Sunday, February 22, 2009

Eagle AC 5 Mile Race Report

If the conditions were right Grellan had predicted a sub 30 minute time for today. But to be honest that time was never really on the cards for a number of reasons:-
  • My target pace was 6 min/mile i.e. not much room for error;
  • I've been suffering from a low grade virus of some sort for the past few days which has meant much time in the bathroom (enough said!!);
  • The hilly middle portion of the race course.

Despite the above I was hopeful of running a good time and at least bettering my PB of nearly 32minutes. The weather conditions were perfect - sunny, not much wind and not too warm.

I arrived at the race HQ in good time and decided to drive the course to check out the hills. I don't know if that was a good idea or not!! I think that I may have run a bit more conservatively as a result.

Shortly after registering I went for a 3.73 mile warmup @ 8:43 pace. Then it was just a matter of keeping warm and loose until the race started (10 minutes late - not a problem today as the sun was shining and the mood was good!!)

Miles 1 & 2 were generally flat/downhill and the pace was right on target at 5:58 each. Average heart rates were 161 and 174 bpm respectively. I checked my stride a few times in the knowledge of what was to come....

Miles 3 & 4 were beasts!! Mile 3 was uphill all the way (see below). In fact the 2 mile marker was at the very bottom of the hill!! I steadily worked up the hill without pushing too hard and the pace reflected this - a 6:29 (178bpm) for that mile. I did manage to pass a few poor souls who had been a bit overly eager!! Mile 4 was generally uphill the only consolation being that just as I rounded the corner in Shanbally I saw Pamela and the troops - my fan club. They subsequently drove alongside me up the hill in mile 4 which certainly keep me going!! The mile 4 split was 6:19 (180bpm) - a bit of a recovery!!

The last mile was largely downhill but my legs were tired and there was a strong breeze into my face. I was also in no-mans-land and as a result (in hindsight) I may not have pushed myself to the limit. Having said that during the race I thought that I was going as fast as I could!! I managed to pick up the pace to finish on target in 5:57 (183bpm).

I crossed the line and stopped my watch in a time of 30:44 mins. An official PB!! Mr Garmin recorded a course length of 5.09miles so he said I passed the 5 mile mark in 30:11. If only I could go by that!!! Not sure yet of placing or official time. I'll give an update when I know more.

Still I'm happy with my run today particularly given the course topography!! It was a nice test ahead of Ballycotton in 2 weeks...

A 2.05 mile warmdown @ 9:30+ pace rounded off the running for today.

BTW as you'll have gathered I got the battery for my HRM but I didn't get a chance to get the 'go faster' haircut yesterday - maybe that was a factor in me not going sub-30!! :)

The Route
My Race


Grellan said...

Great result Brendan. You would have been on for a sub-30 if the course was more forgiving. I think you came 28th out of 266 in a time of 30:40. The winning time from Sean McGrath of 26:51 (maybe that's 25:51) is well down on what you'd expect fro a flat 5 miler.

Only for the low grade virus and the haircut the win was there for the taking.

Mike said...

Great effort Brendan. I can't understand why these race organizers map out courses where the whole thing centers around an enormous hill. I mean hilly terrain is fine, but when the hill is 25% of your entire race course, then the race becomes more of an obstacle course than a race.

Why not have you cross a river or climb a wall in the middle of the race instead - maybe next year they'll add that!!

Thomas said...

Great time for such as hilly course. The sub-30 is surely just a matter of time. I expect you will break that before the year is over.

bricey said...

Thanks Guys.

Mike - I suppose that's the 'fun' of road races. Even though the distance is set each race is different. I like the idea of crossing a river - a sort of road version of the steeplechase!! :)

Love2Run said...

The hills are there to keep you honest. We run a little 5 miler in our town that is famous for a certain killer hill. Great race and effort!