#virtual10miler – Race Report

Posted: 30th June 2013 by mockjogger in Race reports
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As soon as I read the tweet from @runnersknees I knew this was one for me. A virtual 10 mile race where 25 folks from all over the planet each run their own 10 miles on the same day and record their progress and results on twitter.

Two things intrigued me. First, how much fun it would be to compete virtually with some runners whose progress I have been following on various blogs and twitter since starting my own journey a couple of months ago. Second, in the three “real” races I have run so far, I have exceeded my own expectations and surpassed anything I have done in training. I don’t know why, because its not as if I am cruising through my training runs. But when I get to race day, absorb the vibe of runners gathering at the start line, feel the adrenaline kick in, and get moving I know this is where I am supposed to be. So whether it be the race atmosphere or something more mundane, like the lack of traffic lights to navigate, my best times have come in races. So would I have the same buzz in a race where I was actually running by myself?

@RunnersKnees image of the runner locations.

@RunnersKnees image of the runner locations.

The other runners came from far and wide – Australia, EU and US. I knew I would be running in Edinburgh and I set myself three criteria for route choice:

– avoids traffic lights

– starts Edinburgh city centre

– ends at a beer garden

I settled for starting at Cargo Bar and heading out and back along the Union Canal towpath and ending back at Cargo. This had the bonus of being flat, with only a few cobblestones to deal with.

Race day arrived on the back of one too many glasses the evening before. After about a gallon of berocca and a large espresso I managed to convince my body to get into race mood and walked to the start. I tried to emulate what I would do at the start of a “real” race. 4 minutes to go, race playlist selected, random play on and up pops Bjork ft. Skunk Anansie – Army of Me. Well that’s what happens when you go random. 2 minutes to go, click on the Garmin and the satellite search starts. A final tweet to #virtualmiler to let the other folks know I was off.

No lack of adrenaline as I headed out over the cobblestones and along the towpath. I checked my garmin a few hundred yards in to see 7:something in the pace field. Whoa boy, I thought, and consciously reigned it back to settle into a remarkably consistent 8:40 over the first 5 miles.

Mile 1 split: 8:41
Mile 2 split: 8:38
Mile 3 split: 8:38
Mile 4 split: 8:31
Mile 5 split: 8:40

The course was flat but never dull. It felt more like a training run than a race. I did have a kick, thinking that there were other people running at the same time and the race time was going to be published, which spurred me on. I passed a couple of barges making their way along the canal and thought about stopping to tweet a picture but I have a thing about not stopping once I have started, so I carried on.

I was feeling very good as I turned round at 5 miles and headed back. I was happy with the pace, but I had been holding myself back a little and decided to push it on a bit.

Mile 6 split: 8:20
Mile 7 split: 8:14
Mile 8 split: 8:21
Mile 9 split: 8:33

virtual10miler finishNearing the end I still had something in the tank so I gave it all I had and almost broke 8 minutes for the last mile. I had a huge surprise at the end as my two junior mockjoggers, Ryo and Kiran, were holding a finish line tape between them and my wife, Kiyoe, was there with the camera. The only problem was that my Garmin was showing 9.9 miles, so I had to blast through the tape and keep going for another tenth, with both boys chasing me like a scene from Benny Hill.

Mile 10 split: 8:00

So home in a 1:24:42 with a pretty strong negative split – a first for me. I like this way of running and will try do do it on purpose the next time. And I had produced my race form in a virtual race!

So after tweeting my finishing time I shuffled over to Cargo for a celebratory pint, and a message to my fellow runners.

Official result

Time 1:24:42 (self timed)

The Runners

  1. Awesome work, especially with the negative split! And what a welcome across the finish line!

    • mockjogger says:

      Emma, the finish line was a surprise to me. I didn’t mention in the blog, but the boys were there at 9.9 miles, so I had to run through it and carry on for another tenth to record the full distance, with both boys chasing me down! Thoroughly enjoyed the whole virtual race.

      • mockjogger says:

        I updated the report to include the 9.9 mile tape bit. It was funny. They both challenged me to a race afterwards too, so I ended up running another few hundred yards!

  2. Way to go! Well done on your negative splits, and how you used that race mentality to your advantage. Mine and Rachel’s run was a long run with lots of talking instead, no racing there.

    What a cute finish your family had waiting for you too!

    • mockjogger says:

      Yeah, I must admit I was intimidated with your BBB training program completing just before the race, but it looks like you and Rachel took it nice and easy while I was giving myself the whole “it’s a real race, and don’t forget it” vibe!

  3. Rachel says:

    Ha ha, we absolutely were taking it easy, but that was likely more my fault than Danielle’s! Well done on the negative splits, and what a sweet way to have your race finish!

    You’re not far away, either, so there’s always the possibility of running the same race again! 🙂

    • mockjogger says:

      Cheers! It’s gonna happen soon, I just checked your blog and saw the Dundee Half on there. That’ll be my second half (so to speak), assuming I survive two weeks in Crete first.