Finish line 8k, 29min:37
(photo courtesy Tran Media Services)
Today was the Remembrance day 8k x-country race around Stanley park. I've been wanting to try these for a while and finally signed up. Good tempo training .... or something ... learning how to run when you're gassed from the get-go.
The rain/hail held off and after an odd start (Craik and another runner actually had to hold the start line string up and start us) we were off. A hundred or a bit less speedsters from the track clubs blasted off the line across the cricket field. Craik made a funny but nobody laughed except me n him ..... it's often that way.
Anyway ... i was hoping for about 35 mins considering it was trail and up and down, and i knew it was gonna be a wheezer. One of those all out speed things. It didn't disappoint and surprisingly i was feeling about as good as anyone can when maxing out heart, legs, lungs.
I had set off at a good clip that i thought i could maintain for a while and found myself near the front ... sweet! even better .... craiky was behind me .... although he does that a lot and then whizzes by me after a few minutes. But as we zoomed across the leafy fields and into the first loop of Beaver lake i was still in front .... and then i began to wonder .... "maybe i can stay in front today!" the other elf said "don't get cocky coo ... still a little under half way. I had some good wheels today though and felt pretty good (unusual) and i was maintaining a pretty good pace as we went into the first longish "hill" and then back down again. I hadn't looked behind me once to see if craiky was there ... and never did til the end..... but i was starting to think that i might get him ... and this was enough to keep me driving up the next steep climb) almost to the height of the top of the Causeway, before a quick descent back down to Beaver lake and back down the home stretch.
Rounding Beaver lake for the second time I could hear two people breathing on my shoulder .... one passed me ... a girl ... damn! As we crossed pipeline road and ran the trail back into the open field where the kids water play area is i sensed, rather than saw, that craiky had fallen back. I was beginning to tire myself at this point but knowing that i might finally get him spurred me to keep going.
Breaking out into the open again on the starting field behind Brockton Oval, the course does a 1km loop of the cricket pitches. 1k to go ... i gave it all i had .... passed some dude in front of me who had passed me earlier and cresting a rise about 200m from the finish i took a quick glance to my right ... couldn't see craiky and almost did a jig crossing the line in 29min:37 ... sub 30! Gigiddy!
I was trashed. Those things are all out! But finishing 8th (2nd in age group) and only about a minute back of the first woman, Rachel Ruus who had gone to the 10k Nationals this year, made me recover pretty quickly. :) Looking forward to the next two (Aldergrove and Jericho) although i know craiky is gonna be out there tying my shoelaces together. But for today at least i get to strut around and kick leaves at him. The old coot still has some fight left in him! :p