Tag Archives: Medicine Hat

Medicine Hat “Rattler Run” 10km 2015-Race Recap

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On Saturday, April 25th, 2015, I participated in the Medicine Hat College Rattler Run 10km.  This is the second time I have ran this event, the first being in 2013.  Back in 2013, I set a personal best of 48:39.  I remember being so elated at that moment of setting this time, and being able to place 1st in my division.  Since then, I have been able to bring my 10 km time down to a 43:47 at the Moonlight Run in Lethbridge this past March.  I was anxious to run this race in Medicine Hat, as I was familiar with the course, and hoping for another personal best.

This day also held importance to me going into the race as the 11th anniversary of my dad’s passing.  When I registered for the event a few weeks prior, I knew it was fitting to be running a race on this day.  I would have him in my mind all day and be running this race in memory of him.  I stated on my Facebook page the day prior to the event how the event’s motto is “I Run for Me” and to promote healthy and active lifestyles for everyone.  My dad lived a healthy and active lifestyle and was a fitness role model for myself, and while I would be running this race for ME, I was more so going to be running this race for HIM.

Medicine Hat is about 1 hour and 45 minutes away from where I live in Lethbridge.  I have driven this distance before for races, usually to Calgary though, but the unique thing about this race is that the start time is 11 am.  I could sleep ‘in’ to a normal time, and still do the drive and make it to race packet pickup and warmup with plenty of time to spare.  I made it to Medicine Hat College at around 10 am.  Packet pickup was a breeze and it was of course great to see Randy and the crew from Racepro working the timing!  I also had enough time to do a good warmup, so I headed out for a 2 mile warmup at an 8:34 average pace.

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before race

The events offered on race day were the 10 km, the 5 km and the 3 km distances.  The 10 km would begin first, with the 3 km following shortly thereafter, and finishing with the 5 km runners.  I was getting anxious at about 10 minutes prior to race start so I just milled around aimlessly outside doing skips and high knees.   When the announcer called for the 10 km runners to assemble, about 5 minutes before start, I headed right up to the front to get in good position.  I actually ended up standing next to a local runner from the Lethbridge area (Taber to be exact) Billie-Jo.  She recognized me and then I immediately recognized her.  It was great to chat before the race start and she left me with the words to “Go chase those boys!”

We were off and I headed out with the mindset of trying to get a 6:45-6:50 pace per mile.  With my interval running I had been doing lately, I knew this was possible….if I was on flat surfaces, with no hills and no wind.  I held a 1st place female position for the first mile, which took us over an overpass and onto the trail system.  The trail system is VERY curvy and lots of ups and downs!  The “Ups” were never that steep, and the “Downs” weren’t either, but there was enough of them to really get you!  At mile 1, a female runner passed me.  OK, I thought….since I was not in Lethbridge, I did not know who this runner was, so I really had no idea what she was capable of.  I kept her in my sight for the next mile and I was able to overtake her by the end of mile 2.  I kept telling myself to never look back, and to only wait until the turnaround to see how close she really was.  I could hear her breathing pattern initially, and then when I couldn’t hear her breathing I knew I was far enough ahead, for now.  I just would keep on trucking.  I ran mile 1 in 6:34 and mile 2 in 7:08.  I did not like that 7:08.

The turnaround was near mile 2.5 and I was still in the lead.  2nd place female was not far behind, but there was a pretty good gap between me and three.  Since this next portion was just heading back on the same route, I knew what was coming ahead.  It was motivating running towards other runners and seeing people I recognized from Lethbridge races.  I ran miles 3 and 4 in 7:01 and 6:52.

By this time, we were back to the overpass, and instead of heading back where we started, we looped around the backside of the college.  This was a very sparse area of the course, with no spectators and no other runners heading past you in the opposite direction. I knew I just needed to keep pace.  There was an aboriginal gentleman who I was running behind the whole race who I caught up to, and stayed about a few steps ahead.  His cadence was the same as mine, so I decided to keep with him.  The crazy thing about this man, though, was he was running the event in SANDALS!  Very thin sandals with a strap around the heel and then through the toes.  I don’t know if he normally trains barefoot, or just always with sandals, but it was a sight to see!

I was able to keep pace for mile 5 and then I knew I wanted to kick it in for the last mile.  We were heading towards people finishing the 5 km and would be hooking up with them for the final straightaway.  Seeing more runners ahead motivated me and I was able to push hard for that last mile.  I also never looked behind me to see where that 2nd place female was, which I will never know if that was a good thing or a bad thing….but it doesn’t really matter….because I finished ahead of her in a time of 41:30!  My final two miles had been 7:03 and 6:45….it was just what I needed!  I stopped shortly after the finish line and was shaking, grabbing my quads….I turned around and saw female #2 finish right after me.  She was right on my tail!  Turns out, my chip time only beat hers by 9 seconds!  Gun time was only 12 seconds!  I thought she was farther back, but apparently not.  I had won the female division in the 10 km—-a first for me!

