Monday, June 15, 2009

Race Report: Toronto Pearson Runway Run 5km

Well, my goal for the race, as set out in my last post, was beaten easily. I wanted to break 25 minutes and I finished with a chip time of 24:12. No, not Olympic class, but it's the fastest I've run a race in this millenium. Last year's time for the same race was 27:27. I did a lot of reading on 5km strategy leading up to the race and it became pretty apparent that a 5km is nothing more than a sustained sprint. I didn't let up from the opening and, despite not having a massive kick at the end, was able to maintain my pace throughout the race.

As for the event, good and bad. I want to clarify that I'm well aware that these events are charity driven and are mostly run by volunteers. Now that I've got that out of the way, I do have some criticism of the event, but not much. Here are my good and bad points:

  1. The staging area before and after the race was moved from last year's location, from an outdoor parking lot to an indoor warehouse (probably due to last year's threatening thunder storms). This was not a bad thing and the spectator area was closer to the runway and not hindered by a fence.

  2. The walk from the parking area to the staging area was very congested. I know - cry me a river...

  3. Lack of washroom facilities!!! There seemed to be at least twice the number of participants this year but the number of port-a-poddies was cut in half. There were a number of nervous runners, including myself, that thought they were going to miss the start of the race, while standing in line. This might seem petty to those who don't run, but for those who do, you will understand that the worst feeling in the world is running with anywhere close to full bladder. Unfortunately, there was not an abundance of trees or concealed alleys to use, like in most other races. Besides, it's the airport - god knows how many cameras are watching you at any given time.

  4. Very few sponsors with booths set up this year. Some people would like that. I actually enjoy browsing around stuff I'll never buy...

  5. The A18 fly-by at the start of the race was awesome! I was kind of worried that we'd all miss the start because we were too busy watching the low-flying fighter jet, but no, we were able to soak in the awe of this rediculously fast jet.

  6. The width of the runway means you never, ever, never will be boxed in - this is awesome when there are teams competing because they sometimes tend to run side by side, blocking the whole route.

Overall, this is a great, unique event and the volunteers did a great job as usual. My wish is that there would be a little more air traffic on Saturday mornings, especially the bigger planes.

So, with what I stated in my last post, I guess I'll start looking around for some more 5k's and 10k's since I broke 25. Also, I'm going to make interval workouts a little more regular to work on speed and leg strength.

Challenge update: Weight is at 181 after weekend festivities still way ahead of plan. After an additional 15.25km on sunday, I'm up to 63km which puts me past Newmarket at the intersection of Davis Drive and Kennedy Road.

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