Every year for the past few years, the Times Colonist 10k has been one of my favorite races. I love the big group of runners/walkers that all get out there for different reasons but have one thing that unites them all: personal achievement.
Races like the TC10k welcome runners of all levels with open arms. While some runners are looking to achieve a personal best time, others are looking to raise money for charities or have a great time with their friends or make some new ones.
This year, the TC10k was particularly special because the organizing committee added a half marathon distance and it was also the 25th year anniversary of the event.
Another reason why this year’s TC10k is so memorable for me is because this was my first time EVER starting with the elite crowd, with an elite bib near the front in a big event.
When I registered, I predicted that I would finish around 40 minutes (possibly under) and starting at the front is a good way for me to be able to keep on running rather than dodging people who aren’t trying to break 40 minutes. It also wasn’t my idea to put myself with the elites (a lady that was handing out race packages remembered me from other races and encouraged that I make the switch), which made it that much more special.
Above: A photo of my first elite bib. 🙂
Who would have thought that a girl who couldn’t even run a lap around the track would be starting with the elites in a big 10k race one day?
The gun goes off and I start as fast as I can with the intention of keeping that pace for as long as I can. Ran the first mile in 6:09. Perfect.
I was not concerned about whether or not other runners are catching me and how many people I was passing. The only thing that mattered to me was how far can I push myself. I was running my own race and I was out there doing my best.
Then, when I reached the 5k mark, my Garmin read 19:55. That’s actually more than 30 seconds faster than my 5k race time and at that point, I still felt like that pace was manageable. Conclusion: I run my 5k races a little too slow.
At the 5k mark, I didn’t think of it as: “oh no, I’m only halfway there.” It was more like: “Yay! I’m already half way and as long as nothing terrible happens I will get a personal best.”
I had to slow down a little bit between 6-8km because there was a head wind and I felt like my legs were getting tired. I wanted to put everything I had left into the last 2km.
When I turned off Dallas road, I knew that it was just a little under 1 mile before the finish. I gathered the remainder of my strength and went for it.
My legs were definitely feeling tired but I knew that the faster I got to the finish line, the sooner I can start to recover. The trick is to finish before the body realizes what you’re doing. Hahaha.
As I saw the finish line about 200m away, I thought I heard the announcer say something about the 40-minute mark. At that point, I stopped looking at my Garmin and started sprinting to the finish. Seriously, I wanted my finish time to be something like 40:xx or faster.
As I was crossing the line, I saw the clock said: 40:56 (my average pace was 4:06 per km or 6:40 per mile). That’s definitely a new 10k personal best for me. I knocked over 1 minute off my last year’s time.
Above: Female age 20-24. Top 10 list in the Times Colonist.
I finished 156th out of about 10,000 people who took part in this year’s event and I was the 22nd woman across the finish line. I know there were thousands of women in that race. I also ended up being 4th in my age category out of 415 people.
Above: The Top 100 Female Finishers listed in the Times Colonist. I’m honoured to have finished in a time that was good enough for my name to be listed in the same column as the overall female winner Jane Murage.
I wasn’t too concerned about the fact that I narrowly missed getting an age category medal because I can’t complain about my own significant improvement each year. As long as I keep on improving and doing my best, I will always be happy with my performance.
Above: Age category ribbon and finisher’s medal.
We also got beautiful finisher medals (see photo above) because it was the 25th anniversary, so I still walked away with a medal to add to my collection 🙂
Lastly, a shout out to my client Stephen who achieved another personal best in the distance at this race after following my running program. He improved his 10k time by a total of about 23 minutes (that requires a whole separate blog post). YOU ROCK! 🙂
Above: My client Stephen and I after the race. Excitement at the finish line 🙂
I definitely want to do this race again next year.
Congrats to everyone who finished the race!