Around the Bay

Posted: March 28, 2011 in Running

Going into this season I decided I wanted to run my first Marathon and I picked Ottawa which is coming up at the end of May. So leading up to Ottawa I needed to put in some solid training and races to get me ready to run the Marathon. Around the Bay 30k was a perfect race it would be 9k longer then I’ve ever raced before, but would be able to give me a good indication of how training is progressing and a true test of my endurance. I was a little worried when we had a snow storm five days before the race as the roads had been really nice up till then, but the road cleared by Sunday and I was ready to run after pulling back on the mileage a little bit too be fresh for the race. When the gun went off we started at a very comfortable pace, not slow just when you’re running a 30k race if your pace feels difficult that first 10k you’ll have a long day. Early on in the race the lead pack was five runners, but 6-7k in it became four, all runners I had raced in the past and I knew they were all in the running to win the race. I felt that I had as good a chance as anybody. Through the first 10k Josephat Ongeri and Baghdad Rachem were side by side leading while fellow TOC runner Dagim Yeshitela and myself followed close behind avoiding the wind. We kept rolling through 10k in 32:06. At this point we went up a bridge the first hill on the course and Ongeri made a surge over the bridge the change of pace after running on the flats was shocking to the body, but on the other side of the hill we went back to pace. We were starting to pass alot of walkers who had been given an hour head start and they were very supportive of the lead group cheering us on. Going into the 14k mark running on the inside I felt I was getting closer to the walker then I’d like with Dagim on my left I felt that I didn’t have enough room so I swung around him and ended up pulling beside Ongeri. Now I was the co-leader as Rachem pulled back to draft. Well I guess this small move made an impact because Ongeri picked up the pace and the race was on, we rolled through 15k the half way mark in 48:24 with Rachem falling 3 seconds back I felt it was now a three man race with another 15k to go the race was on, Ongeri and I continued to push at this point feeling this was a chance to drop Dagim aswell and after another km it was just Ongeri and me and I was feeling good although I knew the last 10k had some real hills. At 17k Ongeri looked at me and said something I don’t know what it was, but I gave him the thumbs up and he began to fall off. Now here was something I hadn’t really invisioned running the last 13k on my own in the lead. I had watched the LA Marathon the week before and the winner Markos Geneti ran away with the race in his marathon debut. So doing the same was special. After going through 20k in 64:22 (32:16) I was into the hills and it was rolling, there was a biker helping with the lead car and he kept me company and got the spectators to cheer the leader myself. It was great coming through the relay zones in the lead as everyone cheered and it helpped me to keep moving as fast as I could. I was counting down the k’s as I went and came to the gaint hill with just over 4k to go and I gave the hill my best effort my dad was near the top and cheering me on. The last 4k was lonely, but when I came into Copps Coliseum I was filled with emotion as the place erupted and there were fireworks as I broke the tape at the finish line in 1:37:15 to win the 117th Around the Bay 30k road race the oldest road race in North America. The reason for the extra excitment in the Coliseum was that a Canadian hadn’t won Around the Bay for an extended period of time. One of the first questions I asked after finishing this race was when was the last time a Canadian had won. While it didn’t come right away because they had to look it up before I found out I was the first Canadian to win the race since 1996, 15 years between the last Canadian winning this race till yesterday. It was a very good day for me and I’m very happy with the result. Ongeri finished 2nd 1:37:49.


9   DEREK NAKLUSKI 15 Kitchener CAN 9:30:01 32:06 48:24 1:04:22 1:37:15 1:37:15 1 (M) 1 (M25-29)
10   JOSEPHAT ONGERI 12 Burlington CAN 9:30:00 32:06 48:24 1:04:37 1:37:49 1:37:49 2 (M) 1 (M30-34)
11   BAGHDAD RACHEM 6 Montreal CAN 9:30:00 32:06 48:27 1:04:51 1:38:21 1:38:21 3 (M) 2 (M30-34)
12   DAGIM YESHITELA 7199 Toronto CAN 9:30:00 32:06 48:24 1:05:11 1:40:17 1:40:17 4 (M) 2 (M25-29
  1. MAYEROFF says:

    Way to go dude!!!! 30km is a hard distance to pace correctly, especially by yourself. Looks damned cold out there. You’ll have a good marathon in Ottawa if keep your shit together.

  2. Andre LeFort says:

    Congrats on winning the ATB30K your first time out! It certainly bodes well for your marathon debut in May.

  3. Kathy Wade says:

    A big congrats to you on your Around The Bay victory! I’ve run The Bay three times and done a handful of marathons and I always felt The Bay was harder than the Marathons but it is an ideal training run leading in to your first marathon!

    Enjoyed reading your recap of the race! Enjoy Ottawa!

  4. A Fan says:

    congrats! you’re an inspiration.

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