When I left for the Richmond Road Race, I was a bit worried about the weather forecast. I had never run in Ice Pellets before and that didn't seem very comfortable.
Lucky for all of us runners, the threat never realised itself and the weather stayed clear of rain even if the dampness made the cold a bit more biting than expected. I followed the advice I usually give to newbie winter runners, when you get cold, run faster and you'll warm up!
I was impressed by the amount of people at the race and it was fun to meet a bunch of people I'd been socialising with online but never actually met. Finally I got to meet Laurel that is behind Lily on the road and also met Treena and Shirley (@momsgot2run). Some random people I met were from as far away as Smith Falls, impressive.
The race was pretty well organised with change rooms and cafeteria style seating (complete with a lunch including hot soup after the race!). I stayed inside a bit so I didn't have to freeze outside while waiting for the race to start. 10 minutes before the gun, I headed outside.
The run started with a countdown and start signal from a megaphone and everyone went on their way.
There were some pretty fast people out there and soon enough they were too far to even see. The pavement was mostly dry and afforded a good traction. I seemed to be in with a group pacing for 45 minutes and even if my goal was 50 minutes, it felt all right so I decided to stay with them for as long as I could. After 3km, I realised that I was on track for a really good race and felt like I could keep it up.
When I reached the halfway point at km 5, there was a clock and the volunteer manning it told me: "Good work, 22 minutes and 40 seconds, you are halfway there". I knew that if I could do a negative split, I would likely break the 45 minutes. It was a stretch effort, but definitively worth trying. I kept plugging at it and the slight downward slope on the way back as well as the backwind really helped me get those 10 seconds back. I must have overshot a bit because when I reached the 9km marker, I noticed that I had a 15 seconds lead on a 45 minutes finish. I gunned it, knowing that I had a PR in the sack and finished with a time of 44 minutes and 23 seconds! YeeHaw!
This race wasn't chipped but there was a guy reading the bibs and putting them in a computer, the old fashion way. I'm assuming that counts for real, unlike my previous fastest 10k training run which was interestingly enough, 44 minutes and 24 seconds!
Now I will go read a book by the fireplace with a hot cup of coco. Well deserved R&R this afternoon :)