On Saturday, September 29, I ran the Buntzen Lake Sport Race 10K, part of the 5th and final event of the year in the 5 Peaks Trail Running Series. The Children's Challenge 1K went off at 8:30 AM, with about 30 enthusiastic young tykes taking part, inspirational and cute as always. At 9 AM they started the Enduro Race 15K, sending them out in 2 waves to avoid conjestion, and at 9:30 it was our turn.
I took off in the first wave on the lakeshore, just behind the young greyhounds and a few of the older speedsters. We ran along a gravel path and into the woods, and were soon going uphill on a single track mud trail. The trail twisted and turned, going ever upward, and outside of a young woman who passed me, the other pursuing runners appeared to drop back as I didn't hear them behind me anymore.
Finally we came to the top and ran over a floating bridge. There were 3 guys in front of me, and about 30 people who appeared to be on a tour of some kind were standing single file on the bridge in a long line. We all slapped hands with them as we ran past, and they hooted and hollered, cheering us on! Once we reached the other side it was off into the woods again, but fairly level for awhile before we did a little more climbing.
I had been running by myself for quite some time when I heard someone behind me coming up fast. I managed to stay ahead of whoever it was, speeding up on the downhills but losing ground on the uphills. We came to a point where our course, which had broken off from the Enduro one early in the race, converged with it again, and we were headed back to the lakeshore and the finish line. Going back over the bridge without any people on it now, it sank down every time you landed on it, and really sucked the energy out of your legs. Luckily it was only about 100 meters long, and after I hit the other side it was smooth sailing for awhile again.
There was one more hill, short but steep and my legs felt like lead as I reached the top, but after this, since we were retracing our earlier route going back to the beach, the uphills were now downhills. One young fellow passed me, and then I heard someone else on my tail, but I sped up and managed to fly at a pretty good clip, twisting and turning again as we headed in. You could hear cheering up ahead and the announcer calling out people's names as they crossed, and then we hit the open gravel path again. I turned down the finisher's chute and was just able to hold off the fellow chasing me by a couple of seconds.
Richard Armstrong came in next, and we talked for a bit. He said he was trying to catch me, but I was going too fast on the downhills, and I told him I just had a lot of experience with trail races, the more you do it the better you get at it. Next we went to get some food and drink. They had water, energy drink and coffee, cookies, ripple chips, bananas, oranges. melons, and bagels with Nutella, peanut butter, jam and cream cheese to spread on them. My favorites were the blueberry bagels with Nutella on them.
There were people coming in constantly now and I was cooling off, so I went to my car and got my jacket and my bell to cheer them in. Marcel from work came in, and Willi Ribi, and I ran into Marcus Ribi and his girlfriend, and he said instead of the Sport Race he'd done the Enduro this time, and thought he'd placed 5th overall.
They had the barbeques going cooking up burgers and smokies, and I went and got a burger with onions and cheese. The Clif table also had a wide variety of their delicious bars cut up into pieces, and I made a few trips by there. The woman staffing the table insisted I take 2 gel pacs before the race when I'd asked her if I could have one, so I had plenty of energy during the race. They sure weren't stingy, that's for sure!
Results were posted http://racedaytiming.ca/raceday-results?display=5peaksbuntzensport2012 and I saw that I'd finished 16th overall and won my age group. Marcus' brother Daniel was 5th overall, Marcel finished 46th, Willi Ribi was 52nd and 5th in our age group, and Richard was 18th and 2nd in our AG. Chris Barth won the Enduro race, and Marcus was right, he'd finished 5th. http://racedaytiming.ca/raceday-results
They did the awards for our race and for some reason Richard had left, so there was only myself and Ken McMurray up on the podium. They also gave out the series awards and even though I only ran 3 of the 5 races I squeaked onto the podium in 3rd place in our age group, with Willi taking 2nd. For this we got an "honours club" card. My bronze one gives me $5 off every race entry for next year, Willi's is for $10 off a pop, and Marcus's gold one is good for a $15 discount for each race. http://racedaytiming.ca/raceday-results?display=5peaksbuntzensportdivpoints2012
With that I said my goodbyes and headed out to pick up my race package for the next day's 5K race in the Surrey Marathon.