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, May 20, 2012

Peach City 10K

Today I ran the 10K race at the Peach City Half Marathon & 10K in beautiful Penticton, B.C. The weather was nicely cool and overcast as we set out at 8 AM from beside the beach in Skaha Lake Park, with the half marathoners following us at 8:15.

A teenaged girl, who I later found out was Emily Allin, blasted out into the lead. I was running in second about 10 feet behind her when Doug Wickware, who'd won the race last year, came up beside me and I said "She sure went out fast!" He said "Yeah, I'm just going to hang back a bit." I told him I'd run with him for awhile if I could keep up, maybe the first kilometer, but after about half a kilometer he sped up. Emily was now about 50 feet in front of us, and he caught up to her in no time. They ran together for about a minute and then I saw Doug take off ahead again.

We ran along Main Street and then turned off and ran along a winding road which was mostly flat. I managed to keep Emily in sight for most of the race, but she was still quite far ahead and gradually getting farther and farther away, and I couldn't hear anyone behind me. So unlike last year when I ran with Danny and Teane for most of the race, and we were constantly pushing each other to go faster, I was running this one alone. The odd time I'd find myself slowing down when I wasn't concentrating, and then I'd have to make myself speed up, and I think that probably cost me time-wise.

Near the 7K point there was a turnaround, and I was a couple of hundred meters from it when Doug came by on the other side of the road with the lead bike in front of him. We exchanged "Good job!"s, and the woman on the bike told me the turnaround was coming up and to just cross the road and head back, and I yelled thanks. I turned the corner and headed towards it just as Emily flew by me going the other way, and then I got there and was directed around it by the volunteers. I looked and still saw nobody coming towards me, I'd opened up a huge gap. Finally as I hit the corner where I'd seen Doug heading back, I saw a fellow from Penticton, Kevin, who I'd met before the race, passing me on the other side, and we yelled "Good job!" to each other. We had parked beside each other and were getting race ready at the same time, and discovered we were both running the 10K and so wished each other luck. A woman was right behind Kevin and then there was a constant flow of people going by me on the other side, so it was a constant exchange of "Good job!"s for a little while.

I hit a hill with about one and a half kilometers to go, and it was a nice steep one. I just decided to relax and not kill myself going up it, but it slowed me up quite a bit and it took me awhile to get up to speed again. Soon I heard Steve King the race announcer and saw the park and people standing along the road cheering, so I knew the end was near. The spectators directed me into the park, and I booted it up to full speed, only to discover that I was still about 400 meters from the finish. I slowed up but then ran in as fast as I could with about 150 meters to go. There was such a big gap between myself and Emily in front of me, and Kevin coming in behind me, that Steve had time to rattle off a whole bunch of stuff about me. He said that I was from Vancouver, that I was third overall, second place male, first in my age group, finished 4th overall last year and set the record in my age group. That my time last year was 42:45 but I'd be finishing about 20 seconds slower this year, and then I crossed the line and gave my bib tag to the volunteer, as this was a hand timed race, with no timing chip.

I waited for Kevin to come in and we exchanged congratulations, and I told him I was second and he was third male overall and had won his age group. He was amazed as he hadn't expected to do that well. Now it was time to head over to the food table. To drink they had the big plastic dispensers filled with water, Power Ade, chocolate milk, Coke, and coffee, and to eat they had bananas, watermelon, plain ripple potato chips, chocolate eclairs, and chocolate chip cookies. I started off with water and then had some chocolate milk, and a coffee later on, and to replace my lost sodium and glycogen, some chips, eclairs and cookies did the trick!

I went over to the finish line and helped cheer in the rest of the 10Kers and then the half marathoners started coming in. At first it was slow going, as the winner, Stephen Ptucha, finished 6 minutes ahead of everyone else, and so Steve did an interview with him while we waited for the second place person to arrive, but gradually it picked up until there was a steady stream of people coming in.

Just as the first female half marathoner, Amanda Barlow, crossed the finish line, they called us over to do the 10K awards. First they did the women's, and there was a group of women in their 40's, 50's & 60's who'd come up from the Lower Mainland, and they were having the time of their lives winning medals and cheering wildly everytime they or anyone else did so. I'll never forget Emma Jean Chang winning 3rd in her age group. She was shocked that she'd podiumed, and was just yelling like crazy, and not like some Price Is Right contestant. It was more like one of those Maori war dances, and then she finished off her celebration with a double fist pump and arm flex combo as she walked up to receive her medal.

The men's awards were kind of anti-climactic after that, but luckily the women stayed to cheer for us as well. Doug went up and got his medal and it was announced he was first overall, and first Kevin and then myself ran up to get ours. Last year the medals were nice and solid but just a round disk that looked like someone had scratched Peach City 10K on the metal with a nail, you could barely read it. I think they look awesome this year, and I told that to the woman who was presenting them to us.

Our awards concluded and I had a long drive back to Vancouver, and even Kevin was heading out, and he lived 5 minutes away! We shook hands and said we'd see each other at a future race, and off we went! Results are up, I was 3rd of 80 overall, and 1st of 4 in my AG, with a time of 43:06.
In case anyone's curious, here's the half results:
We had a great turnout for the Friday Night Mile this week. I was slower than last time, so I'll work on that for the next one:

Congratulations to Sandy Smith (Craig's wife, for those who work with us) for finishing her second race (her first was the Sun Run), the 5K Vistas Run, 30th overall out of 74, with a time of 37:02 on a hilly course.
My next race is the Oceanside 10K in Parksville on Vancouver Island, this Sunday, May 27 at 11 AM.
This has been the 3rd edition of Gord's Running News for May 2012.

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