Race Report: Gatineau Half Marathon
This past weekend, I headed to Gatineau to run the MEC half marathon and to have a biomechanics appointment with one of my friends, Annie Jean, who I met at the Transrockies 120 miler in Colorado this summer. She noticed my pronation issues within 10 minutes of meeting me and as she is not only an incredible doctor, but a professional athlete, I knew I needed to see her.
On Friday morning, I hopped in the car with these two and headed out for a weekend of adventures.
The first thing I did upon arriving in Quebec was pay Annie a visit at Clinique Podiatrique de l’Outaouais for a full biomechanics treatment. She took xrays and did biomechnics examinations to discover small little things that would cause the butterfly effect over a lifetime of training and racing. I discovered a number of things that need to be adjusted to help with my tendency to suffer from IT band, shin splints and achilles issues. Whenever possible, I try to be proactive and solve issues before they arise so I can have as many solid training blocks as possible and be a better athlete. Annie is amazing.
That evening, we headed to stay with Steve and Deanna. I met Steve at Equinox Traverse 48 hour adventure race and that is one of the more tame events that man has done this year – he is absolutely insane and puts my training and racing to shame. We had a carb loading dinner and went to bed early to prepare for the half marathon the next day.
I am not going to lie, when I structured my visit to Gatineau around this weekend to run the half marathon and see Annie for my feet, I had taken a close look at the results from last year and my main goal was to make a new course record for the half marathon. The MEC Gatineau marathon is voted the hardest marathon in Canada so I imagine this half marathon isn’t much different. There is significant elevation over the course of the race but hills are my thing and even though I haven’t been training in the past month, I have a solid base from my summer season.
I was told by a number of people that I was being over confident, but I find that tends to make me even more stubborn, so Saturday morning, I walked up to the start line, confident and ready to run the best race I could.
The course elevation was a bit daunting.
I chose to go out quite conservatively because we were not able to drive the course in advance to see what we were up against. I wanted to respect the course and the fact I hadn’t been training. I went out conservatively and just focused on feeling good. I tried not to waver in effort on the hills and normally, I execute a half by running the first 5 KM carefully, the next 10 KM steady and the final 6 KM like a bat out of hell. I did that on this course and it worked out! I was able to set a new course record of 1:33:55 for women.
We spent the remainder of our time in Gatineau celebrating and exploring. We had a great Halloween party and the following day, we checked out Wolf Trail which is an 8.2 KM loop in Gatineau. It was a perfect post race stretch out.
Next weekend, I am finishing up the season with my final race with the boys of Team Ripkin at RAID THE HAMMER. It’s a 25 KM adventure race and it was my first race with the team last year. I am looking forward to being much faster and more experienced this year. It is a great race to start out with, so if you are looking for some experience in adventure racing, this is the perfect place to get your feet wet!
What did you do this weekend?
Have you ever done an adventure race?
Scale of 1 – 10, how much are you loving the time change?