The track is where most of the M2M coaches first fell in love with the sport, and it was vital to their development as athletes. Many folks who get into the sport later in life mainly use the track as a training venue and have never had the opportunity to throw down in a proper track race. We started Chase the Pace to give our crew the opportunity to have a full-on 5,000m race effort on the track.

What is Chase the Pace?

Chase The Pace (CTP) is not your standard track meet. Most track meets are rather stale and quite honestly, somewhat boring. We try to do things differently with CTP. We want people to have a good time out there, so we have music, food, beer, and other cool stuff to help promote a fun environment.

The main thing about CTP, however, is the actual running. We want people to run their guts out and hopefully set a PB in the process. We help facilitate this in a few ways. First off, the event has the previously mentioned kick-ass vibe. We put people in heats with other runners of similar ability, because running with a group is always easier than having at it solo.

Pacers are the secret sauce

Racing is hard, you have a lot to think about, we don’t need you worrying about splits or pacing – that’s why we have pacers. They will take care of all of that for you. We have sections for all levels, from sub 16:00 to 27:30, no matter your ability, we will have a pace for you.

The track is the place to test your fitness

To be the best runner you can be you have to cover all your bases. There are the easy aerobic runs, tempo runs, long runs and speed work to be crushed. We often choose track as our surface of choice for speed work. The surface is flat, the distance is accurate and it is the most controlled environment we can get which makes it the perfect place for all-out efforts. The track is the place to find out exactly how fit you are.

The 5,000m is a great distance to test yourself

5,000m is a tricky distance – if you go out too fast you suffer. If you’re struggling at 2km, that’s a problem, but if you’re struggling at 3km you can usually stick it out. It’s all about staying strong and being focused and gauging your effort well. That’s why we have our pacers there to help.

Approaching the track as a first timer

Pacing for a first timer is a bit of trial and error. You can’t just step on a track and know what effort you can sustain for a prolonged period of time. Err on the side of caution if it is your first time. Go slow and keep the effort manageable. Now let’s apply this to a track workout, for example, 10x400m. Start at a pace that you know you can sustain, for example, 2minutes per lap. If you handle this well then you know that next time you can go harder, but if you go out too hard and only get in a few efforts before slowing down you don’t really know where you are at. The more time you spend on the track the better you will get at judging efforts. This will translate not only to your ability to pace track workouts, but also your judge of pace in general for all types of training.

Using racing to inform training paces

An all-out 5,000m effort such as CTP can be a big help to help set paces for future track sessions as it will give you a clear picture as to where your fitness currently is.

Getting ready to race

Before each M2M track session, we do a 2-3km warm-up, followed by a series of drills and strides. Warming up pre-race should look very similar to this. No need to change from what you are used to. Keep it consistent and familiar.

Make sure to cool-down after the race! This is a full-on effort, you are going to accumulate a lot of lactate in the muscles, even a slow 2km jog afterward will help to flush some of that junk and allow for quicker recovery. Then go have a beer.

Using racing on the track as a training tool

Racing can be an awesome training tool because in a race you can dig deeper, push harder and suffer harder than you can during a workout. And as a result, you will get both physically stronger, and mentally tougher.

Even if you are training for a marathon, a 5,000m has its benefits. It will increase your speed, bump your V02max, increase pain tolerance and help your running economy.

It is also short enough that it can fit seamlessly into your training plan- the recovery is often much quicker than other race distances, so you can get right back to normal training after a couple easy days. It is basically a hard ass speed work day.

Holy moly. What. A. Weekend! That was so much fun. Thank you all for being so awesome and for being part of this team. We had an army out there rolling all across North America. There were many great results, and also some not so great results. But no matter the case, we are so proud of all of you. This is a special group…Now check out what you and your teammates got up to yesterday!
#BetterTogether

Thanks Taylor Maxwell for the photos, many more to come!

First 1/2 Half Marathon:

