Late this morning we headed downtown for Harry's Spring Run Off at High Park, Toronto. Kenny gave me a heads up a few weeks back that this is not a friendly course to PR (High Park = HILLS), so I went into it without expectations. I planned to take it nice and easy, especially since it was another scorcher of a day, feeling nice and toasty by 11 AM when we toed the line.
We ran into Kenny in the starting area before creeping into the crowded corrals and had a nice little chat.
Jack Layton, leader of Canada's New Democratic Party and prostate cancer survivor, said a few words before sounding the starting horn.
The route took us along the scenic paved trails of the park. It was pretty narrow, winding and hilly. Fortunately I had been placed in the red (first) corral, so I didn't have to do much weaving and was able to settle in quickly. Not surprisingly, I soon found myself sucked into the "race vortex" and found myself running faster than planned. I decided to just run with it and put out a decent effort without killing myself.
I spotted hubs around 1.5K and I slowed so he could snap this pic.
I suffered in the heat (those first hot runs are always the worst) and had to work hard to keep up the pace I had started. I sucked back a swig of water (which I ended up choking on) and dumped another cup on my head around half way.
My first three kilometres were progressively faster, but I slowed down a bit in the 4th. There was a massive hill before the final turn to the finish, which was absolutely painful and resulted in my final kilometre being the slowest. I still found my finish kick and totally chicked three guys once we rounded the bend.
Chip time: 24:08.5
I was very pleased (and surprised) with my placement. This was not a fast race. (The winner was 17:13.6, not fast at all by 5K standards.) I'll be looking to beat my PR of 22:36 later this season.
We received medals and caps at the finish, in addition to the long-sleeve tech tees. Overall, a great race that I would recommend and run again, though not likely for a PR.
Shout outs to blog-buddies:
-Marky Mark who walked the 5K in a very respectable time just a few short weeks after having surgery for his own fight against prostate cancer. Mark also raised a tremendous amount of money for the Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation and placed in the top 10 fundraisers!
-Mel who ran a great 8K! Hmm, Mel and I were both at the Chilly Half, then Around the Bay and now Harry's. What's next, Mel??
-Kenny who ran both the 5K and 8K today!