On February 17 I ran the Trinity Western University Historic Half 10K, which started and ended in Fort Langley.
The half marathoners were sent off in 3 waves, at 8 AM, 8:05, and 8:10, and next up were all the 10Kers at 8:15, with the 5Kers following us at 8:20. We took off from inside the fort, exiting the compound after about 100 meters and hitting the residential streets. After a block we turned right, 2 blocks later to the left, and then headed straight out of town, with the scenery becoming more rural.
A few of the guys had run out ahead, with Ryan Boulter and Kevin Heinze leading the way. While Kevin remained in sight until well after the halfway point of the race, helped by the fact that he was wearing a fluorescent orange shirt, I just focused on keeping pace with Tilman running a few meters in front of me. By the time we reached the 5K turnaround and were directed to turn left down another road, he'd opened up about a 20 meter gap on me, and I was thinking maybe today he'd finish first in our age group, with me hopefully holding onto second.
The Bagel Chase took a lot out of me, and I hadn't run since it ended over 8 days prior, so I had no idea how well I'd do today. We'd been overtaking the slowest half marathoners since before the turnaround, and now as they became even more numerous I redoubled my efforts and started feeling more energy, partly from going past so many people so quickly.
By about the 4K mark I'd caught up to Tilman, and as I went by him he said "See you at the finish line." I replied that maybe I'd see him sooner, it all depended on whether I could keep my pace up or not. Soon someone came up to pass me, and I thought it was Tilman, but it was a young guy. I managed one surge to hold him off and run ahead, but it wasn't long before he caught me again and went by. He turned around and said "I've been trying to catch you the whole race!", and I just laughed as he pulled away.
We hit a steep hill that the young fellow bounded up fairly fast, but myself and a 10Ker in front of me were slowed up considerably. The half marathoners at this point were a faster bunch, but as they hit the hill almost all of them stopped running and walked up it, so even at our much slower pace we passed quite a few of them. The 10K turnaround was about 40 meters from the top of the hill, and as I headed back and hit the decline I managed to pick up some speed and went by the guy in front of me.
Now there were hoards of runners heading toward us, and I concentrated on the next guy ahead of me, but he had about a 30 meter lead and was picking up the pace. There was another fellow in front of him, and far up ahead I caught my last glimpse of Kevin's bright orange shirt before he disappeared, with the young guy chasing after him.
I reached the 5K turnaround again and turned right, onto the road heading back to the fort. I hadn't gone 50 meters before I saw Drew Nicholson standing on the side of the road cheering the runners on. He yelled "Way to go Gord!" and high fived me as I went by and hollered my thanks.
I was passing a group of 5Kers heading back when I heard someone coming up behind me. Then the person went to pass me, and I was relieved as it was the lead woman, and not a guy possibly in my age group. I tried to keep up nonetheless, but she pulled away as we made our final turns heading in. There were more and more spectators lining the route and cheering as we got closer to the end, and finally I was running into the fort and racing the final 100 meters to the chute and over the line!
A volunteer cut the zap straps holding my timing chip to my shoe and put the chip in a bucket full of them, and then another volunteer congratulated me and put a finisher's medal around my neck, and I thanked them both. I had just walked out of the finish area toward the food tents when I heard Tilman's name being called by the announcer, so I turned around and there he was, running in and across the finish mat. He went over to talk to Kevin so I headed to the tents.
I grabbed a Muscle Milk and one each of the oatmeal raisin and chocolate chip cookies and went to chat with Kevin and Tilman about the race. Soon after this I went back and got a couple more cookies, plus a Clif protein bar and a granola bar, and ran into Drew.
He told me that he'd had a 26K training run scheduled for today, so he decided to run from his place in Surrey to see the races. It was only 21K here, so he found his buddy and clubmate Jeremy leading the half marathon, and paced him for 5 Ks to get the rest of his run done.
They announced that they were going to have the 5K awards by the campfire.
We watched these, and then I went to my car. I put on my jacket and warmups, grabbed my camera, and then headed back to the finish line to watch the incoming racers for a bit.
Next I went back to the food tent where they had most of the 5K and the top 8 10K finishers posted. The young guy who'd passed me was there, and he showed me that he'd finished 3rd overall behind Ryan and Kevin. I said "Nice!" and he asked if I was up there. I said "Yep! 7th overall, won my age group!", and we congratulated each other and shook hands.
I went back over to the campfire and hung around with Drew, Tilman, Kevin and Ryan. I'd talked to Larry Doan before the race, and he was running the half, but I didn't see him again, so he must have went right home afterward. Soon they had our 10K awards, and Drew took a picture of me when I went up and got my medal for winning our age group.
Drew handed off the camera to me, and I got a picture of Tilman who was second.
TRY EVENTS has new individual medals and I think they look pretty cool, especially on the reverse side.
I was giving Drew a lift back home to Surrey, but he wanted to stay for the half awards as Jeremy had won it, so we did. We didn't have to wait long, and I got a picture of Jeremy, the first one called as the winner of the race.
We cheered for him and everyone else, but the person who got the most applause was the last one called up, 74 year old Liz Borret, who looked at least 10 years younger than that. She finished 181 overall out of 532 runners, with a time of 1:55:59!
With that we all said our goodbyes, I told Tilman I'd see him at the Fool's Run in April, and myself and Drew headed out.
The results are up for all the races, with me finishing 7th of 281 overall, and 1st of 23 in my AG, with a slower than usual time of 44:37, but quite happy with that considering the Bagel Chase competition I did followed by a week of no running.
Race photos are up on the TRY EVENTS facebook page, in 3 separate albums that can be accessed on the righthand side of the page by scrolling down just a bit.
My next race is the Fort-2-Fort 30K trail race, at 8 AM on Sunday, February 24, at Derby Reach Park.