Coach Dylan Wykes 1:06:00 1st Overall!
Colton Higgins 1:20:44 PB!
Matt Murdoch 1:23:37
Carla Parsons 1:30:35
Mark Nelson 1:30:48 PB!
Kyle Bryce 1:31:23 PB!
Marcus Vander Leek 1:31:27 PB!
Cody Green 1:31:56 PB!
Fainne Martin 1:36:08
Kim Pomponio 1:38:00
Jay Zhu 1:39:44 PB!
Andrea Cain 1:44:16 PB!
Chris Atkinson 1:46:07 PB!
Hope Moir 1:50:05 PB!
Genevieve Martin 1:52:13 PB!
Sandra Sukstorf 1:56:38
Will Cascone 1:37:35 PB!
Richard Brittin 1:27:43 PB!
Coach Rob Watson 1:06:41
Lisa Stanley 1:50:59
Lei-Lani Harmon 1:49:27 PB!
Alex Denysiuk 1:29:18 PB!
Gary Franco 1:47:43 PB!
Jacob Sears 1:15:17 PB
Nadine Robinson 1:29:06 PB!
Pam Campbell 1:35:59
Andrew Geiger 1:15:44 PB!
Luke Li 1:34:55 PB
Aaron Carveth 1:33:32
Matt Zielinski 1:38:17
Brandon Hillis 1:34:03
Coach Tony Tomsich 1:06:47
Ryan Hobson 1:28:32 PB!
Ellis Gray 1:24:32 PB!
Shirley Wood 1:44:59 PB!
Chad Clark 1:26:58 PB!
Andrew McQueen 1:28:35
Justin Yan 1:39:16
Craig Fowler 1:14:45 PB!
Kathryn Williamson 1:30:50 PB!
Coach Kim Doerksen 1:25:10
Dante Luciani 1:27:39
Harrison Glotman 1:20:27 PB!
John Roberts 1:28:52
Tommy Cheng 1:33:14 PB!
Pat Swadden 1:25:41 PB!
Morris Koopla 1:23:41
Brent Webb 1:30:37 PB!
David Lau 1:31:43
Kim Bennett 1:29:02 PB!
Coach Kevin Coffey 1:07:43
Lisa Strueby 1:36:16
Rebecca Hartshorn 1:31:43
Linda Wong 1:37:47
Johanna Hudson 1:31:48
Melissa Raven 1:39:40
Craig Roy 1:27:02 PB!
Jim Novotny 1:44:46
Lauren Berkman 1:58:29 PB!
Kerry Coates 1:58:21
Dana Henson 1:33:44 PB!
Sarb Kaler 1:40:35
Mariah Marshall 1:39:12 PB!
Karen Thibodeau 1:23:44
Jenn Wurster 1:34:39 PB!
Katie Bowyer 1:31:01 PB!
Kim Doerksen 1:25:10
Julie Hathaway 1:32:35 PB!
Hollie Holden 1:39:34 PB!
Lee Kennett 1:22:36
Fergus Kung 1:24:36 PB!
Andrea Wilk 1:41:04
Tony Skuce 1:20:42
Lissa Zimmer 1:21:48
Tristan Sandhu 1:17:41 PB!
Kim Lanki 2:10:28
Thais Mori 1:53:05
Tammi Kwan 1:40:08
Mark Soo 1:46:39
Ali Gill 1:27:57 PB!
Megan Brown 1:29:24 PB!
Shira Daltrop 1:42:36
Alicia Armstrong 1:42:39
Colin Brander 1:33:07

Twosome 5k:
Mark Kerr 20:10
Annie Riel 21:57 PB!
Tammy Coghlan Pigion – 23:27

Marugame Half Marathon:
Tadashi Yamaura 1:22:10

Ehime Marathon Japan:
Tadashi Yamaura 2:56:21

Phoenix Half Marathon:
Julie Pelly 1:35:19

Panther Half Marathon:
Natasha Merrick 1:46:39

Palm Desert Half Marathon:
Chantelle Groenewoud 1:24:17  3rd Place!
Gemma Slaughter 1:28:04 5th Place!

Refridgee 8miler
Kevin Smith 50:48 3rd Master!

Chicago Marathon
Kate Gustafson 2:40:06 PB, 19th OA!
Eoin Craigie 2:50:36
Kerri Andres 2:55:24 PB
Kat Mylvaganam 2:58:54 PB!
Dana Henson 3:18:42 PB!
Alanna Goobie 3:43:11
Tammy Pigion 3:44:38
Marc Dowdell 4:23:35
Erica Kim 4:40:00 PB!
Victoria Half Marathon
Meg Lewis-Schneider 1:15:31 PB, 3rd OA!
Bri Hungerford 1:20:01 PB
Karen Thibodeau 1:20:43 PB!
Liam Baird 1:21:31 PB!
Lee Kennett 1:21:35
Anthony Buonassisi 1:24:12 PB!
Kat Moore 1:24:17
Steph McGregor 1:25:34 PB
Kash Bogart 1:26:48 PB!
Walter Downey 1:27:07 PB!
Thom Green 1:30:18 PB!
Aaron Carveth 1:32:05 PB
Gemma Slaughter 1:34:25
Shannon Banal 1:35:32 PB
Kim Bennett 1:40:04
Mark Soo 1:52:34
Chris Atkinson 1:52:53 PB!
Rose Cass 1:55:28
Allison Ribaux 2:06:19
Sandra Sukstrof 2:11

