On Sunday morning, November 25, I ran the 5K race at the Vancouver Historic Half. There were 3 races, the half marathon, 10K & 5K, plus a 2 person half relay, and we all started out together at 9 AM from in front of the Stanley Park Pavilion. We ran straight ahead over the paths before hitting a bridge right away, going uphill and then downhill for a total of about 100 meters, and then we hit the seawall. I was thinking that after racing yesterday I probably wouldn't be running too fast today, I was just hoping to run a respectable time.
I actually didn't think I was going very fast. It's harder to tell when running with a bunch of people you don't know, and all running different distances, but at the 1K mark I looked at my GPS and discovered I'd run it in 3:45! I figured I was going way too fast, and ran the next kilometer in 4:03, a much better pace. Soon we were approaching the 5K turnaround, and one guy ran by us heading back to the finish. About 30 seconds later a woman went flying by us, and then I hit the turnaround and headed back as the second place male.
I heard someone behind me, and about half a kilometer later a fellow a few years older than myself pulled up and passed me. I ran behind him, and on one turn when I looked back all I saw was a lone woman runner, still quite far behind us, so it looked like we were both assured of a medal. The man turned out to be Jack MacDougall, who I remembered from a few other races.
I looked ahead and there was Elsie Fontaine, running with Dee and Tina, coming toward us going the other way. I knew Elsie was running her first 10K today, and I yelled "Go Elsie!", and they yelled "Go Gord!" as I went by. Jack opened up a lead on me of a few meters, and I thought I'd have lots of time to catch up, but before I knew it we reached the bridge again, and he sped up. So did I, but it was too late, the finish line was immediately ahead and he beat me handily.
We shook hands and I told Jack I'd given him too much of a lead, and he said that's what he'd been counting on. We waited for a few other people to come in, and then went into the pavilion where they had all kinds of goodies for us. There were 4 types of small Clif bars, bagels, fruit bars, bananas, and great tasting Sunrise chocolate fudge soya Super Squeezies. They also had water, soy milk, Cytomax energy drink, and Muscle Milk for rehydration.
It was a beautiful sunny day, and I went out to eat my Clif bars and a Super Squeezie and watch more people come in. I talked to a few of the other runners and then ran to my car to get my jacket and camera. I ran back and then into the pavilion and asked Jack if he knew when they were having the awards. He was sitting with his daughter Erin, who also ran the 5K, and told me that they still hadn't said anything. They posted results from our race, and I had indeed finished 3rd male overall, with Jack coming in 2nd.
Walking out of the pavilion I heard the announcer call out Amelia (Molly) Varsava's name, and there she was getting her timing tag cut off her shoe by a volunteer. She got her finisher's medal and walked over, saying she saw me running back like a madman as she was running out. Her friend who usually races with her ran the 10K here today, plus another friend raced her first 10K. Molly said she stayed with them for awhile but finally took off and ran ahead, as she wants to improve her times and wanted to run a PB today, which she did. Her friends came in and they all wanted to get something to eat and drink inside, so we said our adieus.
I ran out toward the bridge, and soon Elsie, Tina, and Dee came into view. I took a few pictures and a couple of them even turned out decent.
Elsie seemed a little woozy after crossing the line so Dee took her for a walk to get rid of that. Elsie explained later that this was the first race where she ran the whole thing, no walking, so it took a little more out of her, but she did it! Her husband Marc, who's a great runner but injured right now, and also a great photographer, was there to cheer his wife on and get some pics. Dee and Tina ran as guides, not entered in the race, and John Makepeace came out too for support! The race was sold out but Elsie phoned Mitchell to explain her situation, and he made sure she got entered. I ran into Dominic after he finished the half marathon. Results weren't up yet for his race, but he thought he'd finished 2nd in his age group, and it turned out later he'd actually won it!
Just after I talked to Dom they did the awards inside the pavilion for the 5 and 10Ks. Results were ready fairly quickly as they only did overalls for the 2 shorter races, no age groups. Besides our medals, we got a whole bunch of bling, a box from Muscle Milk (2 bottles of MM, a MM tech shirt, and some energy drink powder envelopes), and a gift basket from Sunrise Soya Foods (Sunrise hoodie, toque, product coupons, insulated lunch bag, recipe cards, button, key holder, lip balm, and a Vancouver Chefs Take On Tofu Recipe Book). John took a picture of me all loaded up, but it turned out a little dark, oh well!
With the awards over for now we decided it was time to head out, until we probably all see each other again at this Saturday's race, the Gunner Shaw 10K, 11 AM at Jericho Beach Park.
Here's the results from all the races. I ran a 20:44, which I was quite happy with considering everything.
They also have a lot of pics up on their facebook page:
Lastly, here's some more excellent footage from the Cross Country Championships:
Junior Women's 5K, what I called the first u-turn, they call the hairpin:
Canadian Mens XC Championships, Closeups of the Senior Mens 10K, Evolution of the Pack & Exciting Finish. 3 minutes, 37 seconds