Race Reports

Race Reports, Training Stories …

Please email the club with any race reports you want to see posted here.

Jack Simpson Open 31-Jan-2016  

Posted by Pete McBreen on 1/31/2016

Pete 300m

This was more or less a repeat of the last meet. I managed to start a bit faster than last time, but 150m into the race my breathing started to slow down and as a result I slowed as well. Overall I had a better first 200m than last time, but the 300m time was slower. Photo below shows another reason why I was slower this time, I had the inside lane, and as you can see I’m having to lean a lot to get around the bend.

Pete in 300m race

Pete 1,000m

This race was meant to be the peak for the indoor season. Or at least the last race of the 2015-2016 indoor season. For some reason there have been few masters out at the races this year, so we were put in the last heat of the open 1,000m. Normally that would be a problem because it is easy to get sucked into the leaders pace on the opening lap. But after the 300m had sucked all of the life out of me, I was able to control my pace on the first lap and actually did it only slightly faster than my goal pace of 46 seconds.

On the second lap I realized that I wasn’t fit enough for that pace, and slowed to about 48 seconds on that lap. By this stage I’m running completely solo, but it is fun to hear the drummer at the top of the back straight encouraging everyone. Also slightly embarrassing to have everyone cheering you on when you are so far off the pace.

As I head into my third lap I hear runners coming up behind me. Yes, I was that far off the pace. But on the positive side the photo looks like I am in the lead.

In the lead

Obviously I had to move out to let the leaders stay on the rail, so that lap I ran 50 seconds, not slowing much but the extra distance from running in the second lane slowed me down. But as each runner passed me it felt like I was standing still.

At the start of the fourth lap the last of the other runners passed me — “Don’t think of it as being lapped, think of it as having company” (courtesy of Bethan). But being rather into oxygen debt at that point I did not realize that there was nobody else behind me, so I continued to run in the second lane. So I finish my 4th lap in 3:16, long after everyone else has finished, so finally on my last lap I move back to the inside lane.

Final lap was reasonable, I got back on pace – either because I was back on the inside lane, or because I realized it would soon be over. Final lap was just under 48 seconds, for a final race time of 4:04.18, my slowest ever 1,000m race since I started doing the indoor track series back in 2002.

Takeaways for the season

  • Do not bruise your ribs two weeks before an important race – it makes breathing difficult and really painful to cough after the race.
  • After doing crazy weekly mileage all summer, remember to back off the eating when the mileage drops in the fall.
  • As well as doing short speedwork and hills in the fall, I need to practice longer speedwork to build my anaerobic fitness.
  • Get a better camera that does not make the world look like I feel during the race.
  • Time for a few easy weeks and then start the build for the 2016-2017 indoor season – after all the times from this season should be easy to beat.

Dino Classic 10-Jan-2016  

Posted by Pete McBreen on 1/14/2016

Bethan’s Race Report

Hey, look, it’s me! This long-lost wanderer has found her way back, finally. I did quite enjoy my stint running with the club over the summer a while ago, but I fell off the wagon for over a year thanks to a job in the restaurant industry. So as the end of 2015 drew closer, I decided it’d be a laugh if I tried some short sprint races at the indoor Dino series, and so Pete challenged me to some of the shorter distances.I think I had about two or three weeks of consistent training before I did the 60m and 200m at the December meet, which was fun to do. Then finals hit, then I got sick, then Christmas happened, and New Year’s, and I really didn’t get much (any) training done, but I had a challenge to beat!

So before this race, I spent one session on Thursday, dodging New Year’s Resolutioners walking three abreast and a dozen crossfit groupies, and timed myself at 74 seconds for 300m. My “estimated time” from the last race was 57, so I had a bit of a way to go. On Friday night the track was closed because… there was a volleyball tournament going on in the court below. So I did a quick run on the treadmill between a woman playing solitaire and another reading a diet magazine, and that was the entire prep I had going into this race. Fun times. Incidentally, this was the second time I’d ever set foot on the track to actually race.

This time I just did the 300m, since they didn’t offer the 200m this meet. I guess that was just a warm up. Apart from the time I spent avoiding Resolutioners on Thursday, I’d never actually run a focused 300m, so my plan was to keep up the speed as long as I could, and not die. Which was basically what happened. I got put in lane 2, which meant that I wouldn’t get passed by anybody unless I did really, really badly.

The start was a bit rough. I’ve used the blocks a grand total of twice – both at the last race – and by the time I got the foot blocks sorted out (apparently I’m the right-foot-forward type), everyone else was standing behind their blocks, and I didn’t know if we were still warming up or not. Decided to play it safe and do like everyone else. Apparently there was a false start, or someone screwed up, because we had to reset, but I was so far around the bend I couldn’t actually see the starter. But eventually the gun went off and we went on our merry way.

