit of a break by walking through the last water station to take a breether and take time to drink some water.
I took off again from there and ended up crossing the line in 41:42, about a minute slower than my time from last year’s race. From discussions after the race it sounded a number of other runners had missed their goal by about a minute due to the heat.
Overall I am still pleased with my result. It is not a pb but I did as good as I could given the conditions Tuesday morning. I am also planning at least one more attempt at my 10 km pb this summer so this was a good start to the summer racing season.