WEEK 22 ✕ BARRIE WATERFRONT HALF-MARATHON RECAP
Race Report - Barrie Half
This was my very first time in Barrie for anything actually. I had no prior knowledge of this course other than looking it up on the main website and observing other people's runs in the "activity search" segment in Strava for elevation map. In terms of expectations, it was at a minimal considering it was raining cats and dogs outside and that I have not done a road half-marathon since the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon back in 2015. I knew that based on my recent races that I would be capable to run in the lower spectrum of the 01:35:00 to 01:42:00 range.
My day started off at 4:45 am and was immediately out the door after downing my yogurt and banana combination. I knew that driving from Markham to Barrie will take approximately an hour and a couple of minutes (thanks Waze!), so finished things off with a large Timmies double double, knowing that the morning nature's call will be due by the time I arrive. Took care of business followed by packet pickup.
The route of the race is shaped like a horseshoe with the starting line beginning at the dead centre. First off, it was heading southward where there was a good mix of asphalt roads and mixed soil like texture in some areas. After going to the far end, there is a return loop to go back to the start line area but bypassing it and heading northwards instead. This time around, the surface is more so of a sand and gravel mixture and turn around again once you reach the end point. It was thoroughly soggy although this was to be expected right from the get-go.
This time around, I was mindful of my running posture but wasn't necessarily trying to completely alter the way I normally run. At my race pace, it was significantly easier to really have my legs push off the ground in a cyclical motion. Also, it was easier to also have my back position forward-facing as if I was about to hit the ground face first. That workshop from The Runner's Academy definitely paid off indeed.
At the end of it all, I managed to shed off a wholesome ~16 minutes off from my last half record registered in October 2015. 01:31:36 and to my delight, I didn't lose any gear this time around. It just sets the tone that with continuous drive to improve, harder to reach goals are no longer out of reach and are actually plausible if I put the work in.
Going to take this upcoming week easy, we'll see how it goes! - Cheers, M.W.