The first half lap was great. I was breathing well, everything felt great, I could still see everybody, and I only had to go around to the finish line. Around the turn, I wasted valuable air muttering things to myself as I realized that it was actually hard work, and by the time I got on the backstraight, everyone else was disappearing around the next corner already. I didn’t check the time as I approached the corner because I was too busy focusing on staying between the yellow lines.

Staying Between the lines

By the end of the last turn, I was convinced that the finish line should have happened about halfway through the bend, but unfortunately reality doesn’t conform to your will even if you really really wish hard, and so the finish line was still waiting for me at the end of the homestraight. I thought about breathing and driving arms and stride turnover, but by this point the only viable option seemed to be flailing and falling forwards in the hopes that gravity would compensate for the lack of oxygen. After the finish line, I managed to cross the track from lane 2 and lay on the ground trying to breath. But it turns out I ran that in 59.78, which was a pleasant surprise. Not nearly as far off my goal as I’d thought, even though I had gone into it thinking I’d be happy with a 65.

So, with a few more weeks of training, who knows what’ll happen in the next installment. The goal is to beat that time. We’ll see what happens.

Pete was faster than 2 years ago

This year I only tried the 300m, so only one race this time compared to the three I did in the same event in 2014. Two years ago I ran 52.09, this time I ran 51.67 — so a small improvement. Differences between the two years are that this time there was no masters race, I just ran in the outside lane of the last heat of the open race.

Getting down into the blocks I realized I’m not quite as flexible as I used to be, I need to work on that if I’m going to do any more sprint events. I responded to the gun OK, and got up to speed relatively quickly Despite that, the two teenagers in lanes 3 and 4 passed me before the finish line, even though I still had the advantage of a complete lap of the staggered start at that point (since the entire 300m is run in lanes). As the photos show, I held my form well on the second bend, even showing a clean pair of heels (but sadly there was nobody behind me at that point other than the photographer.

The finish was a perfect picture of why running fast is so much fun. I started to feel it about 240m into the race, so coming off the final bend and down the straight it was beginning to get uncomfortable, but I held my form well until after the line, but then the picture says it all.

Finishing with a smile

That was fun, I’m really smiling inside…300m and 1,000m are my planned races for the Jack Simpson Open on 31-Jan

Jack Simpson Open 2015 AKA Masters Mile  

Posted by Pete McBreen on 1/19/2015

Pete ran slow

This was never going to be a pretty race. Although I managed to get in some good training over 2014, speedwork was hampered in the first part of the year by a slight strain on my left knee that took a long time to heal up. I was healing up nicely by December, then I bruised the ball of my left foot, and then 10 days before this race I injured the tendon on my left knee and rebruised my foot dodging someone who wandered across the Cochrane track while we were doing speedwork.

So preparation was not ideal for this race, so plan was to go out easy with 48 second laps, targeting a 6:30ish pace for the Mile.

Lap 1 48.2 – time looks good but it was actually 2 seconds too fast since this is a mile race, the first lap is 209meters, should have been closer to a 50 second lap. But not a big deal, I remembered to let everyone else go and just run my own pace.

Relaxed first lap

Lap 2 48.5 This second lap was run completely solo, could not see anyone ahead, but ran the right pace (4:02/K).

Lap 3 50.4 Started to feel the pace, my knee and foot were not happy with running in circles round the track, so slowed down a bit, but nothing to worry about.

Lap 4 52.2 Lost a bit of time on this lap as the leaders started to lap me so I moved out into the second lane to make it easier for them to pass. I realized by this point that I was not going to get a good time so no harm in being courteous to the faster guys.

Form starting to go

Lap 5 53.5 As you can see from the picture above, my form is starting to go, I’m not getting anywhere near the drive I need from my left leg.

Getting lapped again

Lap 6 57.5 Moved out again as more people were lapping me, but as you can see in the photo above my left calf is tense to protect the ball of the foot. No wonder I lost a lot of time on this lap – thoughts of stopping after 1,000m flashed through my mind but by then I was near to finishing lap 6 so only 2 more to go (even though by then the winner had already finished.)

Lap 7 57.9 OK, definitely starting to hurt now, and just to make it interesting Neil lapped me at the start of this lap and steamed on by without even stopping to chat.

Lap 8 53.2 Last lap was completely solo, entire mens field lapped me. I didn’t consciously push the last lap, but must have been the thought of being able to stop that made me speed up a bit.

Finish in sight

Final Time 7:01.87 Slowest ever time for the Masters Mile since I started doing the indoor series back in 2002. Plan now is to take a few weeks off running completely to let my knee and foot heal up. Once they are OK again it will be time to start the slow build for the next indoor season that starts in December 2015.

