This past weekend, Nicola and I traveled to Grand Manan island where we met Rod and Jo and Mark and Bruce and Mary…well you get the picture and ran either the 10km or half marathon distance.
Grand Manan island is about 11/2 hours from Fredericton and and an additional 11/2 hours by ferry.
We arrived a bit early, checked out our accommodations then went to the start line. The organization of the race was a bit fly-by-the-seat of your pants as everyone received their bibs at the start line, about 30 minutes ahead of time. The race was held to benefit the local Boys and Girls club but from most accounts the numbers were done this year sadly. The race was a point-to-point type with the half marathoners looping back along the same road.
The evening was a bit cloudy with a nice ocean breeze, perfect for running. We started out in a big pack except for a few rabbits and soon settled into our rhythms. I started out at about a 5:40 min/km pace but after a km or two I was running consistent 5:25 min/km. After a few km’s a few people passed me, including Rod and Jo but I was happy to run my own race, plus 10k’s can’t be won in the first 5km but they can be lost. I had a plan to run steady to 5km then pick up my pace.
At 5km I picked up my pace for about 1km then we had an extended, gradual uphill, the kind that saps your energy and drive, so I slowed my pace and continued to remain consistent. I passed Rod somewhere near here and eventually passed Jo as well, who was having a great run by the way, until I had 3 people in my sights. The road levelled out and I finally got in a groove with about 2 km remaining. Two of the three people in front of me started to run out of gas and I eventually passed them. With only one woman in front of me I ran straight and hard to the end, passing her right before the finish. My final two km’s were 5:01 min/km and 4:50 min/km…that’s how I like to finish a race!!
I watched as Jo came in shortly after, then Mark and Rod..I think, then Nicola and Bruce.
All had great runs with Nicola running a PB for 10km, so very proud!
While I was standing there cheering people on, the race director came over, congratulated me and gave me the medal for first pace male for 10km!
This was my first, first place medal ever! And with a time of 52:40 I felt kind of sheepish but afterwards I thought, I raced who was here, that’s what mattered.
Jo won a medal for second place for the females so you know that we celebrated a bit later on!
We also received a participant medal and a cotton t-shirt with the Boys and Girls club logo on it plus a few snacks.
I snagged a ride with Bruce back to my car then retrieved my fellow runners and that signalled curtains for my first Grand Manan 10km race!
The course was scenic with ample water stations, which kind of went in contrast to the initial impressions but we all had fun, had great races and now I must return next year as defending champion!
One Foot in Front of the Other
Next Race: Kilted Run 5k July 24th