On Sunday morning, June 3rd, I participated in the inaugural Barriere Fun Run, which consisted of 5K and 10K races plus a 300 meter kids run. This event was the brainchild of race director Wes Kibble, who came up with the idea after Barriere got a great new bandshell in Fadear Park last year, and Wes figured it now needed events to make good use of such a fine facility, and thus the Barriere Fun Run was born.
At about 9:40 AM they had the kids run, one lap around the paved oval. The entrance fee was a non-perishable food item donation to the Barriere Food Bank, and the 10 or so young athletes all had a great time running it, and we had a great time cheering them on! They were so cute and Linda McRae of Views by Linda Photography got some great pictures of them! She was our official race photographer, and she also got great photos of everything else, and if you'd like to view them go to: http://www.viewsbylindaphotography.com/ , click Events and then click "Barriere Fun Run". For searching by bib my number is 5701.
For the 5 and 10Ks Barriere's acting mayor sent us off at 10 AM by yelling "Go!". Unlike the race in Summerland yesterday we had great running weather, overcast and fairly cool, with no rain. We headed up the path between the community garden and a playground, and then turned left between two ball diamonds. We hit a road and turned right, and then took a couple more turns and soon we were at the 1K mark, and hit a small hill which thankfully didn't take much out of me.
One fellow had taken off ahead of the rest of us at the start of the race, and he just kept getting farther and farther ahead of me, keeping up a great fast pace in spite of essentially running by himself. There was a young fellow a few feet in front of me, who looked about 15 years old, and he was going at a nice pace so I decided to just stay behind him and see what happened. We went over a bridge crossing the Barriere River and then hit another small hill, longer than the first but not too bad.
Not long after we crested the hill we came to the point where us 5Kers turned to the left and the 10Kers kept going, and I watched as the 2 guys in front of me both continued on, and then realized I was actually leading the 5K race!
I ran down the road just trying to keep my pace up, and there were people outside their houses, many with lawn chairs set up to watch the racers as we went by, cheering me on! I turned down a couple more roads and then came to a point where there was a road turning off, and I saw a huge white arrow on the road I was on that looked like it was pointing to go straight ahead, and then there was one hugging the turn pointing to go that way. Having to make a split second decision and not wanting to risk taking a shortcut, I turned off.
I was now in what looked like a trailer park, and I ran one block up and then the road turned in the direction I'd been going in originally. I ran down this road but then noticed as I was approaching the end of the block that it was a dead end. I stopped and looked behind me and there was another racer who'd just turned the corner coming towards me. I yelled at him that it was a dead end and I'd made a wrong turnoff. There were some people who lived there at the end of the road, and one guy told us we had to go all the way back where we'd come from and turn onto that road, but thankfully the other guys said to just cut across the grass right where we were and head toward the road we were supposed to be on. We'd already been detoured enough and figured we may have lost our race positions by now, so we didn't need to make things even worse if at all possible. My companion, Rick, said he'd thought I might be going the wrong way but he wanted to win the race fair and square, not because I'd made a wrong turn, a true sportsman!
We said thanks and headed where they told us, startling a young volunteer as we came out onto the road we should have been on all along. She'd been looking down the road for runners and then saw us come from out of nowhere behind her. We crossed another bridge and saw nobody else around so we were hopeful we hadn't been passed. A volunteer sent us down a path into the woods and we ran along a single track path and then came out into a field for some cross country running through some grass. The way was well marked here with plastic streamers hanging down from the trees.
We hit another couple of roads and then suddenly came out to where the park and finish line was, and I saw a young guy standing by a pickup truck parked across the road, and yelled to him asking which way to go. He just shrugged so I kept going straight, and then again I realized I was probably going the wrong way. I looked back and Rick was about 20 feet behind me, and I said I didn't know what was going on. He again suspected I may be going the wrong way but again stuck with me. Some people yelled for us just to run along the paved loop to the finish, which we did, approaching it from the wrong direction as it turned out.
So we finished the race without any harm done and thanks to Rick's outstanding sportsmanship I was the winner of the very first Barriere Fun Run 5K! They had water and E-load electrolyte replacement drink for us at the finish line, and Rick and myself stayed there for awhile talking and cheering the other runners coming in, and then I went to get some food.
We got a food ticket that got us an inaugural meal, as we were in a public area and they didn't want to feed the whole town for free. Additional food was very cheaply priced, however, and all proceeds went to a good cause, the North Thompson Volunteer & Information Centre, who served us the food! There were bananas & watermelon, chili, hot dogs, chili dogs and some delicious, huge muffins.
Wes apologized to us for the misdirections, and his brother went to see what happened when we were finishing. It turned out there were 2 teenage girls in that pickup truck who were the marshals, and that guy standing there was a boy chatting them up, so that's why they missed directing us the right way. We said we didn't care, things turned out okay and we actually ran more than 5k, we just didn't want to run a shorter race than we were supposed to, so it was all good!
I'd bought a shirt from race sponsor Crock of Shirt http://www.facebook.com/pages/Crock-of-Shirt/173389829431975 before the race, and I told the couple running it that I won the 5K. Crock of Shirt sells Made in Canada tshirts, and they were debuting their new running themed shirts at this event. Then I went and cheered some more runners in, and finally everyone finished and Wes got the awards underway. It turned out that he'd left the medals mistakenly in his office and thus didn't have them there, so he's going to mail them to us. We went up and got our photo op and congratulations and thanks from Wes, plus applause from the great crowd. Besides Linda there was also a woman there from the local newspaper taking all our pictures plus doing interviews for a story. There were some great draw prizes too and I ended up with a metal water bottle, and finally it was time to wrap things up.
Wes thanked us all for coming plus all the volunteers and everyone else involved. He said there will definitely be another race next year, which means I'm definitely planning to be there again! Like Wes said, there were a few glitches but it was a great start, and the goal is to make it bigger and better every year, and I look forward to seeing this happen. It was now 12:30 PM and I had to be at work at 8 PM in Surrey that night, so I said my goodbyes and headed out, happy to have participated in such a positive event.
My winning time was 21:30. There were 21 people in my race, and only myself and Rick in my age group, but I expect more competition next year. http://barrierefunrun.com/results/2012-results/
My next race is the Sandcastle City Classic 10K in White Rock this Sunday, June 10, at 9 AM.