On Sunday, August 5, I ran the Squamish Days 10K, the 10th race out of 11 in the Lower Mainland Road Race Series. I wasn't planning on running this race because it was the day after the Warrior Dash, and last year my quads were so sore from the downhills in that race that I didn't run for 4 days afterward.
However, as much as I like Bill Chang, he's now ahead of me in the series standings, and has been taking medals I would normally have won, so I couldn't let that happen anymore, enough was enough. That's what I told Bill when I saw him before the race. Actually he's been running slower than he usually does, so I think he hasn't had time to get the proper training in. No matter, I only had two races left to try and catch him, so I was going to give it a shot anyway. Plus I'd never run this race before and wanted to try it, and this year the downhills at the Dash were a little less hard on the quads than last year.
When I arrived at the school where the race was starting Drew Nicholson and his dad Bruce were just getting out of their car. It was good to see them, as I hadn't seen Drew for a couple of months, and Bruce for about 6. Drew was very happy about his performances lately and was looking forward to running this one, and his enthusiasm was infectious as I started getting excited about running it myself.
Soon it was time to head to the start line on a road beside the school, where they sent the wheelchair athletes off at 8:25 AM, followed by the rest of us at 8:30. I saw Bill, Arnold Sikhakhane and Rob Daniel and we all wished each other a good race, and then we had a 10 second countdown, the airhorn was blasted, and we were off!
Drew and the other speedsters ran off ahead of us, and I settled in with a pack of runners going at a good clip as we ran along the road. After about a kilometer we turned right, and soon I heard "Hi Gord!", and there was Teresa Nightingale coming up alongside me. She's usually ahead of me so she explained that she hadn't wanted to run the first part of the race too fast like she did last year. I mentioned that the Four Lakes 10K (Teresa's the race director) was coming up this week, and what a great course it was, and Teresa said that the Four Lakes area was one of her favourite places to run. Then I think we both remembered we were in a race and decided to just run instead of chatting.
Teresa joined our pack for awhile, but it was slowly spreading out, and it wasn't long before she and some others slowly pulled away from me, while others fell back. We ran along the road with the sun beating down on us, which I was used to by now as it's been that way in my last few races. A couple of kilometers down the road a fellow passed me who looked to be in my age group, but I wasn't sure. I was hoping he was still in his forties as I tried to keep up to him, but he sped up and pulled away, even though I could still see him in the distance for most of the rest of the race.
We neared the turnaround and the top two runners raced by going the other way. Then I saw Drew coming up all by himself about 150 meters behind them, and I yelled "Go Drew!" as we passed each other. It wasn't long before I was at the turnaround myself and then headed back the other way. I just concentrated on trying to keep my pace up, and I came up on some mostly younger runners who were tiring and passed them. With 2 kilometers to go I felt good and decided to pick up my pace, telling myself that I was now all warmed up and ready to really start running, like I'd done in the Jog 4 The Bog a week before.
After another kilometer I heard someone behind me, so I picked it up some more, and then soon I saw the guy who'd passed me early in the race, and I was now reeling him in. I sped up until I couldn't hear my pursuer anymore, and then a volunteer yelled out "400 meters to go!", and as we hit the road to turn in toward the finish with 150 meters to go I blew by the guy in front. He gave me a cursory glance but he had nothing left, and I didn't have to worry if he was in my age group anymore as I legged it in and crossed the finish line. Bruce had me high five him just before I crossed the line, and I told Drew to tell his dad to maybe do that to people after they've crossed the line next time, not just before.
We walked over to the school gym and they had tons of food in there: date squares, Nanaimo bars, various cookies, fruit bars and muffins and bagels, plus other baked goods, and the usual bananas and oranges. They had water and fruit juice and coffee to drink, and even after we'd all had our fill they were actually begging people to eat more, because they still had lots left over!
Drew was super happy because he'd finished in second place, running down one of the guys who'd been way ahead of him at the halfway point and beating him by almost a minute. I went back out to the finish area to cheer the runners in, and noticed Bruce doing the same closer to the finish line so I went to join him. We saw Rob Daniel and then after about 10 minutes it seemed like everyone had finished, so we headed back into the gym. Results were up and I looked and saw that I'd finished 3rd in my age group, with Bill 4th. Teresa, Drew, and Dave Frilund won theirs, Drew's clubmate Kristen Smart won the women's race, and Rob was second in his AG.
They gave away a bunch of draw prizes and then got the awards going. First they did the ones for the kid's mile race, and then the wheelchair awards, followed by the male and female overall ones. They also had a stroller division, and it was announced that the woman who won this would be submitting her time to Guiness to try and get it acknowledged as the world record. In the age groups they started with the oldest runners this time, so Rob Daniels was up first, and I didn't have to wait long to get mine either. They're nice medals and different from anything else I have.
Before we knew it the awards were done and all the volunteers were thanked, and we headed out. I saw Bruce and Drew at their car and said "I'm wearing it all the way home!", meaning the medal around my neck, and I did!
Results are up and I finished 35 overall out of 168, and 3rd of 12 in my age group, with a time of 42:59.
My next race is the Four Lakes 10K in Garden Bay this Sunday, August 12, at 9 AM.