On Sunday, March 18 I ran The River's Spring Run-Off 10K in Kamloops. The sky had cleared overnight and it was a brilliant sunny day, and it had warmed up from just below zero to a few degrees above by race time, so it was perfect running weather. We started out promptly at 10 AM from the street by Arthur Stevenson School, running straight along residential streets for about 3 kilometers. It was pretty crowded when we began to run, but soon we were spread out a bit. There were 2 guys who looked to be in my age group running in front of me, and one took off up ahead and I passed the other one, and then some other slower runners.
I jockeyed for position with some other racers in the small pack we were now in, until we came to a cul-de-sac and a turnaround. As I came up to it I saw the leaders coming back and it looked like there were about 30 people in front of me. As we hit the turnaround I broke out of the pack and surged ahead as well as I could. We ran back a few blocks before turning right, running a couple of blocks over, and then turning left again. We were now on a sidewalk on a main road and there were some spectators waiting with signs at the corners, cheering us on and clanging cowbells, and lots of honks from cars driving by. I could hear people coming up behind me, but I just concentrated on keeping pace with the runners ahead of me and managed to hold my position.
After a few hundred meters we turned right and headed a couple of blocks over again and the volunteers directed us onto a dike where we ran along a gravel path. After about a kilometer and a half there was another turnaround, and as I headed back I saw that some people were right behind me. One fellow came up beside me and I ran beside him for a while, but eventually he passed me, and I just kept a few feet behind him. We came out on the road again, and it was now only a few hundred meters to the finish! You could hear the cheering and the announcer, and then I saw the finish line and clock up ahead of me as we headed into the chute. I tried to catch the guy who'd passed me but he sped up too, and a fellow darted by me going very fast, and just beat me at the line. 2 more runners came in right on my tail so there was a little jamup across the line, but there were no collisions and it was all good.
We congratulated each other on a good race, and then I stayed outside for quite awhile with a lot of the other runners cheering everyone else in. Finally I was cooling off so I ran to my car and put my warmups and jacket on, and then I ran back to the school and headed into the gym for some food. They had pizza that had just arrived, plus cheese and crackers, oranges and bananas, GU energy gel packs, bags of tortilla chips, chocolate chip cookies, muffins, date squares and Nanaimo bars. To drink they had water, coffee, tea, and hot chocolate. I grabbed a couple of pieces of pizza and a few other things on a plate, and when I was finished that I went and got a cup of coffee.
I got talking to 2 twin brothers in their 20s who had run together the whole race, and then one passed the other right at the end. I'd met one of them before the race while doing my warmup, so he came up to me right away when he saw me, and was soon joined by his brother. They were very animated and excited about it, and they obviously enjoyed racing together. I told them about how I had to be in Vancouver to work that night, and they had to be in Salmon Arm to work at 4 PM, so we were all hoping they'd get the results up soon.
I went outside after awhile and they were packing everything up and a woman was just going inside to post the results. Myself and another woman followed her in, and as she looked for tape to put them up she let us look at them, and I discovered I'd finished 3rd in my age group! We helped the woman put the results up and when I told her my age group placing she said "Alright!" and did a fist pump. The twins finally looked and they were 1st and 2nd in their age group, and 7th and 8th overall.
Soon they got the awards ceremony started, and since they did the women first it was quite awhile before mine came up. They gave out quite a few draw prizes too, and one of the twins won a Timex watch, and then I finally learned their names when they called them up, James and Timothy Mundall. At last they got to my category and I went up and thanked my presenter profusely as she put the medal around my neck. It just happened to be the woman who posted the results. Then the first and second place guys came up and we all shook hands and did our photo op. I also got a nice round of applause as the only one there from the Lower Mainland, and they really appreciated me coming up there. James and Tim left to go to work, and they rapped up the awards ceremonies quickly after this. At first I thought the medal was made of wood, but it's actually made of sandstone and is very unique. I'm having it engraved and will send out a picture when it's done. I headed back to Vancouver, and thankfully the roads were clear going back. I was also happy when it started raining on the return journey, as my car was coated with crap, and heaven forbid I should actually have to wash it!
Results are up, and I finished 25 of 165 overall, and 3 of 8 in my age group, with a time of 42:34.
My next race is Harry's Spring Runoff 8K, on March 25 at 10 AM, in Stanley Park, a little closer to home.