On April 28 I ran the Game of Life 5K race, which started and ended at Lumberman's Arch in Stanley Park.
The 10K race started at 9 AM, and then we queued up at the start line. Man Kong Chan, who was 2nd in last year's race, was there at the front, along with myself, Tina-Louise Harris, Ingo, and Gillian Gook, and we all shook hands and wished each other a good race.
At 9:10 we were off, hitting the seawall after about 100 meters. Man bolted ahead of the rest of us and Gillian was the only one who went with him. I just tried to stick fairly close behind Tina, and we hadn't even gone a kilometer before I heard someone coming up behind me. He went to pass me and I saw it was a younger guy who looked to be in his 30s. I surged ahead but he stuck behind me. We hit some headwinds and I thought he might be trying to draft off me, but since he was a lot taller than myself this probably wouldn't have been that great of a strategy.
At about the 3K point we began to pass the slowest 10Kers, and we came around a corner on the seawall. An older couple was standing there watching the race, and the woman yelled "It's the elites! Way to go!", and started clapping her hands excitedly. I mentioned this to the guy who was running with me after the race, and we both had a good laugh about it. But she was right, today we were the elites!
We came up to the lighthouse, and Tina, who'd been running about 10 meters in front of us, grabbed a railing and appeared to be in some sort of pain. Just before we reached her, however, she took off again and regained her lead. Tina had told me before the race that she'd been having ab problems, and would have to wait and see how they'd behave today. She'd had to stop and rest in other races since late last year, and unfortunately had to do so again today.
My pursuer passed me just after the lighthouse, so I let him lead for awhile. With about 400 meters to go I heard cheering from the finish area up ahead, and I bolted past him. Then with only about 200 meters left Tina stopped ahead of us, but this time she couldn't get going again before we went past her. The fieldhouses containing the washrooms loomed ahead. We'd be running between them to exit the seawall and loop up the path for the last hundred meters to the finish line.
I had almost reached them when one of the female 10Kers, who had to do one more loop of the course, suddenly came running out from beside one of the fieldhouses. She did this without any glance in our direction, and crossed right in front of me. I managed to slow up enough to narrowly avoid a crash, and the guy behind me told me later that he almost took a bad spill there himself. People like this show how important it is to make sure that electric cars make some kind of noise, otherwise there will be some tragedies happening for sure!
We dashed up the path, and just before the finish he passed me going very fast. It was doubtful that I could have answered his move anyway, but that close to the finish it was impossible, well played on his part! Tina came in a few seconds behind me, and Running Room founder John Stanton was waiting to put finisher's medals around our necks and congratulate us. We all shook his hand and thanked him, and then commended each other on having run a good race.
Tina was 2nd woman overall behind Gillian, and I'd ended up third overall, which I hadn't expected. I was just hoping for an age group placing before the race, which I knew won you a Mizuno towel. I hadn't checked further on the race website and was unaware until Tina told me, that we'd both won a pair of Mizuno shoes for our overall podium finishes!
We both waited at the line to greet Ingo, who finished 4th male overall, and then we hit the food tables where they had bottles of Happy Water, bananas, apples, and oranges, plus chocolate chip and sweet & salty granola bars.
I grabbed a banana and a granola bar, jogged to my car to get my camera and jacket, and then ran back to the finish line. John stayed there until everyone was in, putting medals around their necks and lauding them for their accomplishment. I stayed there awhile cheering runners in, and managed to get a few pics. Man was talking to me when my new friend Pavani came in, and I missed getting a picture of her getting her medal, but hopefully next time!
The awards started and Gillian, Tina, and the 3rd place woman, Vicki were first up.
Then Man and myself went up, the 2nd place guy having left already. The results reveal he was from Portland, Maine, so maybe he had a plane to catch. We got our towels and certificates for a pair of Mizuno Wave running shoes from the Running Room. The way John had us pose it looks like I won the race, but what can you do? Man's a really good guy so I don't think he cared, and I didn't realize it myself until I saw the picture.
Next were the 10K overalls, and then instead of having everyone come up for their age group awards separately, they just told the remaining racers to go and look at the results. These were posted at a table, and if someone was top 3 in their category they could claim their towel there.
With the awards over it was time to bid everyone adieu and head out, until we'd meet again. I did stay a little longer to talk to Ingo, and then we too bade each other goodbye until the BMO Vancouver Marathon 8K, on May 5th at 6:30 AM by the Second Beach Pool in Stanley Park.
The races are put on by Commonwealth Games Canada, and I got this off of their website, explaining where the funds raised go:
Proceeds from this event go towards Commonwealth Games Canada (CGC)’s grassroots sport programs in Africa and the Caribbean. CGC supports the social development of individuals, communities and organizations within commonwealth countries using the transformative power of sport. For more information on specific program details please visit www.commonwealthgames.ca/
Results are here, I finished 4th overall out of 75, 1 of 4 in my age group, with a time of 20:56.