Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Bear Mountain 3.5k Summit Challenge - Feb. 17, 2008

I signed up for this race only a few days before the event. This race was not really on my radar, but I was emailed by the race organizer to 'please enter'. They gave me an entry fee of $10, so it was hard to pass that deal up.

The family joined me for this one. We all packed ourselves into the car, and we took the long drive out to the top of the mountain. It was a brisk morning, but the sun was out, and considering the time of the year, there cannot be any complaints.

After doing a small warm-up, everyone loaded up on board the school busses and we drove to the bottom of the mountain. This was the start of the race. The race had 94 entries. I had no expectations of any kind for this race, but when I saw Gary Duncan in the event, I had my sights set on him.

The race sarted. My goal going in was just to conserve going up the first half of the course, because it was steep. It was really steep. I cruised up the first hill briskly, but still felt like my pace was good. The elites infornt of me were all familiar faces. The Westshore Frontrunner Boys led the way, with myself and Gary Duncan shoulder to shoulder in the next group. As the hills kept coming, and as the race continued, the elites infront eventually took off, and Gary did eventually pass me. At the 2k mark, the course went a direction on the mountain I had never been on. The course went up Nicklaus Dr., which takes you to the very top of the mountain. Well in excess of where the hotel is located.

The last 2 hills were brutal. They were really steep. However, I knew the end was near so I pushed it. I had only been passed by 1 person, and damned if I was going to get passed by any more. At the top of the 1st hill was the family. Janelle yelled "Go Daddy!", and then Teagan followed. As I got to them, Teagan tried to run and catch up to me (see photo). The final hill was shorter, but steeper. the finish line was at the top, on a 45 degree slope. I finished the race strong. I did catch up a bit to Gary infront of me, but not enough to catch him.

It was a great race for me. I finished in 8th place overall, and did it in a time of 16:12. This time doesn't mean anything really, but maybe worth noting for next year. I did finish 1st in my age class though!

It was a cruel race. But, it was a race that was somewhat my style. I love dem hills.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Cedar 12k - Feb. 11, 2008

The family headed up the day before and spent the night in Duncan with Nana and Grandpops. In the morning, Janelle and I left the kids behind so that we could go to the race.
We left Duncan a little late. We actually were on time, but then my mom said that we needed gas in her car, so that put us behind somewhat.
Anyways, we got to the race in ample time. I checked in and got my race number on. The setup inside the gym looked nice. They had some wicked post-race nutrition, including waffles and strawberries. Yum-yum. But, I never had any as it turned out.
While I was warming up, the usual suspects were entered in this race. The Frontrunners Boys were present, as were many of my Harrier training partners.
I was a little concerned about the distance. A 12k race is a funny one. It isn't short, it isn't long. It's a distance that will confuse you. My goal going in was to treat it like a half-marathon,and then to save some extra energy for the hills. There were two big hills, and both were close to the finish line.

I lined up on the start line and looked up. I saw a parked RV about 15 meters infront of me - a parked vehicle that should have not been there. If I were to run straight, I would run right into it. So I decided to go around it the other way - off course slightly.
The move paid off. I didn't have anyone close to at the start. I found my pace, and stuck to it. As usual, the elite pack took off and I snuggled into a solid 3:45/km pace.
The course was hillier than I imagined. I was told prior to the race that there were "rolling hills", but these were just plain hills. It also turned windy around the 5k mark, however I did not let up. I was not passing anybody, but at the same time, I was not being passed. The turn-around spot was at 7k, and I felt quite good still. I maintained a pretty good pace until I got to the final 2 uphills, which were steep for a road race. However, I am good at hills, and I passed 2 people on them. In the final stretch, I was passed by Brian Connan. He is 62 years old, and pulls in elite times relative to his age. On the final grassy stretch coming into the school, I felt like I could catch Brian. I sped up and pushed him to go even faster.
As he turned his head, he saw me and then he put in one last kick to beat me.
This was alright. I knew I didn't have an earth-shattering race, but I knew it was decent.
When the results trickled in, I came in 32nd place. The race had 381 entries, so once again, it was a top 10% finish.
My time was 46:56.