Today I ran the Sandcastle City Classic 10K in White Rock B.C. This race is put on by my Semiahmoo Sunrunners club, and unlike last year when there were a few of us, I was the only Sunrunner in the race. Many of my clubmates were otherwise occupied doing the actual work of putting on the race: marshalling, registration & package pickup, food preparation & service, awards, race director, etc., etc..... I had done package pickup at race sponsor Peninsula Runners the day before, plus worked the B.C. Athletics booth at the Sun Run, so I was free to run it.
It was a point to point race where they shuttled us by bus from the finish line at the beach to near the start line at Crescent Park Elementary.
We took off at 9 AM sharp, running down a residential street and then looping around for a long straightaway, which was mostly a slight downhill, so myself and the other runners around me picked up some good speed here. Myself and a woman kept passing one another on the straightaway, and then we turned and hit a hill for a couple of hundred meters that slowed everyone down, and I managed to stay ahead of her for awhile after we crested the hill and then ran on level ground for awhile. A couple more uphills and longer downhills came up, and then we passed the midway point.
Many of my clubmates cheered for me as I ran past their marshalling stations, and Alan Benson was so close as I was coming up to him that I yelled "High five!", and he high fived me and told me I was doing great as I passed by him.
We hit an uphill that was a few hundred meters long, and when I finally reached the top Dee Makepeace yelled "Way to go Gord!" I said "That was a bugger!" and she and another woman marshalling with her laughed as I continued around the corner and on my way. I'd been following a woman named Sara (spectators along the route kept calling out her name) for quite awhile, and she was going at a good clip so I just tried to stay with her.
The woman I'd been dueling with had dropped back after the midway point and I never saw her again, but a guy who had been running in the same group with us originally, and who I'd passed when I went by her, now came up and went ahead of me. We hit another shorter uphill and I passed him again, plus yet another woman that had been way up ahead of us but we'd slowly gained on her until we'd reeled her in, and Sara and I both passed her now.
There was one more small uphill, and then we hit the 9K mark and it was all downhill now to the finish line. Running about 20 feet in front of me, Sara sped up, and the woman we'd reeled in passed me and went after her. Soon you could hear the crowds cheering and see the finish area up ahead at the beach, and everyone gunned it in as fast as they could go. Sara managed to finish in the head of our pack, followed by the other woman and then a young woman dashed by me right before the line and beat me by a fraction of a second, making for an exciting finish.
To eat they had cut up oranges, bananas & watermelon, plus shortbread and gingerbread cookies, pastries, and pretzels, and I had my usual fill. We milled around talking and cheering other runners in, and I had far too many conversations to detail them here, but they were all great, with people I knew well plus people I'd just met.
They announced that the preliminary results for the first 96 finishers were on the table at the Saucony booth, and I went over and discovered I'd finished 3rd in my age group. They gave out many draw prizes, including a month long boot camp (the older woman who won it was delighted with her prize), and many Timex watches. Then they got the age group awards underway, and I went up and got my medal from our club president Gary Bennett, and Greg Anslow, who'd come down to film the race, took a shot of me wearing it.
Next they gave away the last few Timex watches, and Lizbeth Chanona from Hemmingford, Quebec, who'd already won a medal for finishing 3rd in her age group, won one, and she was just ecstatic! Then they did the overall men's and women's awards, with 2nd and 3rd receiving medals and 1st place receiving a beautiful Sandcastle trophy. They drew for a pair of Saucony shoes, and then the grand prize, a mountain bike courtesy of Peninsula Cycles. They'd thrown everyone's winning numbers back into the draw bag for this, and they called out a couple of people who'd already gone. On the the third number they called, there wasn't quite the scream we heard when she won the watch, but it belonged to none other than Lizbeth Chanona! The only reason she wasn't as animated as she had been before appeared to be because she was in a state of happy shock. Lizbeth looked quite emotional as she was getting her picture taken standing between Gary and race director & emcee Paul Mathias, seeming almost overwhelmed by her good fortune today!
It had been almost perfect racing weather in the morning, cool and overcast with no rain, albeit we hit a few good headwinds. As soon as I'd finished the race the sun had come out however, and it was now a beautiful day, and time to head home after a great event!
Results are up, and I finished 47th overall out of 260, 3 of 12 in my age group, with a time of 42:12.87. http://www.winningtime.ca/12/12sandcastle/oall.txt
My next race is the Longest Day 5K at UBC Thunderbird Stadium, this Friday, June 15th, at 6:45 PM.