Neil was faster

Well didn’t hit my goal time of 5:40 for the masters mile but it was a fun year at the track while meeting all my other goals in the 3000m and 1500m. It just goes to show you anything can happen and some days you are better than others. No excuses for me, I just have to get back to training and give myself a chance to meet my goals for next year’s track series at the UofC. The one thing I enjoy best about the track is that it keeps you in your place with all the fast runners. Along with this… it’s a good reason to stay in shape in the winter and keep you level headed when racing. Final time 5:53.17

Neil mid-race

Thanks Pete for your coaching and introducing me to the track series last year. It’s made me a better runner and has introduced me to some of the best over 35 runners in the business. Now off to the 4×800 relay in February! A little less pressure and some team bonding.

Dino Classic 3-Jan-2015  

Posted by Pete McBreen on 1/4/2015

Indoor season is upon us again, but running this close after christmas was a challenge.

Complete Dino Classic Results in PDF format.

Neil 1,500m in 5:21.92, time improved by about 15 seconds compared to last year.

Pete 600m in 2:03.06, 4 seconds faster than last year, but last year I also did the 1,500m

Sierra 600m in 2:48.38 – still smiling at the end.

Two weeks to get ready for the next set of indoor races at the Jack Simpson Open on Sunday 18-Jan

Dino Indoor Master’s Mile  

Posted by Pete McBreen on 4/27/2014

Race Results and Series points totals paint a completely different picture. Neil was well ahead in all races, but by doing 2 more races Pete is ahead on points. Many thanks to Les for the Photos of the Mile Race

Pete – Masters Mile, 4th in 6:45.05

A completely different strategy for this race, rather than going out fast and then slowing down, this time plan was to start easy and if I felt good to speed up. It didn’t quite work out that way as I never really felt good, but at least I did not slow down too much. Race had five people in it, Neil, Jim, Pete, Ed and Anna from Calgary Phoenix Striders. First lap went to plan, Ed and Neil disappeared into the distance while I ran with Jim behind Anna. By the end of the first lap I had tucked in behind Jim, so comfortably in last place running about 50 seconds for the lap, so 4:10/K pace.

You can tell I’m focused on running a specific pace in this picture, I normally only glance at the watch but this time I’m really focusing on it to make sure I’m not being pulled along too fast.

Is Pete late for a meeting?

I was happily tucked in at the back for about three laps, when I noticed that Anna was slowing and that Jim had already disappeared off into the distance. So at that point I moved past Anna into fourth place, but by that stage I was detached from Jim and just running solo. I also noticed that the lap times had slowed and I was now running a 4:20/K pace which is where I stayed until 5 laps into the race when Ed lapped me. At that point I started to slow down even more, probably because I was listening for Neil – wondering when he was going to lap me as well.

On lap six, nothing was really going well, I was breathing OK but not really running fast, and the plan of speeding up if I felt good was out the window. On lap seven I picked up the pace a bit, but that was only because Anna tried to pass me at the start of the home straight. That gave me an incentive to pick up the pace and I managed to put in a decent kick for the last lap which I managed in just under 42 seconds. Anna ended up about 3 seconds behind, so I my defence I can state that she was saving up for a last lap kick as well.

Overall the race was much easier than the previous indoor races this season, probably because I’ve finally been able to get in enough aerobic distance work. Even though I was not working anywhere near as hard as I did in the 1,500m race in January, I ran the last 1,500m of this race about 11 seconds faster than in January. Of course the perception of the work would be different than then because back then I ran it fast at the start and slow at the finish. Starting out easy and then kicking is much easier to do.

Neil – Masters Mile – Second in 5:55.99

Well it was another great day at the track! I was proud to see my daughter run 2 strong races in the 150m and 800m. It is now officially the end of the indoor track races until next year. I already can’t wait for it to come! Now to focus on the outdoor races with a mix of some 5k, 10k and my first half marathon in November this year.

During the race I had two main goals. One was to break the 6-minute mile and the other was to stay within 20 seconds of Ed Bickley the king of the track this year. Oh ya and maybe lap Pete, just kidding Pete… The race started off well and I was able to stay with Ed (the leader) for the first 4 laps and then it went down hill from there. I just couldn’t keep the pace and Ed as he always does eventually took over. Now my thoughts were to just stay as close as I can to Ed and finish strong! I finally finished the race and did break 6 min with a time of 5:55. The winner of the race was (Ed Bickley) who finished the race with the winning time of 5:40.

Following Ed

I was pleased that I did meet all my goals: Stuck to Ed and was within 15 seconds of him and broke 6 minute mile! With all the goals achieved… I couldn’t have done it without Pete’s coaching and all the other awesome people in the Red Rock Running club. Great race Pete and Jim. Thanks Les for coming out and supported us on this great day! That’s all I have to say for now until next year’s indoor series!

