And Around The Bay We Go

2011 Around The Bay 30k Road Race

The coveted Silver Medal - awarded to sub 2:15 timesOne of the most coveted races, and most talked about, in Ontario is Hamilton’s ‘Around The Bay 30k Road Race’. For those of you who have run it, you know why. It seems no matter what the weather, rain or shine, hot (rare) or cold, people get something out of it and look forward to it year after year.

It is after all the older road race in North America, running since 1894, 2 years before the infamous Bostone marathon. And the best part is you do not need to qualify for it, but, like Boston, you do need to register early!

This year, as usual, we had a large group of friends and acquaintances running the race and we all met up beforehand to enjoy the warmth of an indoor  pre-race meeting area. The finish line and and waiting areas are both in Copp’s Coliseum. This is one of the popular aspects of the event.

For me, this race was a great tune-up race. Somewhere between a long hard training run and a race. I did not factor the race part into any of it really except for a push at the end to ensure I got in under the ‘Silver Medal’ cut off time of 2:15:00 Gun Time. For the Record, my gun time was 2:14:14 and chip time was 5 seconds faster.

My darling wife ran this race as well and as she is not 100% did not attack it but ran as a training run and when things weren’t going well for her, adjusted her pace and ran in with our friend Ginny who was completing her first 30k race, so congrats to those ladies who persevered in their own personal triumphs. There was a large amount of personal bests from many of our friends and if not, they were for the most part pretty happy with their results under certain circumstances so we saw a lot of smiling faces.

Other memorable aspects of this race are:

Around the Bay FinishThe route; a nice trip around Hamilton Bay with nice vistas in the 2nd half of the small beach community and lovely rolling hills along the North Shore Rd which leads to a massive hill, almost 1 km in itself and steep. This hill has knocked down many a runner. Yesterday, I knocked it down carrying a sub 5 min/km pace the entire hill (an paid for that for 1 km afterward!). The crowd support in the 2nd 2 thirds is great and especially the final third. The capper is th grim Reaper standing aside the cemetary with 2km to go, begging runners to quit and join his community. Always very amusing.

Of course the finale entering into the stadium at Copps is a nice way to finish, with good post race food at the very organized finish area and then a nice warm place to sit and meet up with friends.

Sure, this was just a tune up race for most people, but definitely a highlight of the year. I’m already looking forward to it and wondering. Can i knockoff 14 minutes for the coveted gold medal that sub 2 hours gets you? thats 6 x 20 minute 5 km races in a row. Maybe not!

Around The Day - completedMy splits:

1st 10km – 44:25

2nd 10km – 44:34

3rd 10km – 45:09

15km – 1:06:43

20km –  1:28:59

21.1km 1:33:30

Final – 2:14:08 (personal best)

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Beaches RunnerAbout Beaches Runner
Crazy mad runner, wanting to be fitter and faster but too busy to do it right. Still, I keep trying.

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