Before I break down the race I want to give a few shout outs and mentions to some awesome dudes who I got to meet that previously I only interacted with or followed on social media. Lets start with Alex Cyr, this guy is a stud man and has some crazy talent so keep an eye out for him the rest of the summer and leading into the cross country season. He's a sub 4 minute 1500m runner who is only now starting to really make some big gains. I was super happy to meet Alex after the race and we had a nice little chat. I'm going to link his blog on my sidebar when I get a chance but be sure to check him out here - http://alexcyrruns.blogspot.ca/ Great meeting you dude and solid run on Saturday (32:21). Next up is another cool cat who goes by the name Cal Dewolfe. Now folks, I think it's fair to say that I've got one of the most badass last names one can have, I mean I'm running down the canal and hear, "atta boy Freake, go Freake go!". My fellow competitors are probably like, WTF? But I'm all about it and when I'm not hurting too bad, I like to give a nod of approval to said fan/spectator. But my boy Cal Dewolfe is another legend in the name department. I should also point out that he's a beast as well. He's run 4:00 for 1500m and was hot on my heels there on Saturday night and came in 3 seconds after me in 31:56. I got to say hey and chat a bit after the race which was awesome. So shout out to you Cal for reading my humble little blog and keep ripping it up dude. You've got boat loads of talent and I look forward to tracking you over the next couple years. Big things are coming.
Before we close this portion of the blog out I'll say hey to Garrett De Jong who was kind enough to lead me around on a warm up in his home town streets and point out sections of the course so I knew what to expect. Don't read anything into me getting Garrett this race. This is a dude who routinely hands me my ass. He's run 8:23 indoors for 3km at the armoury so when that guy is on what generally happens is I hang with him for 5km before he roasts me. Anyway, great seeing you dude, good luck with the new job, rest up that achilles, and lets hit a few fast ones this fall. I'm sure we will toe the line at the 5km champs in yorkville and STWM later this year.
Last but not least, props to my girl Lindsay Carson on a solid performance, always great seeing you and chatting, same goes to Lanni, (you are an animal, like no joke!!) and Craig "Odie" Odermatt who's basically the biggest legend around.
So after I get my warm up in with Garrett and do my strides and what not I take to the start line, I line up next to Jeremy Deere, who had the performance of the night, 40+ running 31:13!) and Khalid Khannochi, yeah your eyes aren't playing a trick on you. It was insane. He actually tells me to get ahead of him as he's not going to be running fast today. I say to Khalid, "I'm such a big fan, and it's amazing to meet you!" He just humbly smiles and I then turn to Jeremy and say "This guy is such a legend, remember his 2002 Chicago Marathon victory?" Jeremy responds, "yeah, his pedigree is actually better then any of the guys in this field, even the ones going after sub 28". Anyway, this got me distracted and before I knew it we had 30 seconds to go. All my nerves had settled down and when the gun went off I just got out clean and took the first left nice and wide to not get tangled up in anyone.
After we settled about 2 minutes into the race it was clear there were a couple packs starting to form. One was the first group who were just hammering down the road and the next was with guys like Sami, Matt Loiselle, Hortian and a few others. I kind of looked around at who I was running with and saw that next to me was Jordan Fewer which was excellent as it felt like being back in Newfoundland and the two guys ahead of me were Ryan Noel-Hodge (14:26 5km guy) and Jeff Costen (14:42/30:34 5/10k) so things were looking good. (Both guys are super nice and great runners and post race we all sort of said hey and chatted briefly about the race). Anyway, for me I just wanted to relax, forget about looking at my watch and run a nice even effort with the boys. I helped out Ryan leading our group every now and then as on the way out we had to fight some wind but to be honest he did most of the leading in the group. We went through 5km in 15:55 which wasn't very fast but it also didn't feel very hard either so I figured if I was still with the boys and we were all moving well and feeling good then just stay where I am.
Once we got onto the canal on the way back about 6km in Ryan made a little move to catch a guy who was falling off up ahead. I stayed with Jeff as that seemed like the right call. I mean folks, Jeff when he's on is a beast right, he ran his half debut last year at Scotiabank in 1:08:02 which is right where I want to be later this year, so for me running with Jeff was just gravy. So for the next 3km Jeff and I kept the foot down and we didn't really pass anyone nor did anyone really come up on us. I believe the 8km split was about 25:33 and when we hit 9km it was just about keeping things going to the line. Jeff opened up a couple seconds on me in the last 500m and ended up running 31:50 to my 31:53.
When I crossed the line, despite not running a blazing fast time I was happy with the result. I haven't run well at a national race before. Last year at the Zoo Run for the 10km champs I went out with Jeff and Kevin Coffee and completely imploded after 5km and ran a pretty pathetic 33 minute 10km so to run something in the 31's and have it feel like a strong, even effort. I can walk away with that satisfied.
The results from the race can be found on sportstats.ca here - http://www.sportstats.ca/display-results.xhtml?raceid=26001 I believe I was the 13th Canadian in 10km nationals portion of the race and 25th overall.
Before I clue this up I want to thank the Elite Coordinator Manny Rodriguez for taking such great care of the elite athletes, John Lofranco with athletics Canada for the invitation and finally the event organizers. The race and the weekend was something to behold. I'll certainly be going back again next year and I would recommend this race to anybody out there. It's a destination race and now the IAAF Gold Label certification for the 10km it's really a world class event.
I won't bother to post my training leading into the week as there was only one workout at a little quicker then 10km pace.
Next up is a quick turn around trip to Calgary for the National half marathon champs which I'm excited to take part in. I'll be sure to take lots of pictures and come back with a funny story or two. It's the last race before I take a little break and go on vacation. I talked with my boy Kelly Wiebe after the 10km and he's in the same boat as that's the end of his season so I'm sure we will have a big night on Sunday. He's under the impression we go hard in Newfoundland so I'll have to show him how it's done, just a couple of lanky distance runners, getting on the beers, sounds about right. (Gallagher, if your around buddy, get on the go!)
Alright, I'll leave you with a picture or two, but I'll post more when I get the chance to take some off my phone!
Runner Rob (link on sidebar) took this, Solid Marathon PB dude!
Ryan leading our pack out early, dude moves like a cheetah
My hotel was right next to the expo, like the Shaw Centre was attached to where they put me up in the westin!
I helped out at the CEP both with Kyle and the crew. Saucony skipped this one with Ben and the team at the Saucony sales meetings in Grand Rapids
Mandatory pre race shot. Garrett had a good idea, we should use our "Athlete Pass" for Pan Am's just to see if we can get into things ha, if your single you could also use this to run some day game during Pan Ams too! :p
Killing the buffet
ByWard Market, love that place, we had a few brews here post race.
Not a bad view from my room
Rich hotel, the guy who owns the R8 5.2 must be like "Dude I thought I had a good car, how am I between an F430 drop top and a Bently GT". My Audi wouldn't even get a valet slip here....hard times ha.