Now to set new goals…

St Paddy’s 5K – Neil Hehr  

Posted by Pete McBreen on 3/22/2014

It’s a week later and I’am still a little tired and still trying to catch my breath from the first outdoor race of the year for myself. After a hard winter of training and competing in the indoor track series at the U of C for 3 races… I was curious to see how the St. Patricks Diakonos Race would turnout down at Eau Claire along the Bow River. The last time I ran there I was able to get 3rd overall and 1st for my age category at the Ambulance Chasers. I love the 5k and I ran the race in 21:38 minutes. Just enough distance to run fast and finish early. It turned out all the hard work over the winter at the St. Patricks race paid off and time wise I was chipped at 20:22.9 minutes. I officially finished 4th overall / 3rd for gender but did come in 1st for my age category. It was lots of fun! If I can only shave off 23 sec and get that elusive 19:59 for a 5k that would be great.

Full 5K race results

Jack Simpson Open 26-Jan-2014  

Posted by Pete McBreen on 1/28/2014

PDF of full race results for Jack Simpson Open

Sierra Hehr – 60m and 150m

Racing other girls was more fun then I thought! I was pretty proud of my results, considering it was my first race. Lilly ran great too! Lilly and I both agreed that we did way better then we thought we would. We had so much fun on race day that in the following day at class, Lilly and I were talking about really wanting to do the race again. My dad and Les also ran very good.

Sierra finishing 150m

Neil Hehr – Masters 1,000m

I had a lot of fun today. It was great supporting my daughter in her first track event ever. She was so excited to run and have her friend Lilly out for the day. The 1000m was as tough as I thought it would be. There is a reason I don’t run under 1000m as it goes down hill for me after that. However based on time prediction calculators it was my best race out of three that I did at the indoor series. On this day I came 3rd. Congratulation Les on running an awesome race with a time of 3:24 and I ran a 3:27. Big Ed took it at around 3:10 and Pete ran a strong race. It was inspiring seeing an 80 and 79 year old running in the the race. What a day and can’t wait for my next race experience!

Neil's last lap

Pete McBreen – Masters 1,000m

Running this indoor series is hard, because there is just one chance at each distance to do well. Yes, there is always next year, but the clock after each race is unforgiving. Our competitors were interesting, the mens and womens masters races were mixed, so we were racing against the 80 year old world record holder in the 1,500m Helly Visser, Roger Davies with 79 years of life experience, as well as Ed Bickley.

The first lap of the 1,000m went as expected, Ed took the lead followed by Neil, Les with me following not too close behind with Roger and Helly behind (but I’m not sure where as I learned many years ago never to look back in races). Neil went thought the first lap in about 39 seconds, I took it easier in 41 seconds (big mistake).

On the second lap I began to regret going so fast on the first lap, as I was breathing really heavy after just 300m, so with 700m to go I was already struggling. The second lap took 45 seconds, I was too far back to see much of Neil and Les, but I did notice at some point that Les moved in front of Neil and seemed to be trying to catch Ed.

My third lap went well, or at least that is what I thought until I finished the lap in 2:15 for a lap time of 49 seconds, I was only 8 seconds off my pace for the 600m race I did last time, but with 400m left to run in this race it was not going to be pretty (as this photo shows).

Grimacing for the camera

Starting the fourth lap I’m effectively running a solo time trial, but still worried about being lapped, but the wheels have come off and I struggle round the lap in nearly 52 seconds – but celebrate with the thought that Ed did not lap me.

I did have a boost at the bell however, I saw Helle ahead of me and realized I was going to lap her. As I passed her on the back straight I had to cheer her on, after all there are not many grandmothers with that much life experience who can run a 5 minute kilometer. I actually managed to pick up the pace for the home straight, and managed a 47 second last lap. Final time was 3:54.x, so this was my best race of this year’s indoor series. I didn’t smile as much this race, but that was mainly because I was too busy sucking in air.

Next indoor race is a Masters Mile on 26th April – will I be able to break the 6 minute mile?

Les Pears


One of Pete’s last emails before the races finished with these words; “it’s going to be a fun Sunday.” Well he was right! Neil and I both had daughters who wanted to try their hand or perhaps feet at racing. Both girls entered two events. The 60M and the 150M. Sierra, Neil’s daughter ran in the 10 and under event while Lilly ran in the 11 year old line up. What made this fun was the fact the girls are also best friends at school and pumped each other up throughout the day.

Lilly ran first in the 60 against four other girls in her heat and came in fourth. She said she was happy so all was well. Or so I thought. Her second event the 150; she put out extra effort and placed second. Now! She was happy and proud of herself. She knew she worked harder and pushed all the way. For me that was the best thing; she did not let up. Proud? Yes I am:-D

Sierra ran very strong in both her events. As the photos show she had great form coming out of the crouch start and was really moving. She like her dad seem to just make it look easy by their running stride. I will let Neil fill in the rest.

I must compliment the people at the track who coached the girls in the crouch start. Lots of patience and gentleness was given. I loved the fact Lilly was coachable, something she rarely accepts. Woo Hoo!! She is even looking into the Dino’s Youth Track Club.

