Well that was hard!
I have only done ATB once before and my fitness has really improved since then so I wasn't sure what to expect to run today. A lot of guys were aiming for the 1:45:00 mark and I figured I would be able to do that too. I held a 3:24/km at the Chilly 1/2 so I figured that a 3:30/km pace would be a strong and comfortable pace for today. It was a strong pace but not comfortable at all. I really had to work and stay engaged every kilometre to make sure I was on pace. Unfortunately once I hit the later half of the course with the rolling hills ( we can call them hills right?) I wasn't strong enough to hold my pace and it dropped.... significantly.
Larry Abbot et Moi, We went to McMaster together. He was an outstanding xc runner and I had no work ethic....
Slowly guys started to catch and over take me. It wasn't until we got back to nice even flat at the last 4km that I was able to pull myself together and get back to an aggressive pace. I managed to catch most of the people that had passed me and found myself going stride for stride to the finish line with Jeff Conron from the Toronto Black Lungs whom I have been doing long runs with over the winter. Jeff ended up beating me by a hair ( it was an epic sprint).
I finished in 1:45:59.9 with an average pace of 3:33/km - almost an 8 min PB. However if I am honest I was expecting / hoping to go faster. Like most races that don't go as planned this one was a great learning experience. This race really pointed out my strengths and weaknesses, I know what I need to work so back to the grind it is!
I'll wrap this post up by thanking everyone that came out to cheer! It was great to see so many people from Toronto on the course and to have their support! and congratulations to everyone that set new PB's! After a hard block of winter training you have all earned your PB's!