Victory is off-dry:Niagara Ultra Half

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Doonst
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Victory is off-dry:Niagara Ultra Half

Postby Doonst » Sat Jun 23, 2007 1:38 pm

Started out feeling like the fall tour. Early morning: up at 4:15 and on the road at 5:15. Plus I'm running a half marathon, and after feeling tired and sore all week, I'm better on race day. Heat on in the car heading down, that's a good sign.
Arrive in Niagara on the Lake at 6:45, plenty of time to talk to Kinga and Alfie (the one from Pickering) before they head out at 7 for the 50 K. Lots of time to prepare for my race at 7:30. I'm the only Maniac in the half it seems, but I recognize some people I know, notably Rollo Joe from Ryne's Bruce Trail Adventure.
My plan is to go out hard from the start. Doing lots of halfs last year taught me a few things about pacing. My fastest times, although only slightly, were in races when I went out "optimistically" and was fading at the end. Within reason, it just seems to work best for me.
No chip timing, but there is a clock. I line up about second tier, and we're off. I seem to be only about 10 back, (out of 95). By the time we hit the main trail at the 1 mile mark, maybe 2 guys and 3 women get past me. First K split took 4:20. :shock: I guess I am going for it. I tuck in behind the last women who had passed me, and pace off her until the 5 K aid station. Second split was 4:25. 5 k came in 22:33, about 30 seconds off my 5 K best. As usual, i walk through the water stop for about 10-15 seconds. 2 guys blow by me, then 2 more just as get going. I'll have to rethink that plan, running at this level. That split was my slowest at 4:51.
I was hoping that a half would seem shorter after training for a full, and it sorta did. I settled into 4:40s for the next 5, right on track. I was pushing, but hopefully not beyond what i could sustain. My new sore knee was there, but didn't feel like it would go critical. Around 9 K we saw the leaders coming back at us after the turnaround. I was with a group of 3 others, all who had passed me at the stop. Another aid station at 10 K, came at 46:08. Exactly 2 minutes faster than my PB from the Wolfe. Gotta do another 10 K some day. :? Halfway turnaround was at 48:30. That was very good to see, it should be a good day. Double that and I have a 1:37. Yeah right.
It was good to be heading back, no surprises now,. I figured about 15-20 people in front of us. The group of four dropped one guy right after the turn, then another after 2 more k. He said, "way to go" as I passed him. Just me and another guy left, he has a shirt from local Runner's Den store. A lot of runners coming at us greet him. By the 13the k i am finding it hard to keep on him, then I notice that he is picking up the pace, 4:31. My average pace at the half was 4:37. I back off and let him go, even so next split is 4:36, and he's walked away. I keep him in sight though, its a mostly straight and flat course so you can see a ways. Very scenic course, about 80 % shade; temp is 14-16 during the half.
After he's gone i just cruise for a while, watching my average pace slowly creep up. Last water stop is at 16 K, getting pretty lonely here. Just gotta hang on and I've got a good race. Gets lots tougher, feels slower. One more minor goal is to do all splits under 5:00, I have never quite done that. Finally up ahead I see the guy in front of me turning left off the path, that means one mile to go. Then my turn, slowly pick up the pace a bit to empty the tank. Last stretch is across some grass, then the finish line. Time on the clock says, 1:37:xx. Baby baby.

Final time:1:37:21. PB by 4:29. Average pace 4:39. Halfway splits:48:30 and 48:51. Plateau be d@mned. 18th out of 95. Eventually I ask the timer if he can tell age-group stuff. But he's pretty busy. I try him again 20 minutes later, he say, it looks like you're first. No frackin way. There are only prizes for first place in 3 age groups, (X 2 sexes) and I get one of them. Not so bad getting old. I had 2 waters, 2 coffees, a sub, and 2 beers (yes free beer Dave) by the time they called me up to get my plaque and bottle of wine. I'm happy.
Really nice race, if you get a cool day like today. warmed up a bit for the 50 K folk I'm sure. I would recommend it highly. YMMV.
Oh yeah, if they accept the course as certified, that gets me entry into NYC Marathon. The 50 K is certified, and they just measured up from the 10 K certified mark for the half turnaround. In a non-certified way. 50 has been accepted for BQ. Oh well, I now know I could do it again if I have to. Swag included a cotton hoody, and a personised keychain.

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Postby ultraslacker » Sat Jun 23, 2007 1:43 pm

wow! I'm so impressed! Congrats on the mondo pb and the hardware!! :)
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Postby BJH » Sat Jun 23, 2007 1:46 pm

Sweet!