Yup definitely a fun day.

Lilly finishing 150m race

Masters 1000

Has the fun ended? Not by a long shot. Now it’s Pete, Neil, Jim and Les’ running with Ed Bickly and a 79 year old gentleman – Roger Davies. We also had the pleasure of a wonderfully youthful 80 year old woman. Sadly Jim came down with a bug and had breathing problems and after all his training he felt it best for his health to race another day.

So here we go…all lined up; ready? BANG!!!!

As usual at the sound of the gun I jump straight up in the air and THEN I move in a forward direction resulting in being one of the last of the line. In a short moment it was Ed in the lead followed by Neil and myself. For the first lap and a half it stayed like that Neil and I close behind big Ed….Big but fast Ed! About that time I moved out and slid past Neil focused on tagging Ed. It felt good trailing Ed and as we passed the lap counters I heard 3 laps done; ARRGH…no four please four. I thought it was four.

Start of fourth lap

At about 3 ½ laps I felt my legs give a little and Ed moved a little ahead and kept his pace up. Some where about the 4 and ¼ lap I again struggled and Ed moved off like the Roadrunner. I pushed on and tried to boot down the last straight. Neil was close behind but I knew only that I needed to finish; the sooner the better! I may have gained a second with that last push. I am hoping. It was fun for me that’s for sure; but I was done for that moment. Pete and Neil will have to chime in on how their races were and if they had fun too. I wanna do it again; oh yeah!!

Les finishing ahead of Neil

Dino Classic 4-Jan-2014  

Posted by Pete McBreen on 1/5/2014

Full results from the Dino Classic

Neil Hehr – 1,500m – 2nd in 5:35.28

It was a fun day at the track. I had my wife, my 2 girls and a couple of friends come out and support me. We have had some practice sessions before the race the week earlier and based on my times I was right where I wanted to be at the end of the day with a 5:35 min time. I ended up running a 1700m race instead but the time still counts because I went beyond the distance. With all the young guys lapping me it caused confusion and Les breathing down my back didn’t help. I was sure Les would be 20 seconds back once we finished but he was right there beside me. Great job Les! Now I have 2 people on the team really pushing me… Yes Dylan… that includes you! It should make for an interesting Footstock this year.

Hats off to Pete for running 3 races in one day! Thanks Pete for awesome coaching and dedication to the running club. Well I better hit the weights and hope the other 2 on the club are on the couch eating potato chips.

Les Pears – 1,500m – 3rd in 5:36.74

A great day for a race; Bethan was with Pete, Neil had his daughters and I had my daughters along for the event. Toni, David and Dylan were there for support as well and thank God for that. As you look at the start of the race in the photos Pete and Neil looked calm while I was bouncing with nervous energy. As the gun banged everyone took off quicker and I fell in behind. Toni’s words rang in my ears “Don’t get sucked in to the others pace.” Pete has repeated that over and over. It didn’t “really” sink in. I passed Pete in the second lap and was concerned maybe I shouldn’t; fearful of not having the stamina. Each lap took its toll as I tried to follow how many laps I was being told were left. All I remember was Toni’s voice at one end cheering words of encouragement, what a blessing! At the top end of the track We had four kids all under 11 shouting and cheering us on amidst their amused giggles, plus a lady in one corner who called us by name urging us on. That encouragement got me through to the last lap. Although I had been passed by a number of the young bucks I was holding close behind Neil, I believed I could catch him before the finish but he was just to strong. As the finish line was crossed Neil was just blazing on! I worried I had not gotten the laps correct but Neil wanted to show the young ones he was ready for more.

Les sensibly walking after the finish

A great race by all; a lot of fun and my lungs at 6:33PM are still in recovery mode. Thanks to all who came and cheered us on. It was a learning experience to say the least.

Pete McBreen – 300m – 3rd in 52.09. 1,500m – 4th in 6:28.29, 600m 3rd in 2:07.09

Thought I’d try the over achiever mode today and entered three races, after all I have to get fit for the 1,000m on 26th January somehow. The 300m was the first race, definitely different as I’ve not had to use a crouch start from blocks for quite a few years. It was fun to go out really fast in a race without having to worry about pacing, but after a first lap of about 33 seconds for 200m maybe I should have worried. Doug Lamont the meet organizer said it looked like I was wading through water down the home straight to the finish. Judging by my arms maybe I was swimming a bit at the end.

Finish of the 300m

The 1,500m was next, about 90 minutes after the 300m. One benefit of doing more than one race is that I felt really loose and ready for the 1,500m – but that probably lead to an overenthusiastic start to the race. First lap was 39.6, which was a bit faster than my planned 48, but it was fun to hang in with the faster guys for a lap. I slowed to a 47.9 on my second lap, which is why Les got bored with running behind and passed me never to be seen again. On my third lap I started to pay for the fast start and slowed to 51.8 and from there it got steadlily worse, my slowest lap being 55.8. The good thing about the race was that neither Neil or Les passed me during the race, Neil nearly caught me as you can see by the grey blur in the right of the photo of Neil finishing (the black shirt behind Neil is Les).

