A Lesson in How Not to Start a Race


Yesterday was the Sporting Life 10km, my third and final of my tune up races before the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon in two weeks. This is a race that has been run in Toronto for a while now and with a Sporting Life store having opened here recently they decided to organize a second race.

I signed up for this one a while ago and was not sure how I was going to approach it in terms of pacing since it was only two weeks before my goal race. Saturday I finally decided that I would aim for a steady run somewhere between my half-marathon pace and my marathon pace.

Since the start line for this race was just over 2 km from my house I planned to run there for an easy warm up. Unfortunately I was a little late getting out of the house yesterday, partly a result of a late Saturday night taking care of a sick two year old. What was intended to be an easy warm up to the start line ended up being close to a tempo run to the start line.

I was close but did not quite make it in time for the start. I ended up having to run past the runners who were start, jump into a corral once I passed the start line and start running right away. My delay pushed back a couple of corrals from where I normally would have lined up. This meant that I was passing other runners for most of the race.

If you’ve read my posts about my other races this year you’ll know that I experimented racing without a Garmin. Since I was not going for a pb this time and wanted to stay disciplined I wore my Garmin in order to avoid having my competitive streak kick in and me running at a faster pace than I wanted to. I managed to settle into a steady pace between 4:16-4:20/km once I got going although it was tough at times due to congestion. 

Once I reached the half the crowd started to thin out a little and it was easier to maintain a steady pace. I managed to finish in 43:20 which was good enough for 69 out of 1790 runners. Most positive of all is that despite the heat and my less than ideal start I felt like I had more in the tank when I reached the finish line and I could have run a faster time had that been my goal.

I’m pleased with yesterday’s result. It gave me another run in a race setting and I managed to stick with the plan I set for myself. I feel like I have had a good training cycle for the upcoming marathon. My goal now is to stay in shape and avoid any last minute injuries so I can that positive energy intorace day.

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