Okay, first off, my left hip is screaming at me. It started during my Thursday run, and was pretty bad by the end. So, I took Friday off to see if that might help. After today's race, it's REALLY screaming at me, so I may take next week off ... we'll see.
I was actually defending my title today. I ran this race last year, just because it was on a Saturday morning in Toronto, and so I didn't have to take a weekend off to race. Same as last year - I drove the 4 hours to Toronto on Friday and took in a Blue Jays game. Last year, they got clobbered by Boston 13-3. This year, they lost to Detroit, but it was 5-4, so more respectable. Last year, I won the Master's division. That gave me a $300 gift card to The Running Room, and free entry to this year's race. I didn't have high hopes of defending my title, because of my hip and because I really haven't done a lot of speed work.
Anyway, looking up my blog, I see that last year I had 4 beer the night before. This year, just 1. And last year, it was very humid. This year, cool and dry. Just 9C/48F, so great for running.
Had a hard time getting to the start line, as various highways were closed for construction, and then sections of the subway. So, it took a few detours and a shuttle bus to get there.
I met Alex at the start line. He's also 51, and told me that I passed him in the final 300 meters last year to take the victory. I didn't remember that, but he sure did!
So, the first third is steep downhill. The second third is basically flat. The final third is steep uphill. I remembered that!
I ran the first mile in 6:11(6:13 last year), the second mile in 6:41 (6:52 last year) and the third mile in 6:56 (7:04), with the final kick done at a pace of 5:34 (5:54). All according to my GPS. So, I ended up running 17 seconds faster this year (officially), and first again in the Master's Division. That's another $300 award, plus the free entry again to next year's event.
As to Alex, he passed me pretty early on. I didn't care much, as I was just going to run my own race. But I caught sight of him at the half way mark, and began to close the gap. I passed him at the bottom of the final hill and made a big push up, which was enough to beat him by 36 seconds. It's cool, because I've never really had anyone to compete with in a friendly way. We chatted for a long time after the race, and he left with "see you next year!"
1/20 age division and 1st in Master's Division.