Bluenose 2010 Race Report

I figure I might as well title these with "Race" in them so that anyone not interested can skip along to whatever is next in their feed reader. But for those of you keeping track of what happens in my life, cardiovascularly speaking...

The Bluenose Marathon was this past weekend, marking my third (?) venture into that Bluenose race category: The Bluenose Marathon has 5km, 10km, half, and full marathon categories, as well as the 4.2km youth run, which I am happy to report my eldest took part in on the Saturday morning. Here's the proud boy with what would turn out to be the 'zacksame' medal his father received for completing the 10k race the day after.

Previously, I have competed (I use that word loosely... maybe "challenged" is better, even though I'm only challenging myself) in the 10k (2005) and the half marathon (2009).  Here are my stats this year:

Gun Time: 51:35.3
Chip Time: 49:46.1
Place: 255/2320
Gender Category: 198/857
Age Category (men 30-39): 60/220

And here's where I complain about Gun Time vs. Chip Time. Gun time exists so that races can have clear "winners" denoted by those who first cross the finish line. Basically, this means that your ten or so fastest runners are standing on the start line, electronic chips zip tied to their shoes, ready to all start at the sound of the gun, much like a track meet. It makes sense for these people that they all be at the start line, and not, say, 150 people back of the start line when the gun goes off.

But here's my beef: it really screws up the post-race statistics gawking. 

For instance, and not that it matters, because I'm really only running for me (so they all say!), but if you look at the chip time alone, my placing moves from 255 to 222. In my Category (Men 30-39), my placement goes from 60th to 54th. And so on, and so on. Of course, if a bunch of fast old guys were to start off behind me and finish with me, my gun time would be more favourable. So it's all about perspective, except that the stats only give one perspective, and gun time kind of shortchanges the stat-hound in me. In marathon qualifying times, gun time is all that matters, so I guess if you're super serious about qualifying for something, you push your way to the start line before the gun goes off. I guess I'm not there yet.

For the past year or two since I started actually training and timing myself, I've brought my average pace time down from just under 6 minutes per kilometre or 9:39/mile, to about 5 minutes per kilometre (better if I'm actually training!) or 8:03/mile. As a comparison, my 2005 Bluenose 10k chip time was 54:52.7, or a chip pace of  5:29/km or 8:50/mile.*

This year I am definitely not trained as well as I was last year, and I ran with my friend Ian (another Ian friend of mine was pace-bunny for the 55 minute 10km run, which is a whole lot slower than his usual pace, but he was doing a good deed for some folks who wanted to achieve a goal.) Ian (the former) and I ran together for most of the 10k, until about the last 2km where he split and pushed the limit to the end -- I waited about another kilometre before pushing it myself and passed a few people at the last water stop (why they have a water stop 1km from the finish I have no idea).

All in all, I'm happy with my performance on the weekend, and very happy with my son's performance. He walked and ran and still managed to get 4.2km done in 36 minutes and change. It's hard to keep a kid on track and continuing to jog/run when their brains are telling them that this is silly (and maybe it is), but I think he'll run more and walk less if he wants to enter into other races. I don't need to make a runner out of him, but it would be nice if he had the base cardio ability to pick up and run a 5k if he wanted to.

Coming up is the Cabot Trail Relay Race (I usually omit the "race" part of the title, because I'm noncompetitive and stuff) -- I'm running Leg 2, which is 17.92km, starting at 8:40 AM on Saturday. Thereafter, I will be doing support for the following few legs and then just having fun cheering on the rest of our 17-person team and awaiting the excellent steak and lobster dinner at the end of it all.

Until next time ... happy running.

*This little tool
is fantastic if you like to mess around with your run times and calculate pace. And really, who doesn't?

Posted bythemikestand at 8:54 AM  

2 stepped up to the mike:

Ian - TKOS said... 9:20 AM, May 26, 2010  

Hey, saying I split from you makes me sound so cold. Ha ha. But I am with you on Gun Time. makes post race stuff confusing when discussing with the lay people. It would be best if your time chip was connected to the finish line and flashed your time as you ran across.

themikestand said... 9:27 AM, May 26, 2010  

Yes, well, I didn't want to use the word "abandoned", even thought that's closer to the truth.

I kid. Of course I could have tried to pick up the pace with you, but my head wasn't in it, and I really didn't want to injure anything before the "big" run this coming weekend. Still, we had a nice 48 minute chat, and we never get to do that!

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