It was a last minute decision which I was thinking I might regret, but on Saturday I decided to sign up for the Borden Half Marathon. It had been a few years since I had run a half marathon at Borden and this was now a completely different event and only in its second year. The previous incarnation was a partial trail run too, this one would be entirely on road, although a good portion was on a gravel road.
On Sunday morning Terry from Barrie stopped by to pick me up and we drove the short drive to Borden and got there fairly early, the race wasn’t scheduled to start till ten. We mingled with a few of the other early arrivers and as the time went by more and more RoadRunners showed up. A very good local turn out for sure.
My goal was to just put in the race and get a feeling for how my speed is. I thought that a 1:45 half would be a good time today and rumour had it that his wasn’t a very easy course.
At a few minutes to ten we were all lining up at the start getting ready go. It was gorgeous morning, sunny with a slight breeze and temperatures, although chilly to start were warming up, it was probably about 5C when we got there.
The race started and off we went quickly Dr. John, Aiden and Shawn Patton pulled in front of me and I let them pull away. This was my run and I would run it the way I wanted to, not by others paces. After about 2 km we came to the first hill and I found myself gaining on the others, I felt my pace was not excessive, but strong and I think the rest were struggling on the hill a bit. At 3 k I had to go to the bathroom and there after the aid station were porta potty’s so I ducked in to use one, Shawn was also doing the same, but he had other issues. I was quickly in and out and joined up with Rickymac as I came out. We ran together for a short bit, but I pulled a head of him. I passed Terry too, before Shawn caught me again. Another bigger hill ensued which I was able to take advantage of and pass quite a few runners again and gain on John and Aiden as well as Shawn. At about 6 k I had passed them all. I felt the pace was quick and maybe a little too fast, but I was feeling good at this point. Approaching about 7k the front runners were coming back at us from a turn around, so here was a chance to see how the rest of our group were doing compared to me. I didn’t see Shawn at this point but he may have been right behind me, at least I assumed he was. John and Aiden had slipped back quite a bit and I was surprised to see Rick ahead of Terry by a long shot as he seemed to be fading. Also saw Jim Tuttle before heading into the gravel roads through the woods. This was a nice stretch of quiet area and the crowd had thinned out a lot. There were a couple of runners in front who I was gaining on and were probably keeping my pace up faster than I normally would be. I was running well at this point and passed a couple more runners. At about the half way mark, there was not any one in front of me that I could see and without a rabbit in front to chase it was hard to keep the pace up. Also at about 12k I felt the tightness start up in my right side as usual. Also at this point another runner passed me, someone who I had passed earlier. That gave me someone to tail for a while. From a bout 12k to 16k we were still on the gravel road but it was all out in the open, the temperature had gone up and I had even removed my gloves. I was still following the runner in front of me, but he was pulling away slightly. A couple more runners had appeared ahead to as we gained on them. The stretch in the open seemed to go on for a long time, I didn’t like the gravel road as I was always looking for smooth section, but was slipping on it too. At about 16k we cam out on to the road again, hit an aid station and then a big climb which I decided to walk in its entirety. Two runners passed me on the climb, but I would catch them later. There was only one more climb after this a shorter one with about 2k left. I ran that with out a problem and finished strong, surprising my self with a 1:35:35 finish. I was surprised for a couple of reasons, 1) I forgot my watch and raced with out one for the first time. 2) I didn’t expect anything under 1:40 3) during the race I was not thinking that I would keep the pace up through out the race. 4) I didn’t expect to beat all the other Barrie RoadRunners.
Over all a good race personally, my fastest half in 3 years. A good event, nice course, good weather, good organization. My only complaint would be that they didn’t have any solid food at the end other than fruit. Bagels would have been nice. Having to buy Pizza wasn’t something that I know few people were happy about. I did, knowing some of the money was going to a good cause.
So although I thought I would regret doing the race, I didn't. I had a good race, a good time and maybe I'll do another half soon.
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