As promised, here is my report on the first race of the 2015 year; the Lorneville Loop 13km.
This race is a hilly, season-opener held in a community called Lorneville outside of Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada.
The only distance is 13 kilometres with the race counting towards the Running Room points series.
This was my second consecutive year running this race as I found it to be a great test of early season fitness and I like supporting smaller races; I believe that it was capped at 200-250 people. This race also has a number of other things going for it as well:
- It’s cheap, I paid $20
- A honking big medal
- Chili afterwards
- Lots of door prizes
- it raises funds for the IWK hospital in Halifax
Having run the race last year, it helped me prepare a strategy for this year. Last year I ran it 1:13:42, not horrible but after having put in a lot of work this winter I was hoping to see an improvement to the 1:07-1:09 range which would satisfy me where my fitness for Vancouver is concerned.
Lorneville Loop 2014 Runkeeper Track
The first 4-5 kilometres of the race are a series of uphills with a few false plateaus, this year there was also a head-wind of 20-30 kilometres/hour for the same first 4-5 kilometres. However that meant a tailwind for the remaining 8 kilometres which in comparison is relatively flat. However the last 1-1/2 kilometres present two hills which test your mettle.
The day was sunny and not too cold, I wore shorts, short sleeved and long sleeved shirts and light gloves. I ran the race in my new Saucony Fastwitch 6, which was my test for Vancouver under race conditions. I started at the back of the group as I was hanging out with friends but then scooted along and passed people during the first few km’s. In fact I ran a pretty quick first km at 5:18 min/km, faster than I wanted but then proceeded to get back to my hill pace of around 5:35-5:40 min/km until I made the turn.
At the turn, and end of the hilly section I was at 5.8 km in and at a time of 31:49. I got on my horse and then settled into ~5:10-5:15 min/km pace for the “back” straight. I felt good, tried to manage my breathing and passed a number of people. At around 10 km the course completely flattens out for about 2 km and I picked up my pace once again to run a steady 5:10 min/km. I was feeling strong so I ran quite hard over the final 2 km with times of 5:01 min/km and 4:54 min/km respectively. I was puffing at the finish due to a hill just before the end but I crossed the line in 1:08:56! I was right in my goal range and I ran a 5:16 min/km for the whole race. I was very happy, the shoes felt great and I was feeling that I was ready for the Vancouver half, which is much less hilly.
Lorneville Loop 2015 Runkeeper Track
All in all I ran the race that I had planned, I saved some energy on the hills then ran a steady, up tempo pace on the back straight then hit it hard the last couple of km’s. I lowered my time by almost 5 minutes and my min/km pace by 23 seconds! I finished 46th overall out of 176 runners! Outstanding!
The best part is that I got to share the race with friends and my girlfriend Nicola, she was this race’s photographer who was training for the full in Vancouver and couldn’t fit this race into her plans.
So a very successful opening race of the season, good weather, good friends and good legs! I’m very excited to see what I can run in Vancouver, after this race I have lots of confidence.
I hope that all of your upcoming races will be amazing and tune in a few weeks for a Vancouver report.
One foot in front of the other