Nothing quite like a good Point-to-Point race, and the April Fool's half marathon this past weekend is no exception.
I ran this race last year with members of the TriScouts and North Shore Tri Club. A bit of a different turnout this year with different dynamics, but still lots of fun.
Here's the link to my Garmin data (a bit early in the post I know, but it also saves me from tracking down a map of the race).
One of the great things about this race is how grassroots it is. Super cheap for a Half Mary, and it's scheduled so that you can take the first ferry over from Horseshoe Bay in the morning, and they even have shuttles to take you to the race start! A bit of a quick turnaround, but kinda fun to figure out how well you can race on minimal warmup.
(If I end up going next year, though, I might run laps around the deck...)
This year the "People that I know at this race" included Rachel, Team Richele & Donovan, Jeff (he's in a rock band!), Trina & Sleevens, and the NSTC crew.
Let the Hurting Begin
The race started out downhill this year, and as usual I had a bit of an problem figuring out whom to run with in the first couple of kms. Do I push it a bit and get with the faster group, or back off a bit so that I don't blow up?
Luckily for me, Donovan was running right behind me the entire race. According to him, I was running really smoothly, would speed down the downhills, but slow up on the uphills (and if you look at the course profile, there are lots of both!) It's not all that often that you get play-by-play feedback on your running form during a race!
Oh, and be sure to always wear cool sunglasses during running races. Spectators will be sure to comment on them, and give you a little boost when you need it most.
Ran through the half-way point at 37 minutes - might have just set a new 10km PB.
With about 5 km to go, the course turned to a slight uphill. I hear a bit of a 'grinding' behind me, and figure for some reason that a mountain bike is coming up on my left. No, a runner. Drops me on the uphill, and continues to run down 2 more racers in front of me. What a final kick for this racer!
Managed to pass one more runner in the final few kilometers of the race, but apparently I also kept hallucinating the race marker signs (didn't I already see the 19 km marker ?!?)
At the 20 km mark, I checked behind me to see if I was going to need to work at the finish. Coast is clear! Running down the finishing shoot - all good! Then I hear the race announcer - "And hear comes Donovan Watts from Vancouver". Apparently wearing a white race shirt makes you invisible to racers infront of you who quickly glance backwards near the end of the race! He almost caught me!
Final time - 1:17:10, 9th overall. (Please do keep in mind that when the race winner crossed at 1:09:59, I still had 2 kilometers to go)
After a brief respite, Donovan and I decided to do our cooldown opposite the racers who were still coming in. I complained about my calf muscles (from racing downhill), Donovan his quads (from racing uphill). Saw Jeff, Rachel, Richele, Stephen, Katrina, Jonesy, Susie, and others run the final stretch of their races!
It was very important, though, when we turned around from our cooldown to head back to the race finish that we not run faster than runners still finishing their race.
Conveniently, right down the block from the community centre where the race bus drops you off is the BlackFish Pub. Good, basic pub menu - a great place for a post-race recovery meal and a beer.
That's all for now kids. Don't really know what race is up next (currently signed up for the Oliver Half-Iron, but that's in June). Will keep you posted