Sunday, June 7, 2009

Cobscook Bay 10k

This weekend Faith Ann, Cameron and I went to Campobello again, ostensibly to visit "Nammie". I had been contemplating running the Cobscook Bay 10k for a few weeks now. With the forecast calling for nice weather, we decided to make the trip.

The race was held at 10 AM (Maine time) Saturday morning. Faith Ann and I got there about an hour early, but she had decided beforehand not to race. The race was held in Pembroke, Maine, a community we always drive through as we head to Campobello. It is a very small village, as are most of the towns and villages around it, and I was pleasantly surprised to see several dozen people registered for the race. Several minutes after registering I suggested to Faith Ann that we drive the route a bit, so I could get a feel for the course. We drive it for a few miles, but Faith Ann thought we should turn around so that we wouldn't interfere with people in the fun run and the kids run, which were starting earlier. I said "sure", since we had seen a fair bit of the course and I now had an idea of the terrain. In retrospect, it turned out that drive was close to useless, since the real hills on this course aren't encountered until the last mile.

I have run two 10k's before. My first one (and first race ever) was completed last September, a few months after I started running. I did that one in 57 minutes. A couple of months later, I did another in 54 minutes. Now, eight months later, I would have been thrilled to have come in under 50 minutes. However, I thought that was being a bit aggressive, and I predicted to Faith Ann that I would finish in 51 minutes.

In typical fashion, I got carried away with the momentum of the race, and completed the first mile in 7:37. I wasn't too worried, as much of that was downhill. The next two miles were 8:12 and 8:05, which was more of the pace of was hoping for. Mile four was a bit slower at 8:23, but in retrospect I'm not sure why I slowed for that one. Looking back at the elevation chart captured from the Garmin, it does appear that there were a series of uphill stretches that probably provide a clue, but I don't remember any standing out significantly. Mile five was back to 8:09, but the sixth mile is where I fell apart. There were a couple of very steep hills, on a dirt road with larger rocks, and it emphasized how I really need to put in extra workout time in tackling hills. On both hills, there was a time when my pace surely couldn't have been much faster than a walk. That sixth mile was completed in an embarrassing 8:43. Beyond mile six, I'm not completely sure of my pace, since I forgot to turn off my watch (again!) when I finished, but I know it wasn't fast. My watch at the end said 51:43, and the clock time had me at 51:23 (the race wasn't chip timed). I started in the middle of the pack or perhaps a bit further back, but with 87 people in the 10k, and an undetermined number in the simultaneous 5k, I don't expect my "chip time" would have been significantly lower. So, my earlier prediction of 51 minutes was accurate. Perhaps a self-fulfilling prophecy? My next 10k likely won't be until September, with the Fall Classic in Fredericton. I would be very disappointed if I don't finish under 50 minutes there, on a very flat course.

Results of the 10k can be found here.

A few things stood out for me in the race. One was a young man who ran with one prosthetic leg. He and I were on a similar pace for the first few kilometers, and I gave him a quick compliment when I went by him. I had hoped to speak to him after the race to get some background information on him, but I didn't get around to it. Sometimes the people I find most inspiring in these races are not always the fastest runners.

Another person who stood out was a lady who was behind me for the last six kilometers or so. I think she must be a distant relative of Monica Seles. In rhythmic fashion, about every 45 seconds or so, she would let out a quick little yelp or grunt. It added a bit of levity to the run, and occasionally took my mind off my average heart rate 176 (180 or higher after mile 3). I found myself trying to guess when the next shriek would come along.

The area was very nice, quite scenic, and the post-race spread was fantastic, especially considering much was donated. There was even barbequed salmon.

I also had the pleasure of meeting Andrew, who ran a super race and finished second! That's the two of us chatting after the run below, on the right. I mentioned I would like to run the Boyden Lake loop sometime this summer, and he said to get in touch with him and I could join him, Mike and some of the other regulars. When I mentioned that I might be too slow to do the run with them, he replied like a classic New Englander, saying "We're wicked slow!". Check out his blog to see some of his "wicked slow" (not!) times! I think some of their long runs are at a reasonable pace, and maybe I'll throw in one of my PEI marathon training runs there later this summer, or perhaps in the fall. I check out his blog often, and he provided some good stories in just the few minutes Faith Ann and I spoke with him. When I mentioned we were running in Houston next January, he suggested we check out his post on his experience there. It is a wonderful race report - check it out here.

As for the rest of the weekend, Cameron and I got in some golf. Well, I got in some golf, and Cam had fun in the cart beside me. See him enjoying his bottle of water below. I think he must be good for my game, as I played a decent nine holes. I always feel guilty taking a cart on the golf course, but I'm ok doing it when Cam is with me. I also ran ten miles on the island this morning before heading out.

Just a couple more races for me this spring before devoting the summer to training for the PEI marathon. More on the next two races in a future post.


  1. Great to meet you! Looking forward to running with you later this summer!

  2. Cool that you ran the race and met Andrew. Once I get back on my feet the Boyden run will be a regular Sunday feature. Wicked slow is the pace of our long runs!