VIRA Island Race Series Harriers Pioneer 8k Race Recap

About a week ago, I wrote a course preview for the new Harriers Pioneer 8k route.  

In theory, the new route should be faster than the old route. In practice (if you went to the race and experienced the weather conditions we had), I do not believe that it would be a fair comparison. Personally, I enjoyed them both for different reasons. 🙂

This year’s weatherman definitely wasn’t smiling down on us. Honestly, I’m also not quite at the same fitness level I was when I raced on the old route.

Before the race:

I was very pleasantly surprised that I received a “seeded” bib (#41) and that Victoria Sports News listed me as one of the other high performance runners on the list. Up until I saw my name on the seeding list, I didn’t have any particular goal for the race as far as placing goes. I intended to just enjoy the run and not look at my Garmin.

Then, I got my bib and decided that my goal would be to finish in the Top 10 in my age group and in the top 50 overall for the women. I also wanted to run a sub 4:30 pace per km.

Since this was my first race back in quite a while, I was a little bit nervous the night before. Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect of myself but the thought of running a new route was exciting.

Above: Pre race photo by Joe Camilleri.Me with friends/clients Mark and Dominique.

How it went:

Overall, the race went as planned. Although, honestly, I didn’t follow my own advice when it came to pacing. I busted out of the gate at 3:45 per km and paid for that mistake later on in the race. Without a doubt, I started way too fast only because I was overly excited about racing.

I definitely had to slow down between kms 1-4. The good news was that the most elite runners in the race weren’t as far ahead as I thought they would be. Right before reaching km 5, I regretted starting out too fast. The minor incline that I wasn’t supposed to feel, I definitely felt and it was all my fault for busting out of the gate. HAHAHA. I just couldn’t hold back the excitement! The 6th km was my fastest in the whole race. Then, I managed to hang on for the last 2k and even sped up towards the finish a little bit.

It was a fast very field and there were a lot of talented runners. Therefore, I was happy to place 10th in my age group and 37th overall out of 221 women in the race. I achieved my goal for the race as far as placing and pacing.

I was so thrilled because I ACCOMPLISHED MY GOAL! 

Nearly 500 runners of all levels from Olympians and National Record Holders to first time racers came out to race.

It was cold, there was a little bit of a headwind for about 500m near the 3k mark and a lot of rain! The weather conditions were definitely less than ideal, which makes it difficult for me to compare the old and new routes.

My time 35:17 (4:25 per km, 7:06 per mile) was definitely my slowest 8k race I’ve ever done. However, it felt good, nothing hurt and I kept my heart rate at around 150 bpm. I believe that 6 of the top 10 in my age group were nationally ranked elite runners. With that in mind, I’m just happy to share the top 10 spots with them.

You can see the full results on Raceday Timing.

What’s next?

Above: Finish line photo by Joe Camilleri.

Undoubtedly, there is a lot of work for me to do before I get back to where I was before but I’m just glad to be back racing. It was great to catch up with some cool people and see some familiar faces 🙂

Above: Post race with my running buddy. Smiling because I stuffed my face full of cookies and pizza 😉 Seriously, you gotta do these races even if it’s just for the FOOD!!

Hopefully only upwards from here!

Running brings me joy! The next race in the VIRA Island Race Series is the Cobble Hill 10k on Jan 21! Stay tuned for my course preview and I hope to see you there!

If you read this, and wish you could have been there, sign up for the race next year. Or, better yet-there are 7 more Island Race Series this year that you can do.

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