Sunday, June 22, 2008

Chemainus 5k Twilight Shuffle - June 17, 2008

I never would have entered myself in this race, had it not been for my running club, the Prairie Inn Harriers. When the club announced that they had rented a 15-seater van to drive to and from this event, it seemed like a great way to spend a Tuesday evening.
I caught the bus and headed to the back. I was a little surprised to see Chris Callendar (a running buddy of mine) on the bus, but clearly he had the same idea of taking the bus to the carpool location. The transportation worked out great, and in an hour, we were at the race.
I saw my mum there waiting for me, and I went over and gave her a hug. I was very excited that she would be here to cheer me on. Support is always great.
The first thing we had to do was to register. Normally, I register well ahead of time, but this race was not on my radar at all until the free ride came up. A 5k race is totally not my cup of tea either. In fact, this would be my first 5k race. It would also be the first time I would wear my Harrier singlet.
The registration was a complete gongshow. There was a massive line for registrations, and the two ladies at the front doing the sign-in were completely overwhelmed. It took 45 minutes to get my race number, and this allowed me a solid 10 minutes for warm up. Needless to say, the warm-up was not ideal.
I placed myself on the starting line. Everyone was ready to go, but it appeared as if nobody was in charge of actually starting us. From somewhere, I heard a "ready, set, go", and then we were all off. The fastees took off right away, and went at a pace I had never seen before. I let them go, and began to focus on my race.
The weather was good, but it was definitely windy. The course had some hills, but nothing too severe. They had advertised the race as being flat and fast, and I didn't really see either of these two things. The race went went in the initial stages. I seemed to be going at a steady pace, but I was surprised to see that there were no km markers, like in most races. There was no way to tell what pace you were really going at.
At the half way point, I looked at my watch and could not believe that the run would be over so quickly. I had never gone for a run this short. My body didn't know what to do.
On the way back to the start/finish area, I got passed by 3 people, including Nancy Fedoruk, and I was not impressed. After a minute or so, I passed them back, and then in the final stages of the race, I started up the big hill. Being a good climber, I knew that nobody would catch me. I did though, have my eyes set on catching one or two people ahead of me. One of them was Chris Callendar - a guy who was definitely faster than me, but boy would I love to beat him...just once.
Well, I didn't beat him, as he had the same thought in mind - but he did catch the people infront of him. I finished in a time of 18:18. This was a spectacular result for me, as I am not a short distance road guy. It was a placing of 31st position (out of 536). A new PB was a great feeling, but I am definitely not making the switch to being a short distance guy. No way.

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