Today's race was the Richmond Oval 10K, the final event in the 2012 Lower Mainland Road Race Series. We started out at 8:30 AM on the dike beside the Oval, and as the fastest runners surged ahead, some of us settled into a pack behind them. 3 women runners were just ahead of me, and in front of them 2 older fellows, one of whom looked to be in my age group. I also knew that there were more racers behind me, as I could hear them breathing down my neck. We started off on pavement and then hit some gravel for about a kilometer, and then pavement again.
Everyone had been afraid that this was going to be a hot day, but to our surprise it was overcast and just mildly warm, so heat wasn't an issue. The wind turned out to be though. At the 5K marker we turned and headed back, but shortly after this we were turned down a gravel trail, and after less than a kilometer came out on the dike again. Here is where we encountered a strong wind from off the ocean blowing us back, so even though we were exerting the same effort, we were slowed considerably.
By this time 2 of the women had surged ahead and one dropped back, and the oldest looking fellow kept going strong, but suddenly the other guy stopped and started walking. I ran by him and about 20 seconds later heard someone behind me. I thought it was him running again and coming up to pass me, but it was a young fellow who went by, and I never did see him again.
At the 8K point I picked up the pace a bit, and by the time we hit the 9K marker I was right behind one of the women, and the older fellow was in sight. I ran as fast as I could going in, and managed to pass her, but couldn't make up the ground on him. I still had lots left in the tank after I crossed the line, so I should have started my kick earlier, but it's hard to judge. This is encouraging for future races though. My time was 43 minutes and change, slower than I'd hoped, and the woman who I passed said the same thing, but we agreed that there was nothing we could do about that wind resistance, so everything considered we did just fine.
I went and got some water first, and then headed to the food tables, where they had cinnamon buns, apple strudels, muffins, and raisin scones, plus sliced oranges, bananas, and cantalope, with more water and coffee to drink.
I had too many cinnamon buns, but they were just too tasty, and then went and cheered in the finishing runners. They posted results, and I was 5th in my age group, and then got the awards going. They started with the older runners first, with Rob Daniel placing 3rd in his age group, and then zipped through the medals fairly quickly.
Then it was time to go inside for the Series awards. They started these out by giving awards for the people who ran all 11 races. There were 3 of these and Rob Daniel was one of them, but he wasn't in the room when they called out his name, and the other 2 people did the photo op. He walked in right after they sat down, and he was called up, and the other 2 were recalled so the photo op was done all over again, which got a few laughs. I believe they got $25 Running Room gift cards as prizes.
Then they did the overall awards, and top 3 in each age group. Bill Chang ran 10 races and I ran 8, and they use your points from your top 5 races to compute your score. Even though I beat him in every race we ran against each other, in the 2 I missed he got the big 3rd place points, and so finished just ahead of me in the series, taking 3rd spot in our age group. My injured clubmate Rick Woods asked me to pick up his award for him, and he's in the 60-64 category. He ended up in first place, and I went up and got his Timex watch, and then headed back to my seat. People were yelling at me to get my picture taken, but I yelled "I'm not Rick!", followed by "I ain't that old!".
Ist place finishers get a Timex Ironman watch, 2nd place got a $25 Running Room gift card, and 3rd place got a water bottle containing GU energy gel mix to make your own gels. I, however, hauled off the big prize, the giant 16 x 34 inch mounted Series poster with my picture on it. They had 2 of them so I asked clubmate Dan Cumming, who was chairing the series, if it was possible for me to get one. We then talked to Maurice from B.C. Athletics, and he said as long as the fellow who made them, Frank, said it was okay, it was fine with him. Frank told me no problem, and gave it to me right after the awards were done, and I took a picture of it beside our Cross Country Series trophy for context.
For the first time they also had an award for the top club in the series, and VFAC won hands down. They received a $200 gift certificate for White Spot, as there's a location right by where they train, and hopefully it'll fatten them up a bit so they don't run as fast.
I congratulated Bill and told him I'd see him at his next race, the 14K Coho Run in 2 weeks, and then we all headed out, another series finished for 2012! Nothing on the net yet but I'll post results and photos when they're up.
My next race is on Tuesday, August 21st, the 10K Campbell Valley Regional Park Trail Run, at 6:30 PM.