Suntrust National Half Marathon & Monument Avenue 10k

1 04 2011

 Hello all,

    Long time no see, eh!  I felt the need to write about my experiences in the past week and present as they have been memorable. Shall I start with the National Suntrust Half Marathon in Washington, D.C.? When scheduling to run this race a few months ago,  I set in my mind that a course such as this would be challenging with its many uphills,downhills, and tight turns. I felt the benefit of running in Washington was that it would make the Canadian Half Championships course feel like a pancake a few weeks later.  Last year I finished 4th and hope to improve upon that finish this year.

The field included last years champion and course record holder Mark Fruin(in 1:05low), Gurrmessa Mergessa (1:03 half), and several other Ethiopian runner from the Washington area.  Knowing this course would not produce a blistering time, I focused mainly on staying with the leaders. I was hoping that the leaders would stay in a group as long as possible, but it split up a mile into the race with 3 Ethiopian runners pushing the pace, and Fruin beside me with a few others. I decided to not play it conservatively and chase after the Ethiopian runners up ahead and risk hitting the wall a bit early. The move paid off and by 4 miles I was on my own and chasing the leader Gurmessa Mergessa. The hills seemed to unfaze me, and I felt strong. Despite closing the gap to 9 seconds I could not catch Gurmessa. I came in as the runner-up (2nd place) in a time of 1:07.25. This was right around my goal time for the race, and the placing exceeded my expectations.

This finish, and the mental toughness I had at all times during the race leads me to believe 1:05 is in grasps on a flatter faster course in Montreal on April 18th.  The course took its toll on my body though, and I have needed everyday possible to recover from the tight turns, up hills, and downhills, before racing the Monument Avenue 10k tomorrow morning.

Washington Suntrust National Half Marathon splits

first 10km: 32:01  last 10km: 31:53     Average: 31:57/10km pace   15:58/5km pace  = 1:07.25

http://www.coolrunning.com/results/11/dc/Mar26_SunTru_set5.shtml

Race Coverage: Video

http://www.wusa9.com/video/default.aspx?bctid=858350573001#/WUSA%2DNews/National+Marathon%3A+Supporters+Speak/46371336001/45927990001/858350573001

Monument avenue 10k

If you havent heard of this race, kindly remove your hands from your ears, and remove your body from the cave your living in haha…jokes…but in all seriousness (very serious face on)…there are 42,000 runners in the race and it takes place on Monument Avenue in Richmond, Virginia. It is also very competitive with the Likes of Abdi Abdirahman, Dan Browne, Alene Reta, etc etc having run the race. The winner is usually in the time frame of 28 mid and the course has hosted the USA Championships.

With such as astonishing amount of elites, I can say I was honoured and shocked when elite athlete co-ordinator and late great runner Thom Suddeth asked me to join Ethiopian runner Abiyot Endale in speaking at Echo lake Elementary school at an assembly about running. I jumped on the opportunity, and this morning we spoke to the school about running. It went well, and the experience was wonderful.

The race is at 8:30am tomorrow, and I seek to improve upon my 2010 Canadian 10k Championships personal best of 30:36. Surely, I will update my readers on the result.

National Suntrust Half Marathon

Echo Lake Elementary School

Just after speaking at Echo Lake