Niagara Ultra 2011

Beaches RunnersAs much as I would have loved to run the 50k Ultra Marathon in Niagara again this year, I had to say no. Well, nobody made me say no, I didn’t have to, but I felt it was a good decision as I need more short distance speed training and less body breaking long runs. This is of course if I want to improve my marathon performances, in particular, this Fall at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon (STWM). So we opted for the 10k, and in the end, I ran it alongside Cam not wanting to pass up the opportunity to accompany him on his quest for a sub 50 minute 10k.

Niagara On The Lake is a fair hike to go for a 10k race but nowhere does it say that says you have to run the longest race at an event to feel you got your money’s worth or that it was worthwhile. We are after all, just trying to fill our days with interesting things to do and spend time with friends and loved ones which is exactly what Saturday was all about. We quite enjoyed doing our 10k race and then hanging around to cheer everyone in the half marathon, marathon and 50k.

The morning drive was nice and as usual, a bit rushed as we decided to not have any sense of urgency¬† and left the house a bit late. No worries, we got there in plenty of time – like 10 minutes to get our bibs, timing chips and a quick bathroom visit. Cam and I had 3 minutes to warm up then the 10k race was set to go. Anita and Cam took off while I waited a few seconds to get satellite signal on my sleek Garmin 610. I got going and caught up with them, then Cam and I took off on our quest to get him in under 50. We paced nicely to 5k and we’re in 8th and 9th spots in around 24 and half minutes. On the way back, we figured we could pass a few of them and Cam set the pace. From 6k in he burst ahead and I just followed him, waiting for him to tire. That didn’t happen, he was solid right to the end and we knocked off the final 3k in 4:18, 4:12 and 4:10. passing everyone except 1st and 2nd, which if we had of paced a little faster on the way out, we’d have won. Cam’s final time was 46:28 and I was a few seconds behind him. We both finished 1st in our age groups (under 25, and 40-44) and received nice plaques which was pretty cool, even if it was a small race with 81 finishers. We’ll take it.

After our 10k we went back and cheered / paced Anita in on her sub 1 hour goal. She missed it slightly but it was the fastest she’s run in a long time and she is surely on her way to some PBs this year!

Our friends and Beaches Runners Club members, Quynn, Bill and his partner Fred ran as well. Fred won his age group with 50 minutes in the 10k. Bill and Quynn both ran PBs in the half marathon and got 1st age group too so it was a great day for the Beaches Runners!

Anita, Cam and I hung around and waited for other friends whom were running the 50k. Congrats to James Koole who ran his first ultra and Jacqueline Chevalier who ran her first as well, in an impressive 4h 29m. Our long time running mate Dave Crowe finished his 80th marathon (or longer) race too so it was nice to be there for that.

After the race festivities, we spent some time around NOTL and had a lovely day cruising the town and shop before heading over to the tackiness and beauty of Niagara Falls. We took Cam on the tour behind the Falls. There are some things you just have to do at least once right?

The day finished off with a grand hike across lower Ontario to London where we made it in time for Sarah’s 1500m Twilight track race. Another great run for her finishing 7th in her heat in a time of 4m47s as part of her training for the Nationals in Winnipeg in 3 weeks.

By the time we carpooled 3 of Sarah’s friends home from London, it was 2am. A crazy end to a long but full fun filled day. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

More Photos (on Facebook – sorry)

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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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