I was so excited about this win but I knew I needed to keep moving so I didn’t tighten up.  I ran a 2 mile cool down at an 8:55 average pace to total my mileage to 10 miles that day.  Heading back in to the college, a nice spread of post-race refreshments were set up.  I immediately zeroed in on the chocolate milk and bananas!  I had brought clothes to change in to, as I didn’t want to be sitting in disgusting race clothes during awards and more importantly, my drive back to Lethbridge.  They held the awards in the College cafeteria, which was a great setting for the 10 km awards (which were last) but it seemed a bit crowded for the 3 km and 5 km awards, as there were a TON of young kids there and their families.  It emptied out quite a bit for the 10 km awards, which made it nice for us runners, as before it was too hard to hear or see what was going on.

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I sat with the Lethbridge contingency of us who were out at the race, which was nice since a few of us were called up for awards….so we had a cheering section!  I first went up when they called for the 26-35 age group for women (I know, weird age groupings!) and then again at the end when they announced overall in each gender.  This was my “Olympian” moment I guess, as I have never earned a 1st female overall in such a large event…I think this is my third 1st female overall ever, with the last two being from smaller 5 km races.  I am also really proud that my time was a personal best….not just by a little, but by a lot.  So I know personally I worked as hard as I could!  If I had been able to get 1st overall with a time slower than my personal best, I wouldn’t have honestly have been as proud.  Another sweet thing was the prize money—-$200!!!  That cash is coming with me this weekend when I fly to Vancouver for my main event!

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Would I do this event again?  YES.  It is extremely well organized and well worth the commute to Medicine Hat.  If you are looking for a competitive 10 km, this seems to be a good one, for both the male and female divisions.  This is also a unique event in that the whole family really can participate….if one parent wants to do the 10km, an older kid do the 5 km, and the other parent and small child do the 3 km, that would totally work.  The registration was also very reasonable.  The early bird pricing for race registration was $20 for race registration, and the late registration (after April 7th) was $30.  You could also pay with cash day of for $40.  This was the same price for ALL RACE DISTANCES!  This did not include a shirt, however-a shirt would have cost an additional $15.  The Rattler Run was in its 35th year, and I totalled the finishers in the 10km, 5km, and 3 km by looking at the Racepro.ca website- there were 754 participants.  This race reminds me much of Lethbridge’s own “Moonlight Run” in that it is a “tradition.”  Albeit, smaller in scale, but still recognized in the community, appreciated, and thriving.  This was a great event for myself, not just because of my personal accomplishment, but because of the significance that the date April 25th holds.  That date does not need to be a sad day; it needs to be celebrated.  And I am more than grateful that I could celebrate by doing something my dad would have been proud to watch me do.

Race Recap-Rattler Run 10km…Medicine Hat, Macklemore and my Personal Best

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On Saturday, April 27th, I made the two hour trek out to Medicine Hat, Alberta. The Hat is in the southeast corner of the province and is the sixth largest city in Alberta. I registered for this race only two weeks ago, shortly after running the Lethbridge 10 Mile Road Race. After determining my very pregnant friend Nicole would be around to meet up for lunch afterwards, I decided to register and make the drive.

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The Rattler Run is an annual race organized by Medicine Hat College. They have a “I Run 4 Me” campaign that encourages healthy, active lifestyles for everyone, and encourages people to get out there and be active no matter their skill level. They offer a 3km, 5km and 10km race. This year they capped the races at 1000 participants, and they reached their limit in runners just before race day. The 5 km was the most popular race, the 3 km had the most children (lots of kids from a local soccer club) but I chose to do the 10 km.

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One major selling point when registering for this race was the 11 am start time. It allowed me to get up at 7, have my coffee and oatmeal, and head out of Lethbridge by 8. The packet pick up in the college foyer was easy and quick, but I was surprised to see my age grouping—26-35 year olds! Usually racing categories go 19 and under, 20-29, 30-39, and so on. Maybe even every 5 years if its an enormous race! At 28, I was immediately intimidated by the potential of being with some experienced 30-something’s! I tried to not think about it while I got ready. I. wandered outside into the ridiculous wind to check out the start area (wind speeds were between 45-55 mph today) to realize one problem-country music! Ok, I get it, a lot of people love country music. And when you live in the ‘Texas of Canada’, country music is very prevalent. Since one of the major sponsors was the local country music station, I had to do something drastic……

….One of my first posts in here was about how I don’t listen to music when running. Part of the issue is I don’t want to carry my phone. But, a few weeks ago I bought a hydration belt to wear, and the back pocket actually fits my iPhone 5 perfectly. So I decided to mess with normalcy and attempt to listen to music. I actually tried making a playlist that I was going to attempt to use while running. I realized, though, if it got to the end of the playlist it would not restart back to the beginning. And I didn’t want to putz with it when running. So, since my song of the moment is “Can’t Hold Us” By Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, I did what any sane person would do—I put that song on repeat.

