The 9th Annual Spring into Motion 5k was hosted by Brad Mailloux and the Feet in Motion Staff at the Gellert Community Centre (Georgetown, ON). The race heads out from the walking paths of the Community Centre and then follows a stretch of the bike path along Eighth Line before snaking through the local subdivision and bringing the runners back to the Gellert Centre.
A full day of rest could not revive my body from the damage of a Friday night out with the guys. It had been a long time since we all got together and I must have thought I could still carry on like my youthful days. Bad mistake.
Not being able to fuel or hydrate for much of Saturday did not give me a lot of confidence as I went through my warm up on Sunday morning but I figured I would give it a whirl and see what I could make out of the situation. I tried to talk myself into going after my goal of sub-17 minutes and knew a few racers were going to be out ahead pacing that effort. Tim Shannon (multiple defending champ) and Sean Bowen (McMaster track athlete) were in attendance so the pace would be brisk for sure.
At the starting line, the light rain didn’t seem to be much of a factor due to the warmer air we were greeted with on this spring morning. Learning from last year, I got right on the line as the lead out to the bike path is a little tight with a lot of young, spirited athletes hammering out of the gate.
As the horn sounded, I moved onto Tim’s heels and just let him work around the teen runners setting the early pace. After about five hundred metres, the speeds dropped and the more experienced athletes seemed to filter out of the crowd to establish the lead pack. There were three runners just a few metres ahead of me following the lead bike up the slight hill making up the first kilometre. At the 1k marker, I was through in 3:18 but was already feeling drained. My legs felt fine but my stomach just felt empty.
When we made the next right turn, I was slipping back from Tim and Sean and following third place by close to 20 metres. We were now moving gently down slope so I was hoping I could maintain the time cushion set in the first kilometre and then work through the final three km’s to get to my goal. Unfortunately, my system was not cooperating and I slowly started to fade back from the youngster as we reached the second kilometre sign.
With survival mode in full order, I ignored my watch and just tried to make back time on the runner ahead of me. Tim and Sean were way up the road and on pace for a blistering time so I knew I had to toughen up if I wanted a piece of the podium. During this middle portion of the race, we zigged zagged through the surrounding neighbourhood where we seemed to be shelter from much of the wind by the taller homes of the community. Even with this relief, I could not get up enough speed to cut the gap and my target slowly drifted away.
Finally, the chase seemed fruitless as he made his turn off the streets and onto the park pathways for our final five hundred metres. When I made my turn, I could see Sean had a slight lead over Tim as they raced down the finishing chute for an incredible 16:07 and 16:13 dual, respectively.
With the finishing line in sight, I tried to muster some last minute speed but even that request was declined and I turned the last corner to watch third hit the line in 17:02. Thankfully, I finally reached that line in 17:40 and fourth place overall (a full 15 seconds off last year’s time).
The disappointing part was that this year’s weather conditions were much easier for running and Tim took 19 seconds off his time from 2011 so I should have had a better result. Oh well, have to look forward and be ready for Sporting Life 10k on May 13th.
A big thank you to Brad and his Feet in Motion crew for another great race. They always make the event worth putting on the calendar with their charity donations, volunteers, prizing and solid, local competitors.