Sunday, September 25, 2011

Race Report: Oasis Zoo Run 2011

Also known as "my first 10k race ever!" or "holy hills, batman!"

I don't know if I'm going to use this format for every race report, but it seemed to work for my Army Run report so I will use it again now.

Ready to go!
The Route

After a jaunt through the parking lot (and behind the porta-potties - ew!) we ran on a couple back roads before entering the zoo.  They were relatively flat and easy compared to what we found once we got in there!

Looking happy at the start!

Once we entered the zoo the course went up... and down... and up again... and up some more... and down again... I would definitely describe this course as "rolling hills".

All the hills and twists and turns kept me distracted through most of the race.  Running by animals such as flamingos, camels and zebras helped too!  It was as beautiful as it was challenging.

The Run

Despite the hills, I kept up my plan of running for 10 minutes and walking for 1 minute through the whole course other than just after the 5k mark where the hill just went up and up and up.  I ran up about 2/3s of it and then walked the rest.

I ran with one woman for the first 10 minutes or so and then we separated because she wanted to slow down.  The rest of the race I didn't follow any person in particular but did notice that I frequently found myself in the same group of runners.  

I felt really strong through the whole thing, with a few exceptions.  Around kilometre 8 I was wondering if I would be able to start running again after my next walking break.  I had some aches and pains in my upper leg muscles but I kept going.  My splits are according to my time intervals instead of kilometres but they still give you a good idea of my pace.

Near the end I saw my sister with her husband and my nephew as well as The American waiting on the sidelines to cheer me on.  It was an awesome moment, probably my favourite in the entire race!  They got a picture of me and I wish I had a picture of them from right then.  I will definitely bring that image to mind in future runs when I am getting tired.  I finished the run feeling strong and happy.

There were professional photographers on the course and I tried to not look like I was dying look awesome when I ran by them.  I think one of them got a picture of me with the camels in the background and I hope it turned out okay!  I will share them if there are any decent ones.

The Music

I was really nervous making my playlist for this race because I wasn't entirely sure how long I should make it.  I'm happy to say that it was actually a little too long!  I wanted to listen to "Ali in the Jungle" at the end, so I ended up skipping most of "Firework" to get to it in the last few minutes of the run.

This playlist was really perfect.  Lots of motivating lyrics and good tempos.  If you were there and saw a crazy girl in a blue shirt dancing and pumping her arms, that would have been me.

The Swag

We got an awesome race shirt that is from The North Face.  It's "vapor wick" fabric and it's super comfy and fits nicely.  I've already worn it (it didn't help that I hadn't packed very well for the trip).  It has a big Oasis juice logo on the back but it's alright.

All finishers also received beautiful medals with penguins on them.  Love it!

Our race kits also had a sample sized Clif bar (delicious), some Oasis juice (haven't tried it yet), a sample of Tiger Balm (haven't tried it yet either but my sister used to use it all the time), and the usual pile of advertisements for future races.

The Results!

I finished the race in just over 1:10, meeting my A goal of finishing in under 1:20!

Gun time: 1:27:09.2
Chip time: 1:11:48.8
Average pace: 7:11
Category place: 256/296
Gender place: 1057/1347
5k split: 35:18
10k split: 36:32

This run was also extra special because I ran with my sister.  We decided we should to a 10k race together as a warm up to our half marathon, to give us a chance to run together and to keep our training on track.  We didn't run together because she is way faster than me (she finished in just under 55 minutes) but we saw each other after the race (it was chaos before) and got to enjoy the morning in the zoo together.

Overall, it was a very well organized and enjoyable event.  The course was challenging but I finished it and am very proud of myself!  I would love to do this event again next year.


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  3. a picture of you with camels?! how appropriate!

  4. @JenP and I was listening to a song from the LSAT CDs you made me while I ran by them!!

  5. I love Tiger Balm. Have been a fan for years.

    Interesting recap. Glad you had fun and hope your legs feel good now.

    I think the zoo is such a neat venue for a race. Wonder what the critters thought about it?

  6. Congrats on your race and great recap! I've been wanting to do the Zoo run but its a bit of a hike when you don't have a car. I love the penguin on the medal.

  7. Great job! I love the shirt and medal. Both are awesome! Way to keep those arms pumping!

  8. Great job on the race. I couldn't believe how hilly the new course is. It was a perfect day for racing though.

  9. I just happened to run into this blog this morning. What an amazing story. I really like your story and pictures. Great race!!