Monday, October 5, 2009

Fernie half-marthon and a look back at the season

Spent the weekend in Fernie, B.C. and participated in the Fernie Half-Marathon on Sunday morning. Having a race in Oct. means that there can be weather challenges. Leading up to the event - long range forecast was indicating that there would be a little rain (and possibly snow) on Saturday and partly cloudy on Sunday (and dry). However, it talking to folks, they indicated that they had heard 20cm of snow. Yikes!

Another concern going into the race was the elevation profile. No profile was available. There was a map of the course, but I've only driven past Fernie in the past, so the route didn't provide much insight. However, the course was always close to the river, so I figured that it was likely to be flat.

When picking up my race package on Saturday, I found out that the event was having a name the hill content. So there was going to be at least one hill.

On Sunday - there wasn't much sun - cloudy, with a bit of rain and from time to time a bit of snow. The high for the day was supposed to be 6 - a little chilly, but no too bad. I dressed in layers - figuring that if I started to get too warm it would be easy to ditch a layer (or two).

When I arrived at the race - came across many people running in shorts and a shirt. They looked cold - and were keeping active and working to stay warm.

The race went well. Course was well marked - many volunteers and everything was well organized. Ended up with 377 runners in the event - a good number as the race was mostly on hiking and biking trails. Wide enough for passing, but not a mass of humanity.

I ended up finishing in 2:05 - my fastest half marathon this year. Here's a look at the elevation profile of the course:

Just the one hill at the beginning and from there it was relatively flat.

This was my third half-marathon of the year. The previous race was a Five Peaks race held at the Canmore Nordic Center. Here's a view of the elevation profile for the race:

Definitely more climbs/descents to deal with for the Canmore race. I have some work to do both on my hill climbing and how I handle the more technical running needed to go down some of the hills. There were a number of places where the race course went through the trees, single track and was steep. It was a challenge to walk down without sliding - never mind running. I finished in 2:35 - the winner of the race clocked in at 1:25 which is just amazing.

The other race I competed in this year was Powderface. Here's the elevation profile for that race:

This was also a very tough race - hills were steep, lots of rocks, and as mentioned previously even some wildlife.

Running the three races this year has been a lot of fun. Looking forward to some more races in the new year. In the meantime, going to take a few days off from running and heal a bit. Then will start on a new training program and see if I can start to work on my timing and endurance.

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