Victoria Marathon
Adam Buzinsky 2:36:12 PB!
Colin Kerr 2:40:09
Andrea Lee 2:48, 3rd OA!
Farid Muttalib 2:50:47 PB!
Tadashi Yamaura 2:56:08
Asita Perera 3:02:23 Debut/PB!
Ellis Gray 3:02:38 PB!
Graham Colby 3:06:59
Mark Dawson 3:09:07
Brent Webb 3:11:35 PB!
Ami Yamaura 3:22:10
Johanna Hudson 3:23:33 PB!
Lisa Dinh 3:24:56
Eileen McPherson 4:07:22

Victoria 8k
Josh Potvin 24:59 2nd OA!
Neasa Coll 29:31
Phil Finlayson 31:17

Okanagan Marathon
Shannon Dale 3:13:11
Brandon Hillis 3:40:50
Gary Franco 3:54:28 PB!
Lei-Lani 4:05:56 PB!

Okanagan Half Marathon
Megan Brown 1:27:58 PB, 2nd OA!

Granville Island Turkey Trot
Fergus Kung 38:55
Colton Higgins 39:42
Colin Brander 41:02
Katie Bowyer 41:31
Mark Topacio 43:12
Mat Zielinski 44:36
Shirley Wood 49:11 PB!

World’s Toughest Mudder Sonoma
Michelle Ford 3rd OA!!

MEC Belcarra Trail Race
Jill Delane 1:06:25
Jenna Nutting 1:17:34

Depending on the weather, adjust your warmup routines accordingly. I ran in cold and rainy weather so my focus was staying dry and warm. I maybe did 1k warmup with 3-4 strides and that’s it. Just enough to move my body, not feel stiff, and calm the nerves.

 

The race, like people have experienced in some of the marathon specific workouts start with a little climb. Nothing crazy by those who run like a bat out of hell should probably try not to. I remember my first 5k were fast. You have that downhill portion that has to be controlled. I remember my coach yelling at me for being quick – I felt good, smooth, and was letting gravity help me (that and I was also trying to run sub-2:35 pace as long as my body would let me).

 

Camosun Hill, I can honestly say didn’t feel like a grind to me. There are usually lots of people lining the street to keep the motivation levels high. Sticking with a group is key. I had 7 men with me and while I focused solely on one, it was enough for me to get pushed along. The Ogopogo road to 16th is one of my favourites so it was more fun than worrisome. Just watch out for the speed bumps in front of St. Georges Schooll!

 

Turning left onto 16th has a Hill.  Play to effort not pace. The out and back on Blanca St is a great way to gauge you spacing between competitors. From the turnaround point, however long it takes for you to see the next runner, double that and you have your cushion. I ran scared for the first half of that race, but the turnaround math helped me to relax.

 

While people talk about not hammering down to Spanish  Banks, it’s also important not to hammer down past the UBC Track. Essentially this course can hammer your quads if you let it. A quick rise up to the Chan Centre puts you back in stride before gravity pulls you down to Spanish Banks. Remain relaxed and fluid while letting yourself go just a touch; just stay controlled. No crazy windmill arms flying down that hill!

 

The little blip up to W4th past Spanish Banks, I don’t remember hurting but I also knew there were people at the top cheering for me. It’s amazing how out of sync with pain you can be sometimes. But from other people’s race recaps they found that Hill tough. So head down and grind it out.

 

Ensure something is saved for Point Grey road. The little undulations will start to take a toll same with the wee climb over Burrard Bridge. You get a nice slow downhill from the peak of Burrard all the way to the park. At the downtown side of Burrard, my Dad was standing there and with his minimal words nodded his head and said “the race starts now”. I believe this rings true to everyone.

 

At Second Beach pool I lost track of my splits (the beauty / downfall of running with a Timex versus a Garmin). I knew the distance remaining and made a note in my head to put my head down. For me, and all Vancouver athletes, the sea wall is as familiar as the back of my hand. It was a time that I had to put my head down, ignore the German man that kept yelling at me to go faster (no, I didn’t know him) and shift my focus inwards. There aren’t many people cheering along the wall so it’s a time that mental toughness is crucial. It’s a long 10k to the finish line when you’re alone. But the beauty is that it’s flat until the little Hill to Georgia, although it felt like a mountain.

 

When turning onto Pender for the final stretch, it’s not a flat road. There’s a slight incline, which you feel with 800m to go. But the crowds start to grow the throughout the day, use their energy to give you that last push. I remember feeling lonely with 800m to go, but by 400m those cheers will forever be a goosebumps inducing memory. It’s a fantastic finish line and I hope people soak in their city cheering them in.