The 2014 Saskatoon Police Run

A race on the Prairies at the end of April is always a bit of a weather risk. Last year the Saskatoon Police Run featured ice, wind, and a -12C windchill. This year it was considerably better, but still felt cold! There had been nothing but rain in the week leading up to the race, with more forecast for race day. I’ve somehow managed to avoid racing in the rain through sheer luck, but it appeared my luck was about to run out.

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After some wardrobe indecision (no one is surprised by that, right?), I settled on tights, a long sleeved shirt and my trusty Brooks jacket. I got the Brooks jacket at the 2012 SRRA Ultra (I just ran a leg of the relay, I’m not Ultra crazy!) and kind of rolled my eyes at it – it basically looks like a garbage bag with a zipper. But I gave it a chance, and it has become my favourite piece of gear. It’s very lightweight, but is like a little greenhouse.

The police station was open and runners huddled inside, enjoying the heat and flush toilets. My watch wasn’t picking up satellites inside, so I went outside to try there. The rain had stopped (yay!), but the wind was still pretty cold. I’m not sure if it was the tall buildings or the clouds, but others around me were having GPS problems too. When the police siren started the race I still didn’t have a satellite signal. I really wanted a PB in this race, and I felt like I really needed my watch to help pace myself properly. I have a lot of trouble pacing in the early stages of a race and go out too fast almost every time, and a watch convinces me to be a bit more conservative.

My watch did pick up a signal eventually, and I guessed I was around a kilometre into the race. However, when I glanced at it during the race it became obvious something still wasn’t right. My pace would jump from 4:40 per km (I knew I wasn’t going that fast!) to 11:20 (but I’m not walking!) in a matter of 30 seconds. When I mentioned this later to a friend at the finish line, he said he’d had the same problem. I blamed the clouds again and knew I’d have to run the race on feel alone.

I’ve mentioned in past years that I really like this course. It winds around through downtown a bit, then down River Landing, through Kinsmen Park, across the University Bridge, and back across the Broadway Bridge. There’s just enough of a downhill to the second bridge that you feel like you’re flying down it. Then you come off the bottom and it’s just a few blocks back to the police station (but it feels far after that big long downhill!).

My clothing choice worked well for the weather, but I did regret tossing my stretchy gloves at a water station. I hate having carrying things when I run, but in the future I will suck it up and put my gloves in my jacket pocket instead of getting rid of them altogether. There were several times in the second half of the race when I wished I had those gloves back!

In the end, I finished in 53:13, bettering my PB by 12 seconds. I grabbed my chocolate milk and warmer jacket out of my truck and made it back to the finish line just after Glenda finished, almost exactly a minute after I did. She was so thrilled she had someone take a picture of her holding the results page!

Glenda and I with our shiny new 10K PBs!

Glenda and I with our shiny new 10K PBs!

We went to sit inside to eat our pancakes (made by volunteer Girl Guides) and warm up before heading home. It had started raining again when we went back outside, and we felt sympathetic for the half marathon runners who had just started coming in. That’s a long time to run when it’s cold, windy and wet!

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This is a fun race for me every year, and is a good warm-up for the Saskatchewan Marathon at the end of May.

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