Heartbeats, they were racin’
Has it really been 5 months since I’ve raced hard? Yep. And it was good to get back into a competitive race at the Oasis Zoo Run which also served as the Canadian 10km championships.
Going into the race I had a 10km focus week which meant I had less volume (more speed) in my main sessions and less overall volume (175km last week). This allowed my legs to feel snappy and also allowed me to regroup after 3 weeks of higher klickage before I tackle some tough training weeks.
Right off the gun Dylan took the lead heading into the first turn and I thought he just happened to get a good start. After rounding the corner 100m into the race it was apparent this was a planned effort by Dylan to push the pace. Push it he did as he went through 1km in about 2:42. Gillis, Josephat Ongeri, Kip Kangogo, Rob Watson and I took chase not letting Dylan get too far ahead. I was planning on biding my time and bridging the gap by 6km. Let him dangle out there on his own for a while.
At 5km Dylan was still a few seconds ahead of Gillis and I (14:44) who were working together. We caught Dylan around 5.5km and he stayed with us with Kip stalking close behind. I started to push the pace more than anyone else after 6km. By 8km I thought it was just Gillis and I left out front but Kip caught up with us too. I kept putting in little surges to test the other guys. If one of those surges led to a decent gap I would have kept pressing but that never materialized so I started to plan on a final kick.
The last km has a few tricky hills and turns. With 500m to go Gillis made a strong move to crest a hill and Kip covered it. I felt it was too early for such a move and decided to make mine on the downhill thinking the run-up to the finish was flat. I moved past the two guys and gapped them a little but then I saw another hill and knew I should rest then hit the gas once more if they crept up to me. That’s what happened and I took off with about 150m to go for the win.
I was happy with the win and pleased to run 29:51 on that course in those conditions and pocket enough money to get me back to Kenya this winter.
On the cool-down we saw a Rhino, baboons, hippos, an elephant, antelopes, a warthog and some sort of water buffalos or something. Later I was wondering why I hadn’t done this in the other three years and realized all the other years I’ve been drug tested and had to do my cool-down within sight of the chaperone.
Today I got back into the swing of marathon training with a 37km day starting with some fartlek this morning. 5 weeks until Niagara Half and then 5 more weeks until Fukuoka marathon.
This track got a lot of listens from me this past week…