Whitby International North Half Marathon 2017

Woke up at 4:30, went to TH & got small coffee. At home I drank the coffee & had a banana with peanut butter & 1/2 a peanut butter Clif bar. Made sure to use the bathroom. The husband and I left to go to Whitby around 6am. It took us only 20minutes to get to the race site so we were there quite early considering I started at 7:35. I like to get there early to avoid bathroom line up, relax and warm up. 

 

Got all the gear together and started my warm up. Marathoners started at 7:30 and right after that the half marathoners lined up. There weren't many. Maybe 40 of us. At 7:35 we started off. Dave was near the start to get a pic of me. We started a little slow and I tried to get past people, although not many of us we were on a trail so we took up a lot of space. I also didn't want to start off too fast. The crowd thinned out once we passed the first corner and I was able to pass the slower runners & the fast runners passed me.

 

I had my Garmin watch set to display pace, average pace, time & heart rate. There were distance markers in spray paint on the ground every 1km. I was going a little too fast for a bit but tried to slow down. I looked at the watch quite a bit because sometimes I'd be above 9min/mi when I needed to be at 8:45. My avg speed was still good so I pushed when I could and slowed down when I needed to.

 

The course is said to be fairly flat but I had read from other reviews that it was hilly. Let's say it's not flat but it isn't stupid hilly. Some rolling hills but nothing steep and I don't think I was ever slower then 9:50min/mi. Most of that was when I was going up hill and the wind was gusting. Which wasn't a lot but there were a few times it slowed me down. The race seemed to go by pretty quickly. 5k came fast and my avg speed was still good. I also had my 1st gel. Wind was blowing on me going out so I knew it would be at my back on the way back. This also helped mentally.

 

There was an older gentlemen that was ahead of me, I passed him back & forth a couple of times. But eventually I passed him around the 7-8k mark.

 

I got to the half way mark and started back. It was just over 57 min. If I kept that up I would be under 1:55 which was my main goal. Had my 2nd gel. Since we started only 5min after the marathoners I was passing them a bit during the race. There was one marathoner that I had in my sights from the start. She looked pretty skilled and once we got to the biggest hill on the course & I was able to pass her. That was at the 17k mark. We started getting closer to the start and it was mostly flat to downhill at this point and at the 2.5km mark the older gentleman ran right by me. He was at a pace I couldn't sustain but didn't get far out of my site. With 2k left I picked up the pace, about 8:20min/mi and I was pushing it hard for me, there was some gasping for air but I felt it was sustainable for only 2k. With less then 1k left I could see the cop car flashing lights, I knew I was almost done. I turned the last corner and pushed it hard. I got to the finish line and hit my watch 1:54:00! And 7 sec later the guy waved his wand over my bib chip and got my true time. That was a little annoying but still a 4min & 34sec PR. Yay!

 

Carol @ Whitby

Carol during the race

 

The course was beautiful, very scenic along Lake Ontario. The Weather Network had been calling for rain to start at 8am. It had been spitting a little before the race but it mostly stayed away until the last half of the race, it then started spitting but nothing hard. It was however quite windy but on the way back it was at my back. Around the 17-18k mark however we started going south and wind at my face again. It lasted for about 1km or so and then finally going back west it was at my back again. I really liked this course. I've heard it described "fairly flat". That's reasonable, but there are hills just not very steep ones and for the most part it is flat. I will definitely consider this race in the future. It's quite small and from previous years it was about half of the normal amount of runners (in previous  years it was over 80, this year 50). There was also water on the course every 3km. I read later that e-load was also at the aid stations but only every 2nd one. I'm glad I ran with my only electrolyte. Here is another runner who ran the full and he has some great photos.

 

 

1:54:07, 23rd place, 4th place female, 2nd place F40-49. Race results can be found here. Thanks to my husband for being there on a long weekend (and he was sick, poor guy) and thanks to my coach Rebecca for getting me through this.

 

 

Flat Carol

Flat Carol

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