Neil's finish - plus Pete's arm

After the 1,500m I had about an hour to recover for the 600m, and this time at Dylan’s prompting I tried to remember to smile – at least at the start of the race. For this race the first lap was run in lanes, then the last 2 normally. I managed to pace this one really well – or at least that was what I thought at the start. First lap was about 37, and I was comfortably in third place. I went through 300m in about 55-56 seconds, a mistake as I was only 3 or 4 seconds slower than what I ran in the 300m race at the start of the meet. By the time I got to the 400m mark I was in last place and going backwards. The second 300m took me about 71 seconds, so maybe I did not get the pacing right after all – even though the first half felt great – the second half of the race was not quite as nice.

Dino Opener, 3000m track race at UofC  

Posted by Pete McBreen on 12/15/2013

An interesting race this year, but not because I was racing but because we ended up running with the open women. There were too many people in the open men’s race for us to fit in with them, so the masters mens race went with the three open women. Just as well really since the open mens race started with a 36 second lap (3:00/k pace) which would have meant we would be running a solo time trial after just one lap.

This year the entire masters race was just Neil and Pete, so with the three open women we had a reasonable size field without the track being crowded. Neil’s goal time was 12 minutes – which matched that of two of the women in the race, Pete’s was just not to get lapped too many times. We lined up at the start and as planned we let the women take the lead, but as you can see from the photo below, they went out fast.

start of the race

Coming off the first bend Pete was well adrift of the pack ahead – Neil was sensibly in fourth place, but still went through the first 100m in under 20 seconds. Pete was already 4 seconds behind at 100m (despite running at Neil’s goal pace). At 200m Neil was still in fourth and running at a 3:20/K pace – 8 seconds/lap ahead of his goal pace. Pete was slightly behind Neil’s goal pace running at 4:03/K and backed off the pace a that point to settle into his own planned goal pace.

At that point the race split into two different races – Pete doing a solo time trial and Neil making a race of it with the women. Neil waited a few laps to move into third place, and then before he lapped Pete for the first time he moved into second place in the race where he stayed until the last lap. On the last lap he made his move in the back straight…

In the last lap I was so focused on the person ahead of me and left enough in the gas tank to over take that person with a quarter lap to go but the one one thing I forgot was there was a person behind both of us thinking of their own stragety. By the time I was all happy in first place a blur went in front of me and that person won the race by 1 sec.

Neil’s first 1,000m was roughly 3:45, aided by the fast start. The second was 4:04 and the last 4:11 for a total of 11:59.93, so 7 hundredths of a second under his goal time of 12:00 – not bad for his first track race in 26 years.

Pete’s solo time trial was made worse by Neil lapping him twice – the comment after the race was something to the tune of better coach than runner – not sure if it was meant to be sarcastic. First 1,000m was 4:27, followed by a 4:45 and a 5:05 – ending up with an average pace no faster than the 10K dino dash that was held in the pouring rain in September. Total time was 14:27 – but the photo finish timing shows Pete’s time from his 14th lap – but we now all know that it was slower…

Final times

Overall a fun start to the indoor track season, complete set of photos from Tosca and Les are posted for your entertainment. Next indoor races are on 4th January with 300m, 600m and 1,500m events.

CRRC Grand Prix Series – River Park Classic  

Posted by Member_20 on 10/6/2013

I thought I would try something different this year to keep me motivated to run through the cold, dark winter months. What I discovered was a fun cross country series put on by the Calgary RoadRunners Club. The Grand Prix Series runs from October 5th to March 8th with a 4k and an 8k race at a different location every couple of weeks. Sounded like fun so I thought I’d give the first one a try – River Park Classic at Sandy Beach.

I was a little apprehensive heading into Calgary yesterday for the noon start. When I read the race description, the part about the ‘classic’ course scrambling up and down embankments and crossing the Elbow River twice definitely gave me butterflies but hey, I was looking for something different, right?

I arrived with plenty of time to register, scout around and warm up. After a 10 minute delay due to technical difficulties, we were off! There was barely time to get your heart rate up before hitting the water. The crossing went better than I expected – the water wasn’t as cold as I thought it would be and the deepest section was only 18″. From the sounds of the hollering and laughing, everyone thoroughly enjoyed getting wet.

River Crossing

After climbing the muddy, slippery embankment on the other side of the Elbow River we were mostly on grass winding our way across the ridge and through greenbelts. I must say that the view from up there was stunning. Back down the embankment, crossed the river again and made our way through the trees and the picnic area. The 4k runners crossed the finish line and the 8k group made their way up a steep climb to head out of the park to a northwest loop around the off-leash area, across the ridge and down the dirt stairs to get back to the finish. It was great fun! Unofficial time 48:15.

