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May 10 2012

Mississauga Marathon 2012 – Race Report

My first marathon race has come and gone. All I can say is I had lots of fun, saw some interesting things along the way. I took this event as seriously as I could, planned well in advance, and followed a training program as much as my IT band would allow.

I think it worked?

Pre Race

I woke up just shy of 6:30am to make my famous double scrambled eggs and toast for breakfast. The temperature was 9C and rising, with low winds. I opted for short-sleeve shirt with compression baselayer and marathon shorts.

Walking out the door at 6:45am, it felt a bit chilly bit a light jog warmup solved that problem.

I found most of my marathon clinic classmates near the start, and everyone looked ready to go!

Race Start

I tried to make my way towards the 4-hour pacer, but ended up behind the 4:15 bunny by the time the gun fired. No matter, I planned to take the first half easy anyway.

Nothing unusual at the start, besides the fire truck boom being so low that I thought I might have to duck under…

Km 8

On the race courseThe first part of the race went by quickly. I felt great, and just needed to remind myself to get a Gatorade at every drink station, cause I know I’ll need it later on.

At the end of UTM loop, I was slightly behind the target 5:30/km pace, but not to worry, I planned to get a negative split too.

Km 10

The Mississauga Road hill. No sweat for me and apparently everyone else around me!

Km 12

Came up behind a familiar barefoot musketeer known as Alan on Dailymile. I had a quick chat with him, and then went on our merry ways. 30km to go for me, only 9km left for him…

Km 15

Crossing the Credit River in Port CreditMarathoners split from the half runners at this point. This is also where I met the lady who I now know as Robin, also a Dailymiler.

Apparently she ran Boston 3 weeks ago, and was attempting to qualify again during the Mississauga race.

I couldn’t get past her, but she wasn’t pulling away from me either, so she ended up being my pacer for the next 15 or so kilometres. Thanks Robin!

 

Km 21

Reached the halfway mark timing mat on Southdown Road. Time for another gel.
The intersection with Lakeshore Road seemed a bit sketchy. Police were blocking off long lines of traffic as they saw runners approach. I hoped no angry motorist would try to barge through…

Km 23

Beginning of the out-and-back section, where there was a steady stream of people moving in the opposite direction. I needed to move another 5km to be in that position.

Scenic view of Suncor refinery here.

Km 26

Just about to split between those two guysThe tightest hairpin I’ve ever experienced in a race. I had to stop completely to make it around the cone. That’s not what my legs needed at that point…

Scenic view of cement factory here.

A few steps ahead, guy opened door to portajohn and walked right into another guy in the middle of business. Awkward.

Guy immediately closed the door and entered the adjacent female portajohn. There was no female in the portajohn. Whew.

I was laughing so hard that I had to slow down to recover!

Km 27

Route turned to Lakeside Park. Bugs aplenty.

Km 31

Trying to stay focused to the finishI believe the steeper of the three hills on Meadow Wood Rd. was the toughest on the course. I was still ok at this point, but quite a few people were walking to the top.

With all the hill behind me, I started to pick up the pace. Everyone had a target on his/her back now!

Km 33

On the trail in Jack Darling Park, two other racers and I were asked by some random cyclist to move aside. Screw him!

Km 37

Rejoined the half marathon route and on to the final stretch.
This final part of the course would be nice if I didn’t have to constantly watch out for invaders armed with baby strollers, roller blades, and mountain bikes, and at the same time find space to pass people.

Km 41

Sprint to the finish!After crossing the wooden bridge, I could see and hear the finish line. I continued picking off runners one by one, including the 3:45 pacer.

Finish

Full sprint to the finish line. I could hear people calling me from the side, but I was only looking straight ahead and didn’t actually see them. I kind of felt bad for not acknowledging them.

Just like I did in Chilly Half Marathon, I nipped another victim at the line by 0.1 second. I think it’s become my trademark move!

Final chip time: 3h45m03s, gun time: 3h47m10s

Conclusion

I think I finished?After receiving food and medal, I found most of the other clinic graduates, and even some of the half marathon racers who waited for us. How nice!

My main concern coming into the race was fuel management, and how much my body would complain since I had never done more than 30km prior to the race.

I was pleased with the fact that my energy level held up throughout the race, was hydrated, and didn’t injure myself. I am filing this as a successful endeavour.

Now that I know what I can handle, for my next marathon, I will try to get a more even split to drop this PB.

8 comments

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  1. Bill Richardson

    Great report Henry and sounds like great run management as well.

  2. Robin Brunet

    Congratulations again Henry. It was nice to meet you and be part of your first marathon experience. You did great, and looked very strong! Well done. A positive first marathon is so important. The port-a-potty incident was funny that’s for sure!

  3. Lyndsey

    Great race Henry!! The photos are great, did you see your youtube vid too?

    1. Henry Lo

      Yes, and the announcer even called my name :)

      1. Lyndsey

        Awesome! I was sad, I didn’t get my name called because I came in just behind the first place marathoner so they were busy talking about that.

        1. Henry Lo

          But then, there will be tons of photos and videos of the marathon winner with you in the background!

  4. Hong

    Congrats on a fantastic race Henry! Wish I was there to cheer u guys on… maybe have some oranges on the side lines again :)

    1. Henry Lo

      Actually there was a group of people doing your job! I almost took a slice of orange, but didn’t want to risk something new during a race.

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