If you don’t know that song or think I am totally damn ass crazy, take 4:18 of your life and listen to it.
Can’t Hold Us-Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
For this tempo of a run and for the purpose of zoning you out and pumping you up, this song does it. I don’t know what genre of music i listen to most, but this style isn’t one I would normally be obsessed with. Maybe it is because Dan and I saw Macklemore on SNL a few months ago and I just thought he was so fun. Maybe it was because I still have a soft spot for him because we first heard his song “Thrift Shop” inappropriately on Christmas Eve when my brother in law was playing it in the van while his kids were sleeping. Either way, I would like to thank you Macklemore, for your unique styling, as I think you caused me to run my personal best 10 km. You should feel honored.

Back to the race…184 racers in the 10 km. I positioned myself at the front ready to rock. The wind was going to be a major mental issue and physical problem, so I needed to start strong. I also was not familiar with the paths we were going on, but the volunteers I talked to assured me we had it better than the 5 km, hill wise at least. I busted out of the gate and ran my first mile in around 7:05. I knew this could pose issues, but was hoping to stay under 8:00 for the first 3 miles. The wind in mile 2 hit me, and everyone else, hard. My legs were working so hard but felt like they weren’t going anywhere. The little hills everywhere weren’t even the issue—use to those in Lethbridge—but between the crazy wind and the unseasonably warm 70s weather, it was going to be a fight.

As I was taking in the surroundings and the other runners near me, I got my mind thinking about where I was placed age-group wise. It really hard to distinguish anyone’s age over 20 when you are racing. By over-judging the ladies’ ages, I figured I was at least in top 3 for my age group. That kept me pushing, as I really wanted a medal-I love the bling! The course was out and back, so reaching that halfway point was another good push, and as the trail system we were on allowed you to be able to view other portions of the course in the coulees, you could see the end in sight (even if it was three miles away).

The air was even drier than Lethbridge and thankfully I did have my Gatorade on my belt, because I needed it about three times. The last mile I really started to push, as we had to run over the highway overpass, and once you got to the top of it, it was all downhill. It actually wasn’t a true out and back, because after getting down the overpass, you went straight towards the entrance of the college, not to the back way like the start. Knowing how little of a distance I had left to go made me kick in everything I had left. I finished with chapped lips, a dry cough, extremely exhausted, and with Macklemore singing still…but I made my personal record! I listened to Macklemore for 48 minutes 38 seconds! I demolished my old 10km of 50:05! I was so excited because that was my major goal of this race.

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Awards were at 12:30 pm in the gym and I was amazed to find out I placed 1st in my age group! There were 27 participants in the 26-35 group, so not too many but still a decent number. The girl I beat out for 1st place was only about 20 seconds behind me. She told me during awards she was really trying to chase me down at the end but just couldn’t. For about two miles in the middle of the race, she had passed me and was ahead, so me being able to push by her then was the key moment.

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I am really starting to think that this whole process I am going through this year with my training is allowing me to get times I never have been able to before. Between this website, the fundraising, the self-reflection, the extra races, and the motivation of honoring my dad, I am really starting to think I can keep surprising myself this year. I have this indescribable driving force when I race now—something I haven’t had in quite some time. I hope this power stays with me all year, as the next month is going to be a rough one. I have this next weekend off, but then I have three weekends in a row of races. The Spartan Sprint is first, then two half marathons; one in Red Deer and one in Calgary. The Spartan race is for challenging myself and for having fun. I have never done an obstacle course run! I do hope to make a best time at one of the two half marathons.

Please show your support for my running in memory of my father Andrew Lammers by donating to one of the two charities found at the link at the top of the page. Both support heart disease research in North America, as the first is American Heart Association and the second is Heart & Stroke Foundation. I am hoping to raise $1000 for each before the Dopey Challenge in 2014—but I really think I can shoot for $1500 each! Take the time to read my “Purpose” up above also, and feel free to contact me if you have further questions.

Thanks for reading and have a great week!

Andrea