I ran my latest race today. I look forward to the Army Run every year and find a way to fit it into my running schedule. It is one of the fastest growing races in Canada and a lot of fun to participate in.
With me focusing on fall marathons it has mainly ended up serving as a training run. Once again this year that was the case as I prepare to run STWM in Toronto next month. Growing up in a military family also gives me another appreciation for this race.
Since I have often used this race as a training run for marathon training i have made it an annual tradition to volunteer as a pace bunny. I have paced at the Army Run four out of the last five years now. The one year Imissed in that stretch was the result of a sprained ankle the week before the race two years ago. I enjoy the role of pace bunny because it gives me an opportunity to focus on helping others instead of obsessing over my own goals.
Once again this year I paced the half-marathon. This year my target was 1:45, a 5:00/km pace. The pace is roughly the pace of my easy runs so it fit well into my schedule.
Since I live close to the start line for this race I had the benefit of not having to head out too early. Since my house is about 2 km from the start line I was able to get in an easy warm up run on my way to the start line.
Once we got going it was pretty congested for the first couple of km through downtown but after that it was not a problem maintaining my goal pace. I had a big group with me this year, certainly bigger than the group I had last year when I paced 1:35.
A new touch this year was the addition of the grounds of Rideau Hall, the residence of the Gobernor General of Canada, to the course. As we went through the grounds the Governor General and his wife were there to encourage the runners. Since the President of South Korea is currently here on a state visit and staying at Rideau Hall some of his entourage were also out encouraging the runners.
Although hot and humid the weather was decent for most of the race. Unfortunately the rain that was in the forecast hit us as we reached Rideau Hall and stayed with us for the rest of the race. Fortunately we only had to run in the rain for a half hour. The slower pace groups were stuck in steady rainfor much longer.
I am pleased to say the race was a success. I crossed the finish line in 1:45:29. I don’t recall if this is the closest I have come to my target when pacing but I am certainly pleased with the way things turned out.