Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Montreal RNR 10k Race Report

Just over a week ago, I completed my fourth 10k race and - spoiler alert! - I got a shiny new PR!

I had a couple different goals for this race. My "A time" goal for this race was to finish under 1:10. My non-time related goal was to not fall apart at the end. I am very proud to say I met both of these goals.

Post-race - sparkle = speed!
Generally speaking, the event was pretty great. The expo was well organized with lots of available parking. The t-shirt, blinding green colour aside, is a well-fitted, comfy Brooks tech tee that I have already run in. The post-race area had lots of snacks that they conveniently handed to you in one bag. There were bands along the course to entertain you, and just enough water stops to keep you hydrated. The on course photographer was awesome - all the photos of me are money shots, as if they either (a) only took good pictures or (b) only indexed the good pictures. Either way, that's a win.

The one big issue with the event was the starting time. The race was supposed to start at 8:40 a.m. We arrived at the starting area at about 8:25 a.m. - plenty of time to use the bathroom and relax, or so I thought. While we were in line for the bathrooms, we heard some announcements and a countdown - both only in French, and both very garbled. And it looked like the race started!

Ready to go and too busy taking pictures
and going to the bathroom to START?
People around the park did not seem too concerned or panicked. I really needed to use the bathroom so I stayed in line. It became clear that the race actually had started, although when The American went for information the person he asked spoke very little English and couldn't confirm. I stayed in the bathroom line still, figuring I had missed the start already and might as well go to the bathroom. Once I had finished up, I went to the start line for a very uneventful start to my race.

The very uneventful starting line.
Thanks to the strange start, I spent the first couple kilometres having an internal battle with myself just to keep running. Having missed the fanfare of the start, I had no start line adrenaline and no motivation to run. Combine that with the fact that I was surrounded by walkers, including strollers and people in jeans and carrying bags, that I had to dodge around. I felt so awkward and unmotivated trying to run for a PB surrounded by people out to walk the whole 10k. I told myself just to pick people off and keep going. I had so many road kills in this race that I couldn't keep track if I tried.

I tried to find information online about what happened afterwards. There were no announcements or e-mails sent that the start time had changed. I finally found out from someone on Twitter that they had made a last minute decision to start the race early because everything was ready to go. In my opinion, this was a really poor choice as it left a lot of people confused, scrambling and running in the last corral when the belonged in a faster one.

Performance wise, I didn't think to set any intervals on my Garmin prior to starting because of the messy start. As I crossed the starting line I thought "well, I'll just walk when I need to". I used this approach for the Princess Half and it went well. In this race, I ran about 1km at a time, sometimes a little more and sometimes a little less. I think I ran 2km straight at the end because I was so determined not to fall apart and to bust through the 1:10 mark. My playlist was built with a strong finish in mind and it worked perfectly. The first half was faster than the second though - I'd like to even my splits out in the future, or go for a negative split if possible. Other than that, my performance in this race is a blur of "ohmygoodness I'm so happy I reached my goals!" The post-race pictures of me are ridiculous because I was just so happy.

Got my bling!
Overall, I was pleased with this event and very pleased with my performance. After the horror stories I had heard about other RNR events, I was worried about how things might go. Other than the start time issue, I was happy and would recommend this event.

We had stayed with a friend who lives close to the finish area so we walked home. On our way back, we realized we had parked smack in the middle of the half marathon route (which was also the first half of the marathon). Since we were stuck in Montreal anyway, we went on an adventure:

We refueled at Chez Cora.  This is seriously all I could think about after the race until it was in front of me:

Then we went to the Biodome, which was sadly not as awesome as I'd imagined although we did have fun:

We actually ran past the Olympic tower during the 10k and it's in the official photos. It was at about the 5k mark I didn't notice it at the time. I had gone up it in the past so we didn't on this trip.

Official stats:

Gun time: not available
Chip time: 1:09.29.3 (almost a full minute better than my old PB!)
Category place: 583/770
Gender place: 3029/4233
Overall place: 4962/6478 (there were just over 2,000 more women than men in this event!)


  1. Nice work!! And that post-race food = great.

  2. Great job getting your PB! That's crazy about the start! I wonder how many complaints that they received about that! I'm glad that you had a good time though. Congrats!

  3. Great job on getting a shiny new PR and some bling! Love your purple sparkly skirt!