Next race is their Confederation Park Relay on Sunday, October 20th (the only Sunday race). Teams of 3 each run a 4k figure eight course through Confederation Park in Calgary’s NW and YES another creek crossing!!!

Hope to see you there! Check out the Calgary RoadRunners’ website for all the details:

Calgary RoadRunners Grand Prix Series

Happy trails!

Karen Babin

Indoor 800m and 3,000m at UofC Track  

Posted by Pete McBreen on 12/1/2012

I’d like to forget both of these races…

Highlight of the 800m was that I did not get lapped. Dead last in 2:55.56, so 3:40/K pace.

30 McBreen, Pete  2:55.56 

Overall I ran it fairly evenly, 42,44,44,46, didn’t kick on the last lap as I didn’t have the energy.

The less said about the 3,000m the better – if you need to hear the sorry tale, ask Toni.

1 Lemenager, Erwann         72 Warriors              10:46.61   10   
2 Evans, Doug               62 Adrenaline R          11:12.24    8   
3 Abildgaard, Erik          61 Unattached            12:53.64    6   
4 McBreen, Pete             60 Unattached Alberta    13:57.18    5   
5 Davies, Roger             35 Calgary Roadrunners   14:12.31    4    

Amusing that we finished in the sequence youngest to oldest (The cryptic number after the name is the year of birth, 1972 through 1935). Worst thing about running 75 seconds slower in this race than last year is that it hurts just as much to do a slow race as is does to run a fast race.

Full results at Calgary Track Council website

Indoor 1,000m track race (200m UofC track)  

Posted by Pete McBreen on 1/28/2012

Last indoor race of the season for me, so time to do a fancy report…

Six Masters in this race, so it felt like a real race rather than running a time trial. Especially since I had Toni, Janice and David as my personal cheering squad – many thanks, I needed encouraging towards the end of the race. A big shout also goes out to Jamie Grant who was too busy coaching his SAIT team to have time to lap me in this race.

Lap 1: Gun goes off and everyone goes off like a bat out of hell except for me, I’m happy to settle into the planned pace for the race. I’m aiming for 3:25, so hitting 100m in just over 20secs is spot on pace, but I’m already 5 meters adrift from all the other runners and going backwards. (Except for one other runner who was behind me and I never saw him for the entire race, only knew he was there when I saw the results.) Lap time was 41.2.

Lap 2: Try to settle into the pace, running well, focusing on form. On the back straight I realize that I’m catching the runner in front of me, so I ease up to him around the bend and then push a little bit at the start of the finish straight to pass him cleanly before the next bend. I might have pushed a bit too much to pass him as I realize I’m closing on another runner as I finish the lap in 40.6.

Lap 3: Decided I’m not going to run out in the second lane to pass the other runner, so I hold back a bit around the bend and pass him at the start of the straight. At that point I realize that the rest of the runners in the race are well clear. I’m 30+ meters down on them as they are entering the next bend by the time I remember to look ahead to see where they are. So time to focus on breathing and staying relaxed. Lap time was 42.5 so I lost a bit of time by avoiding running in the second lane.

Lap 4: Starting to feel like a solo time trial again, cannot see anyone ahead, and cannot hear anyone behind me. Plan at this part of the race was to start the drive for the finish, so I try to increase cadence and work my arms more, but suddenly my thighs are starting to get that burning sensation. David said at this point it looked like from my chest up I was struggling to find enough air, but from chest down I looked like I was running well. So at least I was holding form and I didn’t slow too much on the lap with a time of 43.2.

Last Lap: Yippee! nobody lapped me in this race! Halfway round the bend I hear the bell for the runner behind me, so luckily I’m well clear of him and just have to focus on keeping form and breathing as much as I can. Entering the final bend I tried to kick – only 100m to go so how hard can it be. Answer: Very hard, my arms AND thighs are now burning, so not much speed increase around the bend. Coming into the final straight when I can see the finish line I finally managed to find a bit more speed and finished with a lap time of roughly 42.5.

Have just enough energy to walk off the track and lie down where Janice decides it would be good to get a picture.

recovering after race

(I was running too fast for the camera to focus on me the rest of the time – at least that is my story and I’m sticking to it.)

Overall time for the race is somewhere around 3:30, the timekeeper missed me on the photo finish so my overall time is an estimate. One part of me is annoyed by this, but since this was a proper masters race with six competitors, I’m happy to have passed two people in the race and got so far ahead of them that the timekeeper did not see me in the gap between the two runners up front.

