On July 15 I ran the 10K race in the Grand Beach Sun Run. My friend Barb drove us out to beautiful Grand Beach on the southeast shore of Lake Winnipeg. Thanks Barb! The race started out about 10 minutes late at 8:40 AM, and it was already starting to heat up, but luckily it stayed cloudy so we weren't baking. For the first 7 kilometers we ran along a road. For most of the race I ran with another runner, who turned out to be another Gord, from Regina. I passed him a couple of times on the road but both times it wasn't long before he got ahead of me again, so my plan was to stay behind him and try and outkick him at the end. The fun part was every once in awhile passing some younger runners, first they'd look and see one old guy passing them, then a few seconds later another one would go by, how humiliating! Once we passed them we never saw them again either.
After the 7K mark we were directed off the road and hit sand, which we ran through for the rest of the race. It wasn't too bad at first but then we had to run through some dunes, which really slowed us down, but I actually managed to gain some ground on Gord. Once through the dunes we ran along the water for about a kilometer, where the sand was packed down better and we picked up speed. Gord widened the gap between us here, and we passed a runner who looked to be in our age group. Then we were directed to cross over the sand again, and we had to run through the deep loose sand of the dunes once more. Again I gained on Gord, but when we were running along the lakeside again he pulled away a bit. Soon we could see the finish line and hear the cheering up ahead. I tried to catch Gord, but he sped up when I did, and beat me by a couple of seconds.
We shook hands and that's when we found out we were both Gords, and unfortunately for me, in the same age group. We talked for awhile, and then Aldo, who I'd met before the race, joined us for a bit. We decided to go get some food, which was bagels, oranges and bananas, and then I went to find Barb, who was talking to a couple that she knew.
They never did post results so we headed down to where the community centre was where they were giving out the awards. It was a bit of a hike but we made it there, and staked out a spot in the grass. We had to wait awhile for them to start the awards. They had 3K and 5K races too, and besides the overall awards, plus masters (40+) for top 3 male and female in the 10K, they had age group awards for all 3 races. So they certainly weren't stingy with the medals, and they were nice looking medals too! They also had many draw prizes, so I think it took them about an hour or so to get to my category, almost the last one. They called one guy's name for 1st, and then another that wasn't a Gord for 2nd, so I knew I hadn't podiumed, and then they called out Gord Bell, so I'd just missed out.
Gord looked over at me after he got his medal, and I gave him the thumbs up, at least one of us won! I told him not to worry, I'd get one next week in the Neepawa Lily Duster. I congratulated Aldo, who was 2nd in his age group, and then Gord walked with Barb and myself to where his car was. We said our goodbyes, found Barb's car, and headed back to Winnipeg.
Grand Beach is a great place with beautiful white sand beaches, and Lake Winnipeg is so huge that it's just like being at the ocean. It was a fun day, and thanks again to Barb for driving me out and being such great company! I definitely want to do this again next year!
I finished 20th overall out of 122, and 1 of 14 in my age group, with a time of 45:31.
My next race was the Neepawa Chiropractic Lily Duster 10K, at 8 AM on July 22nd.