Today, my wife, our 5-year old and some friends from Camrose drove to Wainwright for the 3rd annual Battle River Races. There was a 2.5 km run, a 10 km run and a half-marathon. The start and finish is at a camp ground in the Battle River Valley, a nice little spot too.
Our 5 year-old daughter ran the 2.5 km race with an older friend, and when I was about a kilometre away from the finish, I caught up to her and cheered her on as she was finishing strong in 21 minutes something. Way to go!
The half-marathon was hard for me today, and it was also really hot. I decided I would run it at about marathon pace effort. I ran with my friend Ian, who took it out at a pretty good pace, under 3:50 per km for a good while. The heat just got worse as the day went on. We passed 10 km at 39 minutes, and on the way back, we had a pretty strong head wind.
The course is an out and back course on a gravel road. They had recently added more gravel to the road, which made it quite difficult to run on. Getting traction on those rolling gravel rocks wasn’t easy. There are also a few hills, including one fairly long hill, so it wasn’t a very fast course.
The 2nd half went slower but it still felt hard. I had also decided to not break away from Ian until he started his kick. He told me to go ahead and speed up so I could get the course record, but I waited until he started kicking, which ended up being the last 15 meters before the finish line! We both sprinted all out those last few strides, and the result was a tie. We were both announced as the 1st place winner, although they of course only had one plaque… our time was slow – 1:24:19 and even though I could have run quite a bit faster, it still felt quite hard because of the heat. I was not well rested either, so it was good I didn’t go all out today.
The 10 km race started after the half-marathon, and we met most of the 10 km runners when we were heading back towards the finish. My wife got 3rd place in the Masters category, even though she didn’t have a good race.
This is a really well organized race, and the best part is you get lunch included! Spaghetti and two different sauces right before the awards was great. If you are looking for a smaller race, either 10 km or half-marathon in mid July, mark this one on your calendar.