MEC # 2 Birds Hill Park Race

MEC # 2 Birds Hill Park Race
MEC #2 Birds Hill Park 2017 3rd Overall After A Sprint Finish!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Turkey Trot 10K

On Monday, October 8 I competed in the Granville Island Turkey Trot 10K race. It was the 14th annual edition of this event that raises funds and goods for the Vancouver Food Bank.
We started out on the road by Performance Works on Granville Island, with Drew Nicholson and a few other runners taking the early lead. We ran through the cobblestone streets before crossing the short bridge that took us off the Island, and turned onto 1st Avenue. We kept going for a few blocks and then hung a right onto Burrard Street and raced the couple of blocks to the bridge.
Since it was early in the race my legs weren't tired and I kept a good pace going up the 650 meter incline on the bridge, and then when we hit the crest I sped up and passed an entire pack of 6 people in front of me.
There was nobody in front of me for about 100 meters with about 200 to go before we reached the bottom of the bridge, when a young woman came up from behind and ran as fast as she could to get ahead of me. Then, in spite of us having 2 full car lanes to run in and nobody else around, she cut right in front of me. She had exhausted herself and slowed right down, and I had to brake to keep from running into the back of her. Then I went to go around her and a guy running with her wearing the same gray shirt, who looked like he was probably her dad, cut across my path and I clipped his leg. I said "Sorry." but I wanted to say something else. Why would she do something like that? I figured she thought she was doing some kind of cool race maneuver. People like these two are the ones who cause people to get hurt, but luckily that wasn't the case here. Once I was ahead I just kept going at a good clip and put it out of my mind. There was a lot of the race left to run, and I knew I wouldn't be seeing their sorry asses again anyway. I didn't even think about this again until long after the race when I was at home, you just have to put it out of your mind and carry on.
At the bottom of the bridge we went right on to Pacific Boulevard for a block, then right again down to the seawall for the rest of the race. It was a very scenic course, with spectators and volunteers cheering us along the way. Like the day before I just concentrated on keeping my pace up during the middle kilometers of the race when it's toughest to do so. The rest of the way was fairly flat with a lot of zigzagging, but still a pretty fast course, and there was always someone behind me to keep me going strong so as not to get passed. At about the 7K mark one fellow did pass me, and we said hi and both agreed we had to keep our good pace going. He stayed ahead of me for a few hundred meters, but then I got a surge of energy, passed him and that was it for that challenge.
When there was less than a kilometer to go you could hear the announcer calling out people's names and times as they finished, and I heard someone close behind me. I sped up but so did he, and he stayed right on my tail to the bitter end. You can actually see him behind me as we head to the finish line in a couple of the race photos:
As I came in and crossed Drew Nicholson was waiting for me. He told me I did great and I said I'd just run my second fastest 10K, one day after running my fastest! As it turned out I finished 31st overall out of 966 racers, and was 4 of 57 in my age group, the closest I've ever come to the podium in this race. Most important was my 41:26 time, proving to myself that yesterday's race was no fluke, I've really made a breakthrough! Considering we had to run up the bridge and it was only one day after I'd given everything I had in the Okanagan race, I was really pleased with how I did.
Drew won the race, a week after winning the Surrey Marathon, but he said a guy from Calgary gave him a run for his money. Inside Performance Works they had three island type food stations, each with plates of salami & cheese, pita bread triangles, banana bread, plates of lox, a huge bowl of delicious hummus, apples and bananas, and a plate of veggies with dip, but I skipped that dip and just used the veggies to scoop hummus. Soon they brought out plates of figs and dates, and then trays of lox & bagels with cream cheese. After awhile it became somewhat like a fancy cocktail party, sans booze, with the band playing lively music on the stage, and volunteers carrying around trays of lox & bagels, and ones with pumpkin pie pieces on them. They weren't big pieces, but they were delicious and they just continually came around with them, so I think I ended up eating almost a whole pie.
They started the awards and did the age group ones first, and I didn't feel too bad about not making the podium, as they didn't give out medals but prizes instead. Drew got a bag, second received a hat, and third place got a cookbook, and I just wasn't that disappointed in missing out on these.
They called up the overall winners, and gave Drew a huge bouquet of flowers to go with those he won last week at the marathon. He said he'll have to get a new vase for these ones. Heather Christie won the women's race, and I got a good picture of them up onstage. They also brought up 87 year old Norman May, who runs the race every year, and like last year he told us to just keep doing what we're doing, be like him and never quit!

They threw a bunch of prizes into the crowd, and drew names of Food Bank donors for more prizes, including running shoes, and then announced that donations had topped $6,000 with several hundred pounds of food also collected. With that it was time to go, but not before having a last piece of pie. I said goodbye to some of the other runners, congratulated Drew again, and headed out to walk the 2 kilometers home, in sharp contrast to my drive home from Kelowna after yesterday's race.
Congratulations go out to Terry McGeachan for completing the Chicago Marathon on Sunday with a time of 4:27:21 in spite of very limited training due to illness
Walter Kwan, who shared the podium with me at the 5 Peaks Golden Ears race, also ran Chicago, stopping the clock at 3:50:03, kudos to him as well!
My next race is the 6.8K Frank Reynolds Memorial Cross Country Race on Saturday, October 13 at 2:30 PM, at beautiful Cates Park in North Vancouver. On Saturday I'm also running the Energizer Night Race 5K at 7PM in Stanley Park, so it'll be a busy day!

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