On April 21 I competed in the Sooke River 10K, the last race of the 2013 Frontrunners Island Race Series. At 11 AM the race director gave the countdown, we headed off down the road in front of Edward Milne Community School, and a couple of hundred meters later we turned onto Sooke River Road. I ran into former clubmate Nigel Barrett, who now lives on Mayne Island, and he told me that he'd asked some people about the course. He was told that there was a fairly tough hill at about the 2K mark, and that the entire course was pretty undulating, and tougher on the way back. It was actually around the 1.5K point when we hit the hill, which slowed me up a bit, but after a couple of hundred meters things leveled out again.
Soon after this I was surprised to be passed by 6 woman, but I managed to stay right behind them. Eventually 3 of them dropped back, but I dueled a bit with a woman in a yellow shirt. First she would burst ahead of me, then I'd repass her, and we did that a few times before she too fell back, and then there were 2 teenage females left in front of me, wearing identical shorts and singlets (I found out later they were in the Bastion Running Club).
The hills weren't overly steep, and in the last kilometer before the turnaround there were a couple of good downhills, so I told myself to be ready for a couple of early hill climbs coming back. We reached the turnaround cone and headed back, and to my surprise the hills going back weren't overly taxing, like I'd thought they would be. I seemed to be able to get up enough speed on the declines to power me easily up the inclines, so that worked out great.
Soon there were 2 kilometers to go, and I managed to speed up, passing one of the teenaged women. The other one, however, had already opened up about a 20 meter gap on us, and she was speeding up also. We had a bit of a headwind slowing us down for the next kilometer, but with only one to go it let up, and I was pleased that I was able to increase my pace some more heading in. There were about 200 meters to the corner when I upped my speed again and flew by a guy I'd been following for awhile. Then I raced to the corner and the volunteers directed me to turn left and run to the finish in front of the school. I didn't know it then, but as I approached the line I was leading a 5 man dash to the finish, and a guy raced by me right before the line and crossed ahead of me. He was bent over exhausted and said he didn't know where he'd found that burst of energy, but he had and now had nothing left. I asked him what age group he was in, and it turned out to be mine. I told him that ribbons went to the top ten, so hopefully we'd both make "the podium".
We went into the school gymnasium and down the hall to where they had the food tables set up, with small yogurts, miniature cinnamon buns, pita bread with hummus to spread on it, cheese slices, iced mini cupcakes, grapes, strawberries, bananas, oranges, cheezie & pretzel mix, paninis (genoa salami with cheese, ham & cheese, turkey & cheese), various gummy candies, chocolate milk protein drink and coffee. I grabbed a plateful of food and a choco drink and went outside to eat. After I was done I went to my car and got my camera. Then I went to the finish line to cheer some people in and got a couple of pics of another mad dash to the finish!
I headed back inside and the auditorium was filling up with incoming runners, and people were grabbing seats in the bleachers to watch the award ceremonies.
I headed down the hall again and there was now a huge lineup for the food tables, but only a small one for coffee, so I grabbed myself a cup.
Back in the gym by the door they had results up, and I looked, and I'd finished 10th in my age group. Myself and the fellow who beat me, Jeff Beddoes, would both be getting a ribbon, so it worked out perfectly!
They began the awards, with overalls first, followed by the age groups, with plenty of draw prizes too. I won a stainless steel travel mug, which will come in handy.
Finally they got to mine and I asked a fellow to take our picture while I was up there. Joe and myself were happy that we'd both got an award, and congratulated one another and the fellow beside us.
I thanked the photographer when I went back and got my camera, and stuck around for a bit longer. I wanted to make sure I would catch my ferry, however, so soon I decided that it was time to head home. By now there was no lineup at the food tables, but they still had plenty of food! I grabbed a couple of things for the road and headed to my car, happy to have competed in another great event.
I finished 76 overall out of 389, 10 of 24 in my age group, with a time of 43:08. It was a smaller field than I thought it was, but a fast one, as the first person to take an hour or more to finish was 327th overall.
My next race was the Game of Life 5K in Stanley Park, on April 28 at 9:10 AM.