Race results

Men 35+ 1000 Meter Run
Name                    Year Team                    Finals  Points
1 Guss, David               60 Adrenaline R           3:11.09   10   
2 Evans, Doug               62 Adrenaline R           3:11.98    8   
3 McBreen, Pete             60 Unattached A           3:30.0h    6   
4 Kervin, Richard           66 Unattached A           3:35.74    5   
5 Pahl, Kevin               76 SAIT                   3:36.18    4   
6 Erickson, Grant           72 Airdrie Aces           3:56.89    3 

Ice Road Trekkers – Sat Mar 21st 2009 – Yellowknife  

Posted by Pete McBreen on 1/27/2011

From Martin … Sue and I flew up to Yellowknife on Thursday and picked up the race package that evening. Next morning we went for a couple of km practice snow shoe and I realized that with the temp down at -30C I needed more protective covering for race day. On Friday afternoon a three hour survival course was held highlighting the dangers of frostbite, snow blindness, thin ice and other users of the ice road (Truckers!!!!). The pasta load was held Friday evening where the 80 plus racers meet for the first time. There were racers from eleven different countries including one from Australia; he had been running in snow shoes on the beach.

The “Rock and Ice Ultra” is made up of three races, The Cold Foot Classic, single day 44km race; the K-Rock, three day 145km race and the Diamond, six day 235km race. The one day race had 14 participants plus 5 relay teams; the three day had 29 and the six day had 28. The one and three day events are supported but in the six day event you are required to support yourself and drag your gear in a “pulk” (sled). In each race you have the option of either snow shoe/run or skiing. Finally the winners in the three / six day (man and woman; snow shoe and ski) events win a diamond supplied by the main sponsor BHPBIlliton who run the Ekati mine 300 miles north of Yellowknife.

Saturday morning I paid particular attention to my race gear. Key components being: a pair of neoprene bike booties over my trail shoes, double gloves with hand warmers and a skidoo neoprene mask. The race was scheduled to start at 9.00am and I was down at the tent village on the ice in Yellowknife bay at 8.30am. Temperature at start time -21C (-31C wind chill) with snow forecast. After getting final instructions from Sue (don’t get lost), we were all lined up and ready to go. It was a colourful sight with a number of red, yellow and blue sleds all ready at the start line. Several people had forgone the full face mask instead using strips of duct tape on the cheeks and nose.

At 9.00am the start gun went and we were off like herd of turtles. One individual shot out into the lead but unfortunately headed off in the wrong direction up the lake. He was quickly caught by the race officials and sent the correct way. I had decided to race at a set heart rate and with-in a couple km had reached the 141-151 range that I had planned to follow. Things went well for the first 10, 20kms; most of the snowshoeing was on the lakes with several portages along the way. My mask was icing up but the bottles of water/carbopro remained unfrozen. I reached the Check Point at the 30km in 4 hrs and felt pretty good. I had noticed the clouds rolling in as I entered the tent but didn’t give it much thought. After a hot chocolate and a couple of gels I was ready to go: I stepped out of the tent into a blizzard. The finish line was 15km away across Prelude Lake and I couldn’t see 50m ahead of me. The course hade been marked with orange flags every 100m, but with the storm coming the race officials had put in yellow flags in-between. I started off at a jog just trying to find the next flag and soon this was reduced to a shuffle. At km 34 I was stumped, it was a complete white out; I couldn’t see the flag in front or behind.

As I was contemplating my future (and Sue’s prophetic words “Don’t get lost”) I heard a yell behind me and to my right. Two women skiers had spotted me and called me over. They asked why I had left the route and I said I hadn’t really planned it. We made up a little convey with a women on snow shoes dragging a pulk. After what seemed like an age we could see the light of the dome tents and the finish line. Sue was there as were a number of the other finishers and race officials. The last 15km took over 3hrs with a total race time of 7hr 8mins. While waiting at the finish line I heard a number of racers had been pulled off the course, four for frostbite and one for snow blindness. Over all I took first place in the snowshoe/run category; definitely will do the three day event next year.

Final Comments: Extremely well run event, Scott Smith race director was always available (even in the pub) to answer questions. I highly recommend the one day event.

Snow Scramble – Saturday Feb 21st – Norquay  

Posted by Pete McBreen on 1/27/2011

From Martin … The first snowshoe race put on by the Out There store was the 2009 Liveoutthere snow shoe sprint. This race was held on at Norquay ski resort and the temperature at race time were -5C. The race start was next to the ski lodge and the event was made up of two distances, a 9km and a 5km route. At 11.00 am, 9 participants lined up for the 9km and 24 lined up for the 5km. The gun went off and we were told to follow the orange flags, straight up the side of a mountain. I had entered the 9 km event and the route followed the same format its entire length. Up and down the mountain across the parking lot then up and down another mountain. The only break being a section down the ski out which was covered in ice, then we had to snow shoe back up it. It was the toughest 9 km I have (next to the 9km downhill section on the K100) raced and I was glad when it was over. My time was 1hr 16m 10s, good for third over all and second in the men’s. This is a race for people who like running up and down the side of mountains, and pain!