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Survivor Harbor 7 - RunOther

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Baltimore, Maryland
United States
85F / 29C
Total Time = 42m 56s
Overall Rank = 4/500
Age Group = M40-44
Age Group Rank = 1/33
Pre-race routine:

I didn't plan to do this race, and even when I decided to take part a couple of days before I only planned to do it as a tempo run. I mostly just wanted to join with a couple of folks from work who were taking part. Plus I liked the idea of doing a race around Baltimore's Inner Harbor. I had done a parent-child triathlon the previous morning, plus a 2-hour trainer ride that evening. And my bike was loaded in the car, so that I could go and do some hill climbing after the run. I'm just getting back into run training after achilles injury, and hadn't run as much as 7 miles since March. All of which is to say that I really wasn't taking this seriously. As the unusually small number of pre-race bathroom trips confirms. But as seems to be happening these days, the races where I have the lowest expectations seem to turn out well.
Event warmup:

Just a little jogging around to loosen up. I had no plans to hurry at the start, so I could complete the warm-up after the start of the race. It was the start of a sweltering hot day, so I wasn't exactly cool in any case. Already at 7am we were looking around for shady places to shelter in.
  • 42m 56s
  • 7 miles
  • 06m 08s  min/mile

I deliberately set of steadily. This was supposed to be more of a tempo run than a race. The goal was to try for around 6:30/mile, and not to worry if I went a bit slower. The start felt quite easy, so I was surprised that the leading group was pulling away more slowly than I'd expect. Perhaps the fast guys were elsewhere today. Perhaps somewhere less hot. I figured I was probably running around 20th, but didn't attempt to count. A handful of people passed me in the first mile as we settled down. The official mile markers seemed inaccurate, a bit shorter than what my Garmin was telling me, so I chose to rely on the Garmin. Mile 1 passed in 6:22, which seemed pretty comfortable. There was still a fair amount of shade. As the race progressed we had fewer and fewer shady spots, and that made things harder.

Mile 2 passed in 6:28, still feeling comfortable. I figured that the 6:30 average was probably feasible. The next 3 miles weaved around the Inner Harbor tourist area, which was the scenic highlight of the race. I was surprised to find that my pace picked up. Mile #3 was 6:14, and Mile #4 was 6:16. I started to pick off a couple of people. Mile #5 was a little faster at 6:08. By now the sun and the heat were starting to get to me, and I was looking forward to the finish. I could see a few people ahead of me, but I had no particular ambition to catch them. From mile 5 onwards it became harder to see who was ahead of me, as we joined the 4-mile runners who had started a few minutes after us. Mile #6 was faster yet at 6:01. By this point I was quite looking forward to the finish. I noticed that my HR was into the 180s, and so I figured that this had turned into more of an effort than I had planned. Oops. I think I picked off a couple more people in that stretch, but I'm not really sure. I could see one faster runner ahead of me, but decided that I wasn't interested in trying to catch him, as this wasn't a race, after all. But then as we approached the finish I found that I was almost on top of him, so I pushed a little harder to go past him in the last 100 yards.

I was quite surprised to finish in 42:56. I had been planning something more like 45:30. I was even more surprised when I learned that I was 4th OA, 1st Masters. (Well, there was a 55+ year old who made top 3 OA - pretty good.) As I hadn't been paying such close attention to my position, I had no idea that my position was that high. I'm not sure that I believe that the race was a full 7 miles. My Garmin read 6.9, and Google Maps got me 6.97 miles. The race website said that the course was USATF certified, but when I looked it up, it turned out that what the USATF had certified was an entirely different course!
What would you do differently?:

Nothing. This really wasn't a target race. I was pleasantly surprised with how it went. In fact, I think that I may have learned something important from this race. I should probably start off more slowly in general, and then work by picking off people. This is more like what I do in the run segment of tris, thanks to my abysmal swim. In open run events I'm more liable to start off faster than planned and then try to hang on. Not always successfully.
Post race
Warm down:

It took a while to cool down. They were giving out towels doused in ice water, and that helped a lot. Shevaun and Cybelle both finished faster than expected, and placed unexpectedly high in their divisions. Nice! We enjoyed the breeze coming off the water until the awards. I got an unusually nice 8x10 plaque with a picture of Baltimore Harbor - cool. Then we retired to a funky diner near Johns Hopkins for post-race replenishment. By the time this was done the heat was edging up further and further, so I decided to postpone the bike climb fest until a day when I can set out earlier in the morning. Today would be a trainer day instead.

Event comments:

This was not the most organized event that I have done. The focus is on the survivors, not on making a fancy runners' race. Which is fine. At the start, people weren't exactly sure which direction the race was supposed to head in -- oddly, it set out in the wrong direction and did a hairpin turn after barely 100 yards. The start was delayed because the scheduling of the wheelchair race meant that the first racers were returning around the time that the run was supposed to begin, and the wheelchairs had to veer across the path where runners were supposed to line up. It's fortunate that nobody got hurt, I saw a couple of close calls. I'm not sure that any of the mile markers were close to accurate. The course was well marked, mostly. The start-finish area at Canton Waterfront Park is rather nice, with shade and breeze from the harbor. I like the fact that the organizers kept the race fees low by doing things like making race shirts optional. For the students who I was running with, this made the race more attractive.

Last updated: 2012-06-10 12:00 AM
00:42:56 | 07 miles | 06m 08s  min/mile
Age Group: 1/33
Overall: 4/500
Performance: Good
Course: Flat route around Baltimore Harbor. Mostly out-and-back.
Keeping cool Below average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Below average
Race evaluation [1-5] 2

2012-06-10 2:39 PM

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University Park, MD
Subject: Survivor Harbor 7

2012-06-11 9:37 AM
in reply to: #4254059

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Columbia, South Carolina
Subject: RE: Survivor Harbor 7
Very nice race.  Sometimes the unplanned efforts are the best.
2012-06-12 9:24 PM
in reply to: #4254059

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Whispering Pines, North Carolina
Subject: RE: Survivor Harbor 7
Very nice race! Fast, brother! Glad to see you throw it down! You raced it perfectly!
2012-06-13 7:47 AM
in reply to: #4254059

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Crab Cake City
Subject: RE: Survivor Harbor 7
Nice Race Colin. I didnt even know about this race and the start/finish is less then a 5 minute walk from where I live. I will have to look into this for next year.
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