2013 Kamloops Half-Marathon Race Report

This morning I ran my fourth half-marathon, and second road half, of 2013 and it was right here in my city! I’ve done the Boogie the Bridge half-marathon before but in 2012 Kamloops re-added the MARATHON to the city! Kamloops did have a marathon a long, long time ago but then it stopped for many years. Well last year a whole bunch of dedicated people worked hard to bring it back! I didn’t participate in any of the events last year but signed up for the half-marathon several months ago because I knew I wanted to support the event this year and I’m very happy I did as it’s a great race.

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Because Kamloops is hot, hot, hot in July (this past weekend we actually finally had a reprieve from the mid 30’s C / mid 90’s F) that the temperature has hovered around for the past two weeks and it was a cool 25 C / 77 F today. Perfect running weather! However, because they obviously couldn’t predict that we would have a cooler weekend the race started at 6 am. That’s the earliest I’ve started a race in awhile and I was definitely very tired when my alarm went off at 4:15 am. However, when I had 21 km under my belt by 8:30 am I was definitely happy for the early start!

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I knew lots of people who were running the half-marathon, and the marathon, but everyone had different time goals from me so other than posing for pictures with my friends at the beginning and end of the race I didn’t see much of them.

Now, I have not been running on the road at all. In fact, since the Vancouver half-marathon in May the furthest I’ve ran on the road is 10 km. So I wasn’t entirely sure how my legs would do with this race. I’m happy to say they held up fairly well. I knew I wanted to run this race slow and steady. I was initially planning on doing 10 and 1’s but this route was so, so flat I never really felt like walking so I just kept a really easy running pace and walked through the aid stations.

The first 5 km or so my shins were really bothering me. I haven’t gotten shin splints in a long, long time but I was having them at the start of this race. I just told myself to keep running easy and my legs would warm up and sure enough they did.

Mile 1 – 9:54, Mile 2 – 10:14, Mile 3 – 10:16, Mile 4 – 10:03 

A large part of this course is an out and back route. Normally I’m not a fan of out-and-backs but I’ve come to start enjoying them in races where I know a lot of people running. Not only is it inspiring to watch the front runners on their way back but it’s also fun and a good distraction to watch for friends. I managed to snap a great picture of my friends Norman and Carmine! Norman was pacing Carmine for a 2 hour half.

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Shortly after I saw my friends I reached the next aid station and had to jump into the porta pottie. Which is something I rarely do during a race but I really had to go!

Mile 5 – 10:04, Mile 6 – 11:06 (bathroom break), Mile 7 – 9:31 

The whole last half of this run was on the river trail that I’m very, very, VERY familiar with. It’s the one I spent all my long runs on when training for both of my marathons as well as many half-marathons. It actually felt great to get back on a trail that was so, so familiar but also one that I hadn’t ran on in a few months.

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Mile 8 – 9:42, Mile 9 – 9:53, Mile 10 – 10:07, Mile 11 – 10:09

My legs definitely started to tighten up a bit towards the end. But mentally I knew I could push harder. The final mile of the race is one loop around the park that we start in and I just opened it up that last loop and flew! I passed about five people in the last mile because my legs were just ready to GO after holding back for most of the race.

Mile 12 – 9:46, Mile 13 – 9:23, Mile 13 – 13.3 – 9:05 

Final RunKeeper Stats – 13.3 miles / 21.4 km – 2:13:32 – 9:59 per mile pace – 6:12 per km pace 

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I literally sprinted so hard at the end i had to bend over and catch my breath once I crossed the finish line. I was done! But the fact that I had enough juice left in me mentally and physically to sprint through the end showed me that I ran a smart and conservative race, just like I’d wanted to.

I stuck around for a bit, indulged in a pancake and watched the first of the marathoners to come through including Ryan Day who won the marathon for his second year in a row.

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Soon after my mom and Grandpa picked me up and we went out for my third breakfast of the day after my pre-run oatmeal and my post-race pancake. And I wonder why I don’t lose any weight despite all the running I do…

I really enjoyed this race! It definitely made me appreciate the benefits of a smaller race. After doing the insanely busy and crowded Vancouver marathon in May it reminded me how nice it is to do a race where you’re not constantly dodging people and its easy to meet up with your friends at the finish line!

If you are looking for a new PB or a summer race to do I highly recommend this one! It’s definitely not the prettiest half marathon I’ve ever ran but it’s probably the flattest. It would be easy for any runner to get a new personal best on this course! Also this year they made the course an official Boston Qualifier and I think it would be a great course to try and get a BQ on because of how flat it is and also because of the early start time which means a bit cooler weather.

