Friday, 30 May 2014

Sporting Life 10K for Mother's Day

The Sporting Life 10k has become a yearly tradition for my friends and I. It is one of the largest 10k races in the city and sold out this year at 27,000 participants. The race is presented by Nike which provides are pretty nice tech shirt and the race raises money for Camp Oochigeas, a camp for kids affected by childhood cancer.

Many people were disappointed after last year's race as there were a number of things that went wrong. They appointed a new race director, Cory Freeman and under her leadership, the race went off seamlessly this year. The biggest blunder last year for me was the bottle neck at the finish. I was unable to cross the finish line last year because people had stopped just as the finished and stood around waiting for their friends.

My hubby and I along with our friends were signed up as a team under my running buddy's Chiropractic Clinic - Team Active Body Chiropractic. We were all provided with lovely tech shirts and wore them proudly on race day. 

Group Shot

This race is known to many runners as the fastest 10k you will ever run as it is completely downhill. I had raced a 10k the week before and was hoping to finish this race in the 50 minutes give or take. 

I had a terrible experience with the bag check last year as it was located pretty far up from the start line and was completely unorganized. People were throwing their bags at the volunteers because the lines were so long and the race was about to start. 

This year, the baggage check was organized into your bib numbers/corral colours. Each truck was clearly marked and volunteers were plenty. It took barely a minute for me to drop off my bag. 

The weather was perfect this year, the sun was shining, there wasn't a lot of wind and we were not freezing like the previous year. It was going to be a great day for racing.

Good luck kiss

I kissed hubby as the start time was quickly approaching. With 27,000 runners, you have to make sure you're in the corrals in time for your start. I got into my corral with two others from our group and wished them all well.

Look at all those people in my coral 
It's overwhelming to see so many runners in front and behind you. I gave my buddies a high five and away we went. I tried to keep up with my speedy friend, but lost him about 1km into the race. People were flying by. I just tried to stick with a nice steady pace.

LOTS of water 
The sun was shining, the runners were speedy and the water stations were plentiful. Each water station I passed was well equipped with water and volunteers. I was trying to hold onto my pace of 5:00 minutes per kilometre but was quickly losing steam. I still have a lot more to learn about pacing for a 10 km race. I checked my watch at the 5km mark and I was at 25:27. I knew I would have to pick it up if I wanted to finish in 50 minutes. I really tried, but my legs just didn't have it.

Just after crossing the finish
I finally came to the last kilometre and saw the finish line ahead. There was no crowd except for the friends and family cheering along with barricades. No bottleneck like the year before. I ran across the finish line and looked at my watch - 51:59.7. I know I should be happy as I did get a personal best, but deep down, I wanted a sub 50 finish. I will keep plugging away with my speed work and try again next year.

The finish area is quite large for this race. As you cross the finish line, you continue walking across a large intersection to get to the finishers area where you are given your medal and family and friends can congratulate you. There was a lot more water,  eLoad samples, food and tons of porta potties. 

Overall, I think the race was much better organized this year. There were a lot more volunteers and they were all very cheery and helpful whenever  I asked any of them a question. The lineup for the shuttle buses to take us to public transit was fairly long, but moved quickly. Hubby and I were rushing to meet up with my parents to pick up the kids and then meeting up with my in laws for Mother's Day lunch. I highly recommend buying shuttle tickets when you register so that you will have your car waiting for you at the finish line. It would have saved us quite a bit of time. Register early for this race as there is a gift certificate incentive depending on when you register. 

Race Swag


Time - 51:59:7
Pace - 5:12
First 5km - 25:27
Second 5km - 26:34

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