18 January 2009

Run Auckland, Waiatarua Reserve 5 KM

It's re run time again as I look back at the one and only 5K race I've entered. The Remuera leg of the 2007 Run Auckland series.

Today was Race One of a new series of running races being held in Auckland over the next three months called Run Auckland. The series has been put together to offer recreational and semi competitive runners the opportunity to take part in some regular challenging racing and also gives recreational runners a goal to aim for to assist with meeting their fitness goals. That's what appealed to me about the series. Being mainly a recreational runner who started this about two years ago when I decided that I unhappy with my weight, I find that I need a goal or purpose to keep me interested. This series offers just that.

Today's race is a 5km run around the Auckland suburb of St Johns. There was also a 10k race starting at the same time, obviously doing two laps. I've never run a 5 k before so was keen to start the series with the 5. Click here for the map.

The weather this morning was poor, and rain was threatening. I arrived at the race start around 45 minutes prior to the scheduled 8:00 am start for the pre race registration, the main purpose of which was to just get the timing chip. Unfortunately being a new series there were some organisational problems with the registration procedures and the organisers found themselves caught short with too few registration desks available to cater for the approx 500 runners who had turned up (most like me I would gather had pre entered online so no excuses here really). Eventually they got through the ques of people and the race got underway about 15 minutes late.

My calf was not feeling as bad today, still a bit sore but it wasn't going to be a factor today. My left shin was bothering me more than normal however during my little warm up jogs around the park waiting for the start. I wasn't going to let this stop me today however either.

I started near the front of the bunch and got off to a quick start to clear away from the bunch as quickly as I could before settling down at a steady pace. I had planned to do the first k in about 4:40 but this was probably around 4:20 - 4:30. The calf was felling good and the shin was soon forgotten.

The second k was just about maintaining a comfortable pace. I was happy with my position and was feeling okay. The course climbs a little over the third k and I had planned to ease off a bit at this stage to save myself for the last two k's. The persistent drizzle which had been around since registration was becoming heavier and I'm pretty wet by this stage.

Down the other side of the hill and I was able to pick up the pace somewhat on the run to the finish. The last k was all pretty flat. I was digging deep and was keen for a strong finish. I was able to maintain the pace right to the end. I'd held nothing back and was spent.

I finished in a race time of 23:18 (net time 23:06), just over three minutes behind the winner, Sam Morreau who finished the race in a time of 20:05. I'm stoked with my time as it was at the right top end of my goal time of 23 - 24 minutes.

I was the 8th male to cross line and 6th in the males 30-39 category. I'm also stoked with that placing for a first time 5 k'er. On plotting the run into Map My Run, I also found the run actually measured 5.25k. Who knows what time I might have achieved for an actual 5k

The results are interesting though. Of 174 finishers in the 5k race there were only 42 men. In the 10k race there were 242 finishers including 103 men. Why are then men staying away? Also interesting to note were the 5k split times for the 10k runners. The first 25 men all had a faster split time at 5k than my race time, with the first four all registering a quicker split than the 5k winner. Clearly the longer distances attract a greater number and quality of athletes.

Update, this series has really grown in popularity over the last two years and looks set to be a regular series on the Auckland running calender now. Will definitely be running so more of these in the future.


Ewen January 18, 2009 at 3:24 PM  

You ran well Bruce. Both on time and place/age results.

I sure hope you can get back to enjoying some racing before long.

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