Way to go Sheldon!
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Postby dgrant » Sat Jun 23, 2007 1:50 pm

That is freakin' sweet!!!!!!! I'm PRAYING they get the certification in order so you get the NYC pass. Lotteries be damned! Beer, wine, subs, plaques... what a day at the races.

The first thing Lisa just said was "He's faster than you now dude."

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Postby mlazenby » Sat Jun 23, 2007 1:54 pm

That is fantastic. Nice payoff Sheldon. :D

I enjoyed having that 3 second margin over you while it lasted. Don't think I'll ever get it back now. 1:38 is my fantasy HM time. :wink:
Hola!

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Postby Jo-Jo » Sat Jun 23, 2007 2:18 pm

Oh my oh my...I never realized last year when I signed on to be Your Fan that you would turn into a Speed Bullet. :shock:

Yep...I'm Your Fan...You're My Man :wink:

Awesome race Sheldon...bask in the glory...2007 Race Season belongs to you :D :D
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Postby Agent Provocateur » Sat Jun 23, 2007 2:18 pm

Nice job, congratulations!
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Postby redhead » Sat Jun 23, 2007 2:22 pm

Huge congratulations Sheldon! What a race. I'm sorry I missed seeing you come across the finish line. You had raced, refueled, got your awards and were gone before I even arrived in NOTL. :-)

SPEED thy name is Sheldon!!

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Postby MINITEE » Sat Jun 23, 2007 2:36 pm

WOW Sheldon!

So far, being in a new age category agrees with you!

You are such a smart and calm person out there... I can only imagine how far you are going to go..

Congrats on the NYCQ! You've earned it baby 8)
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Postby Portentous » Sat Jun 23, 2007 2:38 pm

Wow, great race, great report, and impressive schwag & hardware. That sounds as good as racing gets!

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Postby scrumhalfgirl » Sat Jun 23, 2007 2:52 pm

Great racing! Looks like you got some great loot to go with your PB!
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Postby trixiee » Sat Jun 23, 2007 3:02 pm

Woo Hoo Sheldon!! Sweet!
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Postby QuickChick » Sat Jun 23, 2007 3:04 pm

Holy ****!! Sheldon that's awesome! You are truly awesome. AND you beat Dave's PB time... :twisted: but I'm sure you knew that... :angel:
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Postby Sir Crashalot » Sat Jun 23, 2007 3:24 pm

Nice PB!!!!
Love the schwag!
:D
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Postby Robbie-T » Sat Jun 23, 2007 3:27 pm

Doonster!! Super Doonster!!! man I thought you could go sub 1:40 but this is an amazing jump, great work I'm very impressed.
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Postby Prairiekid » Sat Jun 23, 2007 3:27 pm

Nice work! Isn't it great when the weather, the course, the swag, the clock and your legs all cooperate? Impressive!
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Postby AlfiefromPickering » Sat Jun 23, 2007 3:29 pm

Congratulations Sheldon. Too bad you did not stay to watch the idiots like me doing the 50 K and almost dying at the finish line!
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Postby msdesigner » Sat Jun 23, 2007 3:32 pm

just quickly popping online but I have to CONGRATULATE you!!
Way to go on the win. Nice going on the incredible PB.. :D
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Postby ChrisL » Sat Jun 23, 2007 3:45 pm

Great run!

Congratulations!
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Postby HCcD » Sat Jun 23, 2007 3:54 pm

Congratulations, dude ... :clap: awesome, sheldon, totally awesome .... :P
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Postby runningman » Sat Jun 23, 2007 5:20 pm

Man, you must be so pumped. Two really, really solid races in a row! Congratulations!

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Postby deerdree » Sat Jun 23, 2007 7:18 pm

Well done!! :clap: :clap:

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Postby Nicholas » Sat Jun 23, 2007 7:37 pm

Wow, great race Sheldon!!! To shave 4 minutes off your time at that pace is a truly remarkable achievement. Congrats on a sweet PB. Enjoy the wine but it might be difficult to drink with that big smile plastered on your face....
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Postby anners » Sat Jun 23, 2007 7:48 pm

1st place and a monster PB! fantastic!!! congratulations!!! :clap:

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Postby JSmitty » Sat Jun 23, 2007 7:50 pm

Sheldon, you continually improve on each race. You are a smart runner and all your hard training and patience has paid off for you.
I can hardly wait to hear about your BQ.
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