I know that it can be rare to find a half-marathon or marathon right in the middle of summer, and there’s a reason for that, but if you are looking for a road race this time of year come on up or down to Kamloops! I know I’ll be out there again next year and I hope to see some others out as well!

Have you ever ran a race in the middle of the summer? Would you? 

18 Responses

  1. Kelly says:

    Sounds like a great race- it’s awesome that it is right where you live 🙂
    The early start time is a good idea, I’ve done some tris in the middle of the summer- I guess because they assume swimming and biking will be fun, but unfortunately the run is that the end and it can be rough! Like you, I wouldn’t be psyched about the 6am start at first, but then I’d be happy when it was over and hopefully still relatively cool. Boston weather is pretty unpredictable so it could be anywhere from like 70 (unlikely) to 90s (likely) for us too haha.

  2. Congratulations on your 4th half marathon! Such a great accomplishment and so fun to do it right where you live!

  3. I have never done a mid-summer race. It gets pretty hot/humid in July/August in Minneapolis so I usually avoid races around that time of year. The 6 am start would be good, though, as hopefully you’d finish before it got REALLY hot. I am glad you ran such a strong race. Those negative splits have to be encouraging and a confidence boost as to how strong of a runner you really are!

    My favorite month of the year to race is October as the fall months are my favorite for training. It will be different not running a race this year, but hopefully I’ll be back to racking next fall.

  4. Ris says:

    Wow you’ve done so much running this year! Congrats on another great race 🙂

  5. Leigh says:

    Nice job on the race! The only race that I’ve done in the middle of summer was a 10k in Edmonton in August. It started at 7pm, but was still smoking hot out!

  6. Caroline says:

    Congrats on a solid race! I did a sprint tri mid July a ways back and it was really hot during the run, luckily it was a short race so it was okay. I don’t think I’d do a longer race the middle of the summer, that being said.. I have the worst luck with races and it’s always abnormally hot that day – my first half in May was high 80s and my first marathon in October was the same. That’s why I signed up for a November half this year, fingers crossed for cool weather!

  7. I love that pic with the water in it. I always enjoy doing races where I don’t have a specific time goal. It really allows you to make it sort of a treat and just enjoy the run, you know? Nice work!

  8. Also, it sounds like we’ve been having similar weather patterns – mid 90s for a few weeks and now back to a much more reasonable 70s and 80s. Great for running and a nice relief. 🙂

  9. Nora says:

    Gorgeous views while you run! Congrats on finishing your 4th half 🙂

  10. Silly Amber, summer is for trails =P

    Nice work on the half – sounds like you could have gone harder and that’s exactly how you want to feel heading into your goal race for the year!!

    Taper time!!

    See you in 12 sleeps! Weeeeeee!!

  11. Emilie says:

    Congratulations on a great race! The view on the trail where you trained for all your races is amazing. You live in such a beautiful part of the world!

    I have run most of my races in the summer and I am not a fan. I definitely prefer running in cooler temps. I have so many stomach issues running in the heat! I have to run a 10k in August to qualify for a good corral placement in my half and I’m not thrilled about it being in the summer. I’m crossing my fingers for low humidity that day!

  12. Amy says:

    Way to go! I ran a race two weekends ago and it was stinking hot (for up north).

    I’m in the process of switching from my old blog to a new one (ready set run).

  13. Amy says:

    Way to go! I ran a race two weekends ago and it was stinking hot (for up north).

    I’m in the process of switching from my old blog to a new one (ready set run).

  14. Amy says:

    Way to go! I ran a race two weekends ago and it was stinking hot (for up north).

    I’m in the process of switching from my old blog to a new one (ready set run).

  15. Amy says:

    Way to go! I ran a race two weekends ago and it was stinking hot (for up north).

    I’m in the process of switching from my old blog to a new one (ready set run).

  16. Bronwyn says:

    Very nice! It’s cool Kamloops is adding more races again. I think I’ve done some middle of the summer races, but don’t remember what ones.

  17. Travel Spot says:

    That looks like a fun race! I love the smaller, local races. They are always so fun! We are lucky here to have great running weather all year round, so I have run many a summer (and winter) race in these parts! If you ever want to run a cool summer race, you should come down! There are so many options!

  18. […] A decent month. I think I burnt out a little bit this month as the majority of my runs were on the shorter side when this is really the month I should have peaked! Oh well. I honestly feel like I pushed it as hard as I could with this training. I managed to get in 133.4 miles /  214.6 km and I spent 30 hours on my feet, which is almost exactly the same as last month. I would have liked that number to be closer to 150 miles but what can you do. *If* (and that is a big IF) I ever train for another ultra I will know better! The vast majority of those miles were in the trails with less than 30 of them being on the road! I also did two half-marathons in July; a trail one and a road one! […]