On Sunday, January 20th, I ran the Campbell Valley Stomp 5K, in beautiful Campbell Valley Regional Park in Langley, near the U.S. border.
The 5 and 10K races started together at 9 AM, and we ran along a wide gravel path through a field and then around the edge of it and into the woods. I started out near the front of the field but I was gradually passed by a number of runners, including my clubmate Murray after about 500 meters. For the first couple of kilometers we ran along the wide, weaving path, alternating between open field and forest. I managed to keep Murray in sight for most of this time, but before we hit the 2K mark he surged ahead and I lost track of him. I looked at my watch at the 1K mark and it said 4:04, and then at the 2K mark 8:09, which meant I wasn't running slow, Murray was just going really fast.
We hit a field and ran over slightly frozen grass, and I found this slowed me up quite a bit. After we ran into the woods a short time later we were running on a hardpacked mud singletrack path, and it was difficult to pass people once you came up behind them. It also constantly twisted and turned, with some nice hairpins, and it actually helped me to have runners in front at times. There were a few occasions when a frontrunner would almost wipe out after tripping over a root or hitting some ice, so the rest of us had a heads up and knew to be careful when we reached the trouble spot.
Before the 4K point I passed a short female teenager, and then we hit a small uphill followed by a fairly steep and rocky downhill, and at the bottom of this she whizzed by me. I lost sight of her on the twisting trails, but as we closed in on the finish I came up behind a small pack and went by 3 guys and there she was again, and I repassed her.
Not long after this though, we hit a steep hill that kept going up and up as the trail twisted, and my legs felt like lead when I finally reached the top. A little further on we came to an intersection, where the 10Kers were directed to go left and onto their second lap, and we were sent to the right and towards the finish line. As I ran down the wide path, just before hitting the field and the last 100 meters to the finish, the young girl went flying by me. My legs still hadn't fully recovered from the hill, and there was no way I could catch her, but I legged it in and over the line as fast as I could go, and the timekeeper called out 23:13 as I crossed it.
Murray was waiting for me, and told me that he'd actually walked parts of the hill, as he found it to be just as quick as running it. I went to the food tables and they had coffee plus sliced bananas, oranges, apples and various types of bagels, with jam, marmalade and peanut butter to spread on them. I had a banana piece and 3 bagel halves with peanut butter and jam plus a cup of coffee, and while I was refueling one of the fellows who I'd passed before the hill came up and told me he'd tried to catch me again but couldn't. He showed me his bloody knee, as he'd taken a spill while running after me, and I said that may have had something to do with it! I wished him well and then went to my car to put on my jacket & warmups and get my camera.
Racers were coming down to where the turnoff to the finish was, and I had to make sure it was clear before I ducked in to the finish area again.
Most of the 5Kers were in by now, and many of the 10Kers had already come home by this time too, so a lot of people were now congregating here.
Ingo, Mark, Kevin, and before I knew it even Rob Daniel had completed the 10K, and we stood around chatting as we waited for the closing festivities. They did the awards for top males and females in the 2 races, and then plenty of draw prizes. They were calling names out but then went to asking trivia questions, and Mark won the big prize, a $150 Peninsula Runners gift certificate, for being the first to yell out the country of the men's winner of the 2012 Olympic Marathon (Uganda).
It was now time to head out, with a lot of people saying that they'd be at the next series race, the Aldergrove Mud Run 8K on February 3rd.
My next race is the Vancouver Chilly Chase 10K at the Olympic Village Square on January 27th at 11 AM.