I missed my target finish position of top 5 by 2 spots [official finish spot is 7th], and I also missed my target 5.05km split of sub 17 min [actual split was 17:21].
Click here for finish video and time.
Despite all of this, I am thankful for the competing experience. It’s rare to find a regional race with more than ten thousand runners competing (approx. 10,809). Moreover, to run with a sprained toe [see image in media library at end], I can consider myself favoured that I was able to finish this race.
I appreciate the warm hospitality provided by Sagicor’s Marketing team, as the Jamaican natives will say “big dem up!”
Now it’s time to get back to the drawing board and get ready for this historic race season of 2016.
Up next: 3.04.2016 – Digicel Tri de Spice Grenada International Triathlon
Until then, a few local 5Ks and a lot of training.
- It is beneficial to be very thorough with your analysis of a new race environment.
- With the right team, anything is possible.
- The best things done in life are those done for others, so help someone when you can.
Nutrition: No significant change was made to my diet. I ensured that I had my fair share of carbohydrates, proteins, water, fruits and vegetables. I also enjoyed two variations of Jamaican soup before race day.
Training: The fact that I am in the middle of my triathlon program, I found it a bit challenging to complete all of the preferred run specific sessions. It also became more complicated when I sprained my fourth toe of the left foot, 7 days before the race day. As such I was forced to abort any run sessions, but aimed to keep active, through swimming, mostly, and a short time cycling. This is one benefit to being exposed to multi-sport disciplines. *smile*.
Mental readiness: I made a few visits to google earth where I analyzed the 2015 race course to get an idea of the elevation status. I was hoping that the course would be the same this year amidst discussion of route changes, which was an attempt to better facilitate the additional few thousands registrants. However, the minor route change was reverted in the last hour due to a political party meeting along the same road/course.
It was another early morning rise where I got prepared to head down to the V.I.P lounge, which was a few meters away from the start line. The hotel was less than 2km away from the start area, so getting there was easy as taking a few strides.
Realistically, I was nervous and did not know what to expect at a start line of thousands, but I was confident of my ability over the race distance to come.
The atmosphere was electrifying, especially when I stood at my allocated spot on the start line.
Along went the pre-race briefing and festivity, including the loosing of pink balloons in respect of the cause, in support of people affected by cancer. Thousands of balloons formed a pink ceiling, giving a breath-taking sight.
The race went off in two waves. The disabled / wheel-chair competitors first, followed by the runners and walkers.
As anticipated the start was fast and physical, fortunately for me, I was able to maneuver those crucial few hundred meters relatively untouched [as usual – Thank God for wisdom] .
I began to execute my race plan and sat at the perceived center of the front pack, with 3 runners in my sight. As we continued along the broad road, positions were shuffling like a deck of cards.
Passing the 1 km mark in 3:03:00 seconds, I was feeling relatively comfortable and by the 2km mark I was seated in 3rd position. Shortly after, I began to run in 4th position and it appeared as though the front runner was getting even further away. I began to trail the runner immediately ahead of me, but after 2km of chasing and not taking fluids from the huge water-stops, I succumbed to the heat and ended up in 6th position.
Over the last 1.5km of the race, I made a special effort to increase my moving pace – getting closer to 5th place and bringing along the eventual 6th place runner in my shadow.
It was an attacking moment, as we passed and were passed by each other. Imminently, the final stretch came and the last sprint was had, which resulted in me finishing 7th overall.
A mere 4 seconds separated positions 5th – 7th.
At the end, I felt as though my throat was on fire and even a bottle of water was unable to extinguish this burning sensation. Even though my body was racing within its normal limits [based on my 5km split/time], the feeling was foreign. I strongly believe that the temperature was the cause of that fiery experience [another learning experience].
Shortly after the finish, I, along with the top three finishers, had several interviews. As the journalist were all seeking our accounts of the exciting race.
Afterwards, I socialized with the others and then went back to the nearby hotel for my nutrition pack [crate of fruits] and smart phone. I then went back-stage for the presentation ceremony.
While backstage, I had the opportunity to meet a world class athlete and cancer survivor Novlene Williams-Mills, as well as a few popular musical artistes and DJ’s, all from Jamaica.
Special Comments /observation
Thanks to God for grace and strength. Thanks to my platinum sponsor Sagicor Life Inc Barbados and thanks to the hospitable marketing team at Sagicor Life Inc. Jamaica. Thanks to my core support group, Forever Health & Fitness, Help247 and my friends and family who interceded on my behalf.