Today I ran in the BC Cross Country Championships at Clearbrook Park in Abbotsford. I was our club "coach" today as I'd coordinated our registrations. We had a large contingent of 15 Semiahmoo Sunrunners and I got all our bib numbers after I arrived there, and since it was raining heavily we commandeered another club's tent. Dee Makepeace, not running today because she's still nursing an injury, helped me distribute them to Sunrunners already there, and then took charge of the remaining bibs and made sure arriving club members received them.
Ours was the first race of the day, a 4 loop 8K, and we started out at 10:45 on the grass field, and ran about 300 meters along the flagged course before hitting a broken up concrete path. Chris Boulton from my club passed me and Juliette Christie was right up ahead so I realized I'd started a little too fast and eased up a bit. The path turned to gravel and then we hit grass and were directed towards a cut in some trees and up a small hill, not too steep or long but pretty slippery with mud. We ran back down onto the grass again, and now looped around and headed back.
We bounded down another gravel path for a few hundred meters, and then through some hay before hitting a longer, steeper hill. A guy passed me going up the hill, but then on the downhill I sped up, and as we turned onto the grass I repassed him. It turned out to be one of my friends from the 5 Peaks races, Vaclav, and we greeted each other as I went by. We ran around a field and headed past the start area where the spectators braving the miserable weather were waiting to cheer us on, and then headed for a very brief jaunt in the woods. After running along a gravel and mud path for a bit we were directed onto the grass, and then ran past the start area again on the other side, around the field, and it was on to the second lap!
After we'd gone over the first hill again I passed a fellow, and after the second hill I went to pass another guy as we ran along the grass. We ran side by side for a bit, and then I sped up and went by. For the rest of the race the only people I passed were people that I lapped, starting with Rob Daniels near the end of the 3rd lap. The guy I ran by after the second hill on the last lap pulled up when we were heading towards the first hill on the final lap. I managed to stay ahead of him until we went over it and were almost at the field, but finally he went by me.
We ran along, lapping the odd person, and as we came out of the woods for the last time I could see the fellow we'd passed early in the race coming up fast. The guy ahead of me sped up, and so did I, hoping to fend off my pursuer. We were now coming toward the finisher's chute, and the fellow I was chasing kicked it into high gear. I saw him veer hard left and down the chute, and then I hit it and ran in as fast as I could. It was about 150 meters long, but I managed to fend off my challenger. We all congratulated each other and that's when I found out that the guy chasing me was 65 years old!
They had water and suckers at a tent by the finish line, and then we went to get some food. They had huge chocolate rice crispy squares and caramel ones too, plus the biggest cookies I've ever seen, both chocolate and light colored (maybe peanut butter), plus a few types of muffins, bags of chips and coffee. That's when I found out it wasn't for free, but it was dirt cheap, everything was a buck apiece, so I got a giant chocolate rice crispy square, monster chocolate cookie, delicious nutty muffin, and very tasty coffee for 4 bucks! The cookie was so tasty I thought of having another one, but then decided that about 1000 more calories of processed sugar maybe wasn't such a good idea.
Now the deluge started, and everybody left fairly quickly because of the inclement weather. I was going to do the same, but I decided to see if there were any results up yet. I went to the organizers' tent and a woman had results printed out and was checking them, and I looked and discovered I'd finished 3rd in my age group! I told this to the guy standing there, who happened to be president of the Valley Royals Track & Field Club, the event organizers, and he congratulated me. He then told me that only the overall winners got medals, while the top 3 in the age groups received ribbons, and I said "I'll take a ribbon!", and the woman who'd been checking the results laughed. He said that they had all the results posted in the nearby baseball dugout. I went and looked and discovered that several of my teammates had won ribbons!
Then I went back to the tent, and since so many people were gone they didn't have a formal ceremony, but the Valley Royal president shook my hand and presented me with my ribbon. Then we went through the list and he gave me all my teammates' ribbons too. I then thanked the presenter, and off I went. warm up. Results are up already.
Here's what I havefor our club:
Sunrunner Time AG Series Points
Chris Boulton 34:33 9/11 11
Gordon Flett 36:23 3/6 18
Michael O'Grady 39:53 1/4 27
Tom Hastie 40:36 2/3 25
Antonio Cerullo 42:23 11/11 7
Fred Cotton 42:58 3/4 20
John Makepeace 43:47 6/6 15
Lori Cotton 43:49 3/4 20
Roger Roufosse 45:20 1/1 25
Walter Anderson 46:05 4/4 19
Shonna Morgan 49:10 3/3 21
Mary Hinze 52:01 4/4 18
Jimmy Hinze 52:01 6/6 14
Brenda Lightfoot 51:48 4/4 19
Frances O' Grady 55:44 1/1 30
Points total 187
The Kajaks got 164 points, so a 23 point gain on them.
I have 1st place ribbons for Frances O'Grady, Michael O'Grady and Roger Roufosse; 2nd place ribbons for Tom Hastie and erstwhile member Paul Wood, and 3rd place ones for Fred Cotton, Lori Cotton, Shonna Morgan, and myself.