The Oak Bay Half Marathon is a scenic race through Oak Bay presented by Frontrunners. In addition to the half marathon, participants have the option of running the 10.73km, 5km or relay.
It also helps raise funds for CFAX Santas Anonymous, which helps children in need in the Greater Victoria area.
When I made it to the start line of the race, in all honesty, I was almost certain that my season bests are behind me at this point. Just because my season bests are behind me, doesn’t mean that I can’t go out there and have fun, meet new people, see friends, cheer for my clients.
Above: Running friends. They are awesome.
Over the past few months, I’ve raced every distance from 5k to marathon and everything in between. When you choose to race often, you are not always going to run a personal best. Sometimes, you make a breakthrough and other times you feel broken down.
The Oak Bay is a more challenging course than the Comox RV Half Marathon, but I like to enjoy them both every year when I can.
I was thrilled with the slightly downhill start, knowing full well that the hill will appear a lot bigger at the end of the race when I’m coming back to finish.
After the initial 4k, the course has rolling hills the rest of the way. I wasn’t sure exactly who was doing what race until the 10k runners turned around and headed back to the finish line.
Above: Do you see something interesting about this photo? It was taken at about 9km.
I ran with a random guy for several km (but was it actually random?). I asked him what time he was looking to get and when he said he wanted to beat his last year’s time (1:35), I decided that it was good enough for me for that day.
By the time I reached the turnaround point, I knew that it wasn’t going to be a PB for me this time. My legs were feeling tired on the way back and the hills seemed bigger than I remembered them.
However, after the Newton hills in Boston a little over a month ago, I shouldn’t really notice any other hills.
Generally, hills are not a problem. However, when they appear to be bigger in the 2nd half of the race, you start to notice them a bit more.
When I got to the last km of the race, I really picked it up.
Above: The sprint finish! Exciting times!
In the last 200m, I gave it everything I had left and clearly I had a lot left to give. I passed 5 people in the last 200m and made it a very exciting sprint finish. I thoroughly enjoy a strong finish even when the rest of the race didn’t quite go the way I had hoped.
If I had an extra 10 feet to sprint, I would have been the 3rd female across the finish line. Instead, I narrowly missed 3rd place by 1 second and came 4th. I finished in 1:32:29 (23rd overall out of 502 and 1st in age group).
Lesson learned, start sprinting earlier when the finish line is in sight!
It was by far not my best time, but, like I said earlier, I’ve been racing a lot and doing that many races definitely caught up to me.
Above: Showcasing the finisher medals. Yay to more bling!
The crowds, coffee and food at the finish line were great!
It was awesome to see some familiar faces. 🙂
Hopefully I get to come back next year and beat my time.
Above: Special congratulations to my client Jerry Hughes who, on this challenging course, managed to finish in 1:28:54, making him 15th overall out of 502 finishers (3rd in his age group). By the way, last year his time was 1:40:45 (before we started working together) so he has made an amazing improvement! Awesome work!