MEC # 2 Birds Hill Park Race

MEC # 2 Birds Hill Park Race
MEC #2 Birds Hill Park 2017 3rd Overall After A Sprint Finish!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Game of Life 5K

My race for today was the Game of Life 5K Run/Walk, put on by Commonwealth Games Canada. There was also a 10K race, and the proceeds of the event went to CGC's Bowling Out Aids, which is a cricket based development through sport program designed for Caribbean Youth 9-19 years old, to both increase cricket skills, and reduce the incidence and transmission of HIV infections.

The race start and finish was at Lumberman's Arch in Stanley Park, and consisted of a loop along the seawall. The 2 loop 10K took off first at 8 AM, with us 5Kers following them 5 minutes later. I was in 4th place initially, but within the first kilometer about 10 or so people passed me, including one young woman. I kept her in sight for the rest of the race, but in the first half she got at least a hundred meters ahead of me. Not long after we'd passed the midway point I started passing people who'd ran by me in the first part of the race, and then I noticed that I was closing in on the lone woman 5Ker ahead of me. We were passing the slower 10K runners the whole race, but the 5K runners were easy to spot as we were going at a considerably greater speed.

At one point I was only a few feet behind her but she sped up, and when we hit the 4K mark she took off, and I went with her. Now we were consistantly passing more and more 10K runners as we headed in. We jumped up on the upper sidewalk at some points to get around them, and soon we could hear cheering, and spectators were standing along the route urging us on to the final turn before heading into the finish. Just before we hit the corner a young fellow passed me going very fast, and there was no way I was going to catch him, and as it turned out, anyone else. I sprinted in with nobody catching me either, and got my finisher's medal from the volunteer.

To drink they had water, gatorade, and coconut milk, which is low calorie but loaded with nutrients for recovery. To eat they had mandarin oranges, bananas, muffins, and a massive variety of Quaker granola bars. We had to wait around until almost 10 AM before they started the awards ceremony, so I ended up eating more granola bars than I should have. They're addictive and they seemed to have a never ending supply, and thus drew me like a magnet back to the table every ten minutes or so. I saw some of the other runners repeatedly going back for more, and to me this just validated my destructive behaviour.

I waited for Scott Stewart to come in, as I'd seen him up front at the start of the 10K. He ended up finishing 2nd overall, and the young fellow who finished 1st came up and talked to us too. He was completely surprised at how he did, because he'd run his best ever 10K at the Sun Run just 2 weeks ago, 37:30, and today had run it in just over 36 minutes, quite a leap in such a short time!
We stood around and chatted with the other runners until they got to the awards. They also gave away quite a few draw prizes while we waited, and had a cricket clinic where anyone could put on the gear and they taught people how to throw and bat, the rules of the game, etc. They posted results and I found out I'd finished 1st in my age group, and 8th overall in the race, with a time of 20:28.

The awards began with the overalls, and Scott went up and got his certificate for a new pair of Mizuno shoes, which they gave out to the first three finishers in each race. The presenter today was Suzanne Weckend-Dill, who swam for Canada in the 1994 Commonwealth Games in Victoria, and again competed representing Canada, this time in the triathlon, at the 2006 Games in Melbourne, Australia.

Scott's son, who looks to be 11 or 12, ran the 5K race and finished 3rd in his age group, so he went up and received his first ever podium award and photo op. Instead of medals we got a collapsible Mizuno water bottle, but Scott said that's okay, he told him to put it up on the shelf at home with his finisher's medal. An award is an award, and it's his first podium, so a momentous one. Quite a few people had gone home already, and not a lot had stuck around to accept their awards, so they were pretty happy when myself and Keith, who'd placed 3rd in our Male 50-59 category, went up and accepted our bottles.

Suzanne thanked us profusely for coming out, and then stood between us as we got our picture taken onstage, so it was pretty cool.

We were both ready to head home by this time, so myself and Keith bid each other adieu and off we went.

Nothing on the net yet but I'll post results when they're up. Here's the finisher's medal, plus the nice gear bag that all entrants received.

We also got a cool tech shirt with content similar to what is on the bag adorning it, and with the bottle I carted home quite a load of swag.

In addition, I ran my first Friday Night Mile of the year this weekend, and myself and clubmate Chris recorded personal bests:
My next race is the Sound and Silence 10K in Saanichton on Sunday, May 6 at 9 AM.

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