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Race Report: Aktia Cup 10k

19 Nov
November 19, 2011

Race date: 19.11.2011
Official Finishing Time: 38:12 chip time
Official Position: 34/67 (men’s competitive series)
Race number: 336

I wasn’t very optimistic about this race, as I haven’t done proper speed training for ages and I’ve still got a bit of a niggle on my left leg from the Amsterdam marathon. I’ve been getting some decent training mileage in though; if anything, I should’ve been running less and taper for this race, had I seriously been looking for a good time. But really this just served as a bit of motivation to (eventually) get back into speed training and to see where I’m at. The time, although 30sec slower than my PB from last spring, is acceptable, although I was hoping to get below 38min.

The Aktia Cup is a yearly series of five races over the winter in Vantaa — this is the first one in the series this year, with the next one coming up on 10th December. This is also the first time I’ve participated. The arrangements are pretty basic, but functional, and there is RFID timing. They have a number of different categories, the total turnout was a good 400+ runners. I participated in the men’s general competitive series, which is rather competitive indeed: the winner today finished in 31:02, and my meager time placed me in the middle of the competitive field. Well, at least I beat Alexander Stubb (only by 33sec though), the former Finnish Minister for Foreign Affairs known for his sports enthusiasm.

I’ll try the embedding function available on Garmin Connect:

The course is 5k out and back on a road. After the rather crowded start the route opened up quickly, but it is rather boring. The total height gain according to my Garmin was nearly 100m, the second half being slightly tougher. What really made the second half tough was the head wind though — not the worst I’ve experienced by any means, but significant since I ran some sections on my own. In general there were a good few people running at my pace though, so there was always someone either pushing from behind or just in front, that always helps mentally.

My splits on the first 5k were almost on target: I aimed to set off at an ambitious 3:40min/km pace (which would’ve gotten me below 37min) and see whether I can keep it up. Well, I was close enough on the first half, coming to the turn around in 18:34 (once again beating my ‘official’ 5k PB in a 10k race), but it cost me dearly as I was unable to get below 3:52min/km for the rest of the race. I gave up on the idea of a PB already on the 6th lap and after that it was tough to motivate myself mentally. I think there should’ve been more in me, but I’ve certainly lost some speed over the summer when I focused on the two marathons in August and October. Anyway, I’m not too disappointed, the race went roughly as I expected. Now that I know the course, I’m thinking of having another go in December, provided that it’s not too icy or cold. I don’t really like the course though. Weather was good otherwise: about 5 degrees Celsius and no rain.

1k 3:40.5
2k 3:40.7
3k 3:44.3
4k 3:41.6
5k 3:46.8 (5k in 18:33,9)
6k 3:52.1
7k 4:01.4
8k 3:55.9
9k 3:59.9
10k 3:49.8 (0,96k)
Total: 9,96k in 38:13.4

That seventh lap is just ugly…

Official results here.
Garmin data here. (No HR data though, as my HR monitor needs a new battery.)

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