Melissa’s Road Race in Banff is becoming somewhat of a tradition for me as this was my third year running the race. This isn’t an easy race at all but nothing beats the beauty of the course. I left Calgary a few minutes later than I wanted to, and since they decided to pave part or Highway 1 in Canmore and direct traffic into one lane that meant that I was cutting things really close. By the time I parked, made a quick pit stop and got to the race site I had 7 minutes before go time. I quickly checked my bag, saw a few friends and it was go time.
I didn’t have any thoughts of a PR in my head because my run training has been pretty sporadic. Sure, I’ve been getting my speed work in, but that is about it. Just to give you an idea of the course, here is the elevation profile:
The beginning of the race was crowded! I stuck to the edge of the road and tried to run past some of the slower folks as I didn’t want to get stuck behind them. Before I knew it we were at Tunnel Mountain. Time to start climbing! My goal was to run all the way up the mountain. What I didn’t realize was that the route had changed slightly and we now had to run farther up the mountain than before. As we turned a corner and I still couldn’t see where the turn around was I may have said some not nice things about the course, but most of the people around me felt the same way! I saw my teammate James and he was already on the way down the hill and was looking strong! Finally I hit the turnaround and it was time to head downhill.
Yippee! Running down the hill was fun and I just let my legs go as fast as they wanted to. I had expected things to open up by now but the course was still really crowded around me. I hit the 5K mark in 30:21.
As the course flattened out it also narrowed. I wound up getting stuck behind some folks that were going just a teeny bit slower than I wanted to go, but because it was so narrow it was too tough to pass them. One thing about the course change that I did like was that the last half of the course was quite flat. Previously we’ve run down a very narrow out and back section along Cave and Basin road. You run down, then on the uphill on the way out it gets really clogged as people stop to walk and there is no way to pass them. I was really happy about this section being taken out!
There was absolutely no shot of a PR on this day. My legs were toast near the end. So much so that I didn’t even have the ability to sprint it in to the finish. I was blown past by a ton of people as they all sprinted it in and I chugged along.
Final time? 59:16. That means I did something today that I have never done before in a 10K race. Negative splits! And something else that I really like:
- Mile 4: 9:37
- Mile 5: 9:34
- Mile 6: 9:27
Progressively getting faster in the last half of the race. Not too bad eh? So while it may not have been a PR I think I executed the race pretty well.
- Chip Time: 59:16
- Overall: 948 out of 2959
- 433 out of 2002 Females (Wow, there were a lot more women runners out there than men!!)
- Women 30-39: 179 out of 793
And one other interesting tid bit? I raced in running shorts for the first time since April 2006! I think I still like racing in running skirts better though!
Spokane Al says
That climb seems a bit robust. Congratulations on a great race.
Amanda - RunToTheFinish says
wow that is one heck of a hill…err mountain. agreed maybe not a PR, but still very strong
Nice work Leana! WahoO!
That is a great race!! PRing when mountain climbing sounds like it would be a tough thing to do. To me, 10k in under an hour is AWESOME. Throw in mega hills and you’re totally stellar. Doing all of that and having fun too? That’s amazing! Good job!!
Mel-2nd Chances says
wow! That’s quite the climb eh?! Congrats on another great race, I love running skirts too, sadly, the weather won’t let us wear them much longer… Great job Leana!
Big congrats on your race!!! YAHOOO!!! I used to run the Mel’s 22km — one year I ran the 10km and was HORRIFIED at the sheer numbers of people. It was wall-to-wall people the whole race. I don’t know how people run those marathons where there are 30 000+ people — NO THANK YOU!! LOL!!
Want to know something cool? My partner’s parents are part-owners of Melissa’s. One year, I got a last minute entry and I joked with my friends that it was because I sleep with the owner’s son. Hahahahah!! I wasn’t joking!! LOL!!
Congratulations, Leana — that hill is a monster and you totally slayed it!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂
That elevation looks scary. Nice job on the race!
Excellent execution indeed – congrats 😀
Scary elevation though – sheesh!
Being from Calgary, I think the Melissa’s race is on my “bucket list”. But MAN it scares the crap out of me…
congrats on a strong race! yikes that hill… i would have used some choice words or walked myself 😉
EeeK! That’s one big mountain 🙂 I always tell myself when I’m climbing on the bike or on the run… This is the work I have to do to get the reward!!! Giddy up!! Well done 🙂
Wow thats a climb!! Good job on your 10K!
Congrats on the 10K! Sounds like quite the course and definitely an accomplishment, PR or not.
Wow, unusual to have more women than men!
Congrats on the race – and dang, that’s a heck of a speedbump in the early-middle portion there.
Yes, if it can’t be a PR, a negative split is the next best thing in my book. Nice job on a tough course!
Aaron Cunningham says
Congrats on a good race.
What the heck is that thing in teh beginning of the race. A cliff you ahve to climb? holy, wow!
Great job on the negative split!