On March 24 I ran the Vancouver Spring Run-Off 8K. We started out from right beside the Stanley Park Pavilion, instead of on the road like we did at the St. Patrick's Day race. As I came up to the starting line about 10 minutes before gun time, there was a fence bordering it on both sides. It went a long way back and was filled with people, so I had to enter at the back and make my way up closer to the starting line. I made it to where Ingo was, still about 15 rows from the front, but good enough!
At 10 AM the marshall did a five second countdown, and we took off, running down the gravel paths and through the trees, where we hit a slight uphill that leveled out fairly quickly. We hit the concrete paths now, and after a kilometer we were running past Lost Lagoon. It wasn't nearly as crowded as the St. Paddy's race, so passing people and letting them go by was a lot easier. Just past the 2K point we hit the seawall, and people were strung out more, and I was running with a small pack of runners travelling at a similar pace.
After we passed Second Beach a couple of kilometers later our pack had mostly dissolved, as some runners had raced ahead, while others had dropped back. A man and woman were running about 30 meters ahead of me, and they passed someone who'd slowed up a bit. A couple of minutes later I came up behind him, and it was Vas! We exchanged greetings and ran together for a few hundred meters, but then I slowly pulled away from him.
With a kilometer to go you could already hear the announcer at the finish line. It seemed like everyone was speeding up, suddenly realizing the end was near. We turned off of the seawall with about 300 meters to go, and there was one last slight uphill climb, and then as we turned a corner the finish arches were in view! It was a bit confusing as there were 2 arches, and I just kept going until I was past the second one to make sure I was over the line.
Vas came in 30 seconds after me, and we grabbed some water and headed around the back to where the food tables were. I ran into Tina-Louise Harris, who told me she actually had to stop and walk a couple of time, as she has chronic pain right now and couldn't get in to see her physiotherapist this week. She said a bunch of women passed her near the end, so she wasn't sure how well she placed. As it turned out, those women were in her old age group, in her new 45-49 AG she finished 2nd, just ahead of the 3rd place woman.
Next I hit the food tables, and volunteers were inviting us to try chocolate chip, double chocolate and oatmeal cookies, bagels, bananas, and oranges. I ended up eating quite a few cookies, plus some Power Bar pieces that they had on a table out front.
Arnold Sikhakhane walked up and I congratulated him on finishing 2nd overall in the Green Sock Half & Shamrockin' Race 5K at Burnaby Lake a week ago.
He said it was really cool, they treated him like a VIP at the award ceremonies, and he had his finisher's medal on too so there was quite a bit of bling hanging around his neck.
The St. Patrick's Day race was also the provincial 5K road race championship this year, and Vas finished 3rd in his age group and they sent him a really cool ribbon.
The 3 of us hung around and talked for awhile, and I told them about the 10K race that Mountain Equipment Co-op was putting on in North Vancouver on Saturday, and that registration was only $15. Vas said he'd probably see me there, but Arnold had to work that day, so he'd have to miss it. With that we said our goodbyes and headed home, another fun race in the books!
I ended up finishing 4 of 32 in my age group, 106 of 879 overall, with a time of 35:50.
For a more varied perspective here's the race organizer's report:
Here's my photos, plus you can look at them all:
My finish video:
My next race was the MEC North Vancouver Race # 2, at Inter Urban Park, on Saturday, March 30 at 9 AM.