On Sunday, March 17, I ran the River's Spring Run-Off 10K in Kamloops. I talked to Dave Coneybeare in the gym before the race and then he said he had to go get his racing clothes on. I thought it would be standard racing fare, but turned out to be a Gumbie costume! Good thing for Dave it was only a couple of degrees above zero, it could get pretty hot in that thing. I was standing with Dave at the starting line and remarked that I'd seen Wes Kibble's name on the confirmation list, but I hadn't seen Wes, so maybe he couldn't make it. Dave said "Wes is here, here he comes now!" I thought I'd seen a chunky woman wearing a tutu and green fright wig warming up in the distance, but now as the person ran up I saw it was Wes. I told Dave "I should have known!" Soon after Wes' arrival the race director gave us a ten second countdown, and we were on our way!
It was 10 AM as we took off from beside Arthur Stevenson School, racing straight ahead down a residential street for about 3 Ks until we hit a cul-de-sac and a turnaround. After rounding the cone we headed back for a few blocks before turning right, heading over a couple of blocks, and then going left again and onto a main drag.
We had spectators with signs and cowbells cheering us on as we ran down this road. A guy passsed me and I just locked on and tried to keep up to him, and then a woman came up beside me, and a fellow on the sidelines told her "You're second, you'll have to give it on the dike!" Not long after this we turned left and a couple of blocks later we were directed to turn up onto the aforementioned dike. We ran down a gravel path for about a kilometer and a half until we hit another turnaround and headed back to the road. As I approached the road I saw Dave running towards me in his Gumbie costume. I yelled "Way to go Dave!", he yelled "Good race Gord!", and we high fived going by each other.
We hit the road and there were only a few hundred meters to go, the announcer was already audible at the finish line. As I ran along the slightly meandering residential street, the cheering got louder and louder, as not far ahead of me the two women's leaders were running a photo finish in to the finish line. The woman who had been number two ended up that way, by a fraction of a second. After them the third place woman, from London England, crossed, then another guy, and finally I hit the finish chute and sprinted across as best I could.
I went into the gym and found I was one of the first in there. I gave them the ticket I got with package pickup for my piece of pizza. The idea was to have pizza for everyone, and I told Wes and Dave they were doing me a favour by doing this. As it ended up though, they had plenty and were later asking people to take more, so eventually I ended up eating 4. I went to take a picture of Wes and Dave with my camera, but it wasn't working, so Wes got a friend to take one of us with his phone.
They also had cheese and crackers, muffins, bagels, fruit and various baked goods to eat, plus coffee and water. On a table at the front there were draw prizes with people's names on them. Lo and behold I'd won a shoe drying kit from race sponsor The Runner's Sole, which is owned by Wayne Richardson, a great guy who used to be a member of my club.
They posted some unofficial results, and I discovered that in spite of a slow time of 45:04, I'd finished 3rd in my age group. As I put it to Wes, I'd weaseled out a medal!
When they got the awards started they gave out the best costume ones first. Wes won, Dave was second and a woman dressed like a leprechaun was third, and they all got nice prize baskets full of various gourmet goodies.
A very nice woman chatted with me as they presented the awards, she obviously knew everyone and said nice things about them as they went up to get their medals. She was a little surprised as many people who'd won and who lived right in Kamloops had gone home before the awards. I told her I had to be in Surrey that night to work, but there was no way I wasn't staying to get mine. I went up and got my nice Shamrock medal, and she'd heard my time and told me I'd run very fast. Then they came to her age group, 70-74, and called out Liz Borrett as first in a time of 51:53. She said "That's me." and went up and received her medal to rousing applause. She'd told me that my time was fast and she finished only a few minutes behind me. I told her that was incredible! No surprise she was tops in the race in the age graded results.
I dropped my medal showing it off at work that night. We'd thought it might be made of wood, but I found out the hard way that it's ceramic. It broke into 4 big pieces with some tiny ones chipping off too. With the power of crazy glue it is now intact, and the paint I bought to cover the chips didn't quite match, but I went with it anyway. The way I'm looking at it, my very unique medal is now even better, it's one of a kind!
With the ceremonies over it was time to head back to Vancouver, so I said goodbye to Liz, Wes, and Rick from the Barriere Fun Run, and went on my way. Had to go through a snow storm on the way back, but everyone was driving pretty carefully, and then there was heavy rain later on that washed all the crap off my car, so I didn't have to do it myself!
Here's the results, I was 29 of 163 overall. http://interiorrunningassociation.com/races/results/2013/ira3_overall.HTML
Also a nice race report from Rick Jenkner:
My next race was the Vancouver Spring Run Off 8K on March 24 at 10 AM, in Stanley Park.