Jeremy Hopwood

Jeremy Hopwood

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Comox Valley Half Marathon - March 21st

1:16:36 (PR by 1:02), Overall 9/601, Male 9/279, M30-34 5/27

Full results here -

So early this week the decision was made to lace up the Newtons and race the Comox Valley Half Marathon. This is one of the island series of races and part of the Timex series also. Island running tends to be a strong affair so it was good to get out and race against a strong feel.

It was a long day from Vancouver with a 6:30am ferry to get to the island followed by an 80 minute drive (For some reason I thought this would be about 30 minutes or so :) ). Anyway arrived at race site in plenty of time and got a good warmup in.

This week has been a little bit of a recovery week but still had a decent day out yesterday on the bike but held back a little to make sure didn't destroy myself. The shakeout run yesterday felt a little bit sluggish but this is not always a bad thing for me. I had a good session at Forerunners on wednesday night so knew the potential was there and the only way to find out if was for real was to race and test it out.

So before I knew it was 11am and time to bring on the pain. I really wanted to negative split this race and with a net uphill to halfway then back the opposite way home downhill this was a good opportunity. Weather was pretty mild and dry with a little more wind than I would have licked but nothing to severe.

Took it easy out of the start and still managed to go throug 1km in 3:35, found myself running a little bit between two groups at this time so gradually floated back the 10 metres to the group behind and set in a rythm. Up until about 5km (18:20) felt pretty relaxed like I was on a long run. At this point the course started to hill up a little and by 7km was in a group of 2. Tried to keep relax but hold my pace a little and attack the downhills while recovering on the flats.

At 10km (37:16) was still running in this group of 2 and it stayed this way until the 11km mark. There was a slight downhill here so upped the pace and the workrate a little and started to create a gap. Really focussed on fast turnover and form and started to work the uphills a little more. At 15km (54:57) I had created a decent gap and had the next group of 3 in my sites. My km times were now consistently at or under 3:30 and was feeling as good as you can after 1 hour of hard running.

Around 17km picked of someone who had dropped of the pack of 3 and started to work at bridging the next 40m to 8th and 9th place. At this point the suffering began and felt like was having a hard time maintaining the gap let alone bridging it. Came on to a nice bit of flat piece of road and found some more rythm and eventually came upon the two guys at 19km or so. At this point decided to just try and accelerate through them as fast as I could as the effort to catch had taken a lot out of me and sitting and kicking was not something I thought I could do. Created abit of a gap, not sure how much, however one guy responded and when he came back past around the 20km (1:12:50) mark I tried to go but just couldn't make it happen. The gap on the guy in 10th place was still there so just worked to try and hold the gap to the guy in front in the hope I could run him down in the last 500m.

Tried to kick early but no real speed left in the tank, so ended just trying to hold my pace and kicking the last 150m. In the end came in at 1:16:36 which was a new PR by 1:02. This got me 9th overall and 5th in the M30-34 Age Group.

Pretty happy wiht the race, not sure would have done much differently and acheived my negative split. Definetely danced the line between blowing up and racing hard in the last 3km but managed to walk the tightrope.

Thanks again to my supporters in 2010 - Forerunners, Newton Running and Speed Theory. Thanks also to Les for putting up with the rumaging around the house at 4:45am as I got ready to go catch the ferry.

Overall another great island race, cheap entry ($30), good food after, heaps of draw prizes (I never win these so is an irrevelant point), lots of volunteers and lots of quality runners.

Additional stats just because I am a little bit of a data junkie;

  • Negative split of 5.4% - 39:21 / 37:15
  • Fastest 5km Split: 12km to 17km – 17:15 (15 seconds of open 5km PR)
  • Fastest 10km Split: 10km to 20km – 35:35 (44 seconds of open 10km PR)
  • Average pace – 3:38 min per/km (5:50 per mile)
  • Splits: 3:35, 3:41, 3:41, 3:40, 3:44, 3:47, 3:43, 3:55, 3:47, 3:45, 3:44, 3:39, 3:28, 3:24, 3:26, 3:24, 3:33, 3:40, 3:44, 3:33, 3:46 (1.1km – 3:25 min/km pace)

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