On Sunday, May 6th, I ran the Sound and Silence 10K in Saanichton on Vancouver Island. There was also a 5K run and 5 & 10K walk races, all to raise funds for the Island Deaf and Hard of Hearing Centre. The IDHHC'c mission statement says: To enable individuals who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing or Deafened, to have full and active access, recognition and involvement in society.
The races started off from the Michell Bros. Farmers Market on Lochside Drive, a rural road just off the Patricia Bay Highway. It was already a bright sunny day as the 5 and 10K walkers started their race at 8:30 AM. Half an hour later it was our turn as the 5 and 10K runners took off.
We ran down the road alongside a farmer's field for about a kilometer, then there were trees alongside the road and buildings could be seen beyond them, and after a few hundred yards on our left was a pig farm. There was no fence and a huge hog that looked to be at least 400 lbs. was happily laying in the mud about 10 feet from the road, not paying any heed to all the strange creatures rushing by in such a hurry. I noticed while waiting for the race to start that many runners and cyclists were going up and down this road, so I guess we didn't look so strange to him after all, this was something he saw all the time, which explained why he looked so disinterested in us.
After this we hit a field with a gravel path for another few hundred yards, and then we were back out on the road. There were a few runners farther up ahead of the rest of us by now, but a couple of young guys and a fellow who looked to be about my age had been running in front of me, and I'd gradually gained ground on them, and now I passed them all.
Soon we came to a road where we were directed to turn right by the volunteers, and I was running on a slight downhill into the wind and heard someone right behind me. I thought my pursuer might be using me as a windblock so I sped up, and gained a little space between us. I heard volunteers and spectators start yelling "Go Mark!" as we ran down the road to the 5K point and the turnaround, and as we rounded the halfway point cone I saw that it was one of the young guys that I'd passed by the pig farm who was tailing me.
When we got back to the other road we were told to turn right, and I turned to the guy behind me and said "I thought it looked different on the course map.", and he said "Me too." I ran ahead for awhile longer, and then at about the 7K point he pulled up alongside and asked how long we'd been running, and I told him. Plus our split time just came up, 2:09 for the last halk K, so we'd slowed down a bit at the last water station. He thanked me and ran ahead, and I stayed behind him for a bit and then passed him going around a turn in the road.
There were a few young woman walkers just ahead of us, and as we passed them they all yelled "Go Mark, you can beat him!"
This caused him to speed up and pass me, and I decided not to go with him and just run my pace and see how it panned out. With a couple of kilometers to go we were directed to turn left now, and found ourselves running downhill for a bit, so we both sped up. The whole race had been run mostly alongside farmers' fields, and when we came to any houses there were usually people out to cheer us on, and most of them seemed to know Mark! Now we came to the final turn towards the finish, with one kilometer to go. Mark was about 150 meters ahead of me, and I tried to close the gap, but he sped up too so I never gained very much ground on him. At last we hit the short finisher's chute and I heard my name announced as I crossed the line.
I went up to Mark who was with his Mom, and said "Good race!", and he thanked me for pacing him, telling his mother he knew nothing about pacing. There were only a few of us in so far and I grabbed some water, and then followed a couple of young guys up to the food tables. They had a huge variety of cookies and muffins, plus brownies, bagels and cream cheese, watermelon, and bananas to eat, and coffee, Gatorade and water to drink. We had to wait awhile for the rest of the runners to come in, so I ended up eating quite a few cookies and muffins, as they weren't exactly running out!
I chatted with a few runners and one guy told me they had age group awards in our race. I had no idea about the awards because it hadn't really said anything about it in the brochure, so this was good news. Finally they got the awards going, and they did the walkers first, and they only had overall top 3 male and female for them, but they didn't have a lot of walkers, and it was pretty cool that they gave them a separate race of their own. The walkers seemed pretty happy with it anyway.
Then they got to ours, and it turned out that Mark was in the 0-19 category, no surprise he outsprinted me! They came to my 50-59 age group and I took second place, behind Gary Duncan, who's a really fast Island runner, and ahead of Roger White. We shook hands and our photo was taken, and then I talked to Roger for awhile. He'd been ahead of me at the beginning of the race and was the guy I'd passed right after the pig farm. The reason he'd slowed down was because he's still recovering from an injury and couldn't keep up his usual pace. I told him I'd come over from Vancouver to run this race, and he said he travels around quite a bit too and it turned out we'd run many of the same races, which is why we looked so familiar to each other. Roger's also an Ironman triathlete, hoping to do the Penticton one this summer, so I hope he's totally healed up by then. Even if he isn't, I imagine he'll finish it anyway, just not as fast as usual, like today. It was great talking to him, but I told him I was hoping to catch the noon ferry as I had to work that night, and he said I'd better get going, so we bid each other farewell until next time.
They gave us nice ribbons instead of medals, and I've attached a picture of mine. Results are up http://racedaytiming.ca/raceday-results?display=soundandsilence2012 and I finished 2nd of 7 in my age group, and 5th overall out of 47, with a time of 42:34.
The last 2 years I've run the 8K race at the Vancouver Marathon, but this year they had new courses and only the marathon and half marathon, which didn't fit into my schedule right now, so I ran this race instead. Congratulations go out to Don Domae's daughter Laura for finishing her first marathon, Gary Wong's wife Terry for finishing the half, plus Stuart McNabb, Alan Benson, Evan Zaleschuk, Antonio Cerullo, Glenn Gerow, and Roger Roufosse from my club for conquering the marathon. Kudos also to Tom Webster, Dan Cumming, and Chris Boulton, who was 99th overall, for doing the half.
Photos are up for the Game of Life now: http://gameoflife.zoomphoto.ca/eventgallerysearch/16546/1039/1/
My next race is the Mother's Day 5K in Port Moody this Sunday at 9 AM.