MEC # 2 Birds Hill Park Race

MEC # 2 Birds Hill Park Race
MEC #2 Birds Hill Park 2017 3rd Overall After A Sprint Finish!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Longest Day Weekend

I went in for surgery to repair a ventral hernia on Friday the 13th, so I won't be running for awhile. I've finally decided to try and catch up on my race reports while recovering, which are many months in arrears. Since the number of races is overwhelmingly large I'm going to try to make them brief to start out with, increasing the length as the number shrinks.
June 14 was the Longest Day 5K at UBC's Thunderbird Stadium, starting at 6:45 PM. I had the pleasure of finally meeting Zahida Jaffer and her boyfriend Cam in person before the race. It was the usual flat fast course, with the usual plentiful great food afterward. I only had one heaping plate this year instead of 2 because I had to compete again the next day.
Chris Boulton from my club was 70th overall out of 682, 7 of 28 in his age group, with a time of 19:44. I was 89th overall, 8 of 34 in my age group, with a time of 20:47. Our club coach Greg Anslow, running with his daughters, was 227 overall, 10 of 23 in his AG, with a time of 25:54.
There was also a 10K race:
Cindy, my friend Edwin Liu's wife, produced short videos of the start and end of the race. Edwin finished 4 places in front of me.
On June 15 I competed in the BC Masters Outdoor Track & Field Championships. The 3000 Meters was the first race of the day at 9 AM. I was shocked when we were getting ready to start the race, because the BC Athletics official told me that there were only 2 Masters men running it, myself and Ron Wichmann. We still had a great race, because I was ahead of Ron heading into the home stretch after we rounded the final corner, when I heard him loudly start his kick behind me. The large crowd cheered for us as we sprinted towards the finish, and I hung on to beat Ron by less than 1.5 seconds. He's a few years older than me so we're in different age groups, and we both earned a gold medal. My time was 12:04.03, and I was happy enough with that considering I ran a 5K the night before.
Next up for me a couple of hours later was the long jump. We had huge crowds watching us in the races on the track all day, as in addition to our Masters Championships, it was also a huge meet for all the younger athletes from all over the province. Consequently the stands were always pretty full. Events like the long jump took place off to the side of the stadium, so we had a lot less spectators cheering for us. My regular camera had crapped out on me, so I used an old one-use camera to take pictures at the meet and then got them developed and put on a CD at London Drugs. Best I could do on short notice!

 The dearth of spectators proved to be fortunate for myself, because try as I might I couldn't jump worth a shit. My first 5 jumps were all less than 3 meters, and I had jumped 3.49 at the Twilight meet just a few days before. I talked to the other jumpers who told me not to run 5 & 3 Ks and then expect to be able to jump afterward. On my last jump I again sucked but at least was able to barely beat 3 meters at 3.05, and because there were only 2 of us in my age group, this earned me a silver medal.
My last race of the day was the 800, and again I was 2 of 2 in my age group, with a time of 2:53.11. Once more I had a great finishing duel with another competitor, almost chasing down 63 year old Mel Doherty from Kamloops, who hung on to beat me by 2 one hundredths of a second!

In between my own events I thoroughly enjoyed watching the other constantly ongoing races and field events.

The next morning I ran the 1500 Meters, finishing 6 of 9 overall, and 2 of 2 in my age group, with a time of 5:53:26. We were looking at the results posted in a stadium walkway afterward, and Harjinder Kang was asking me how things worked. He'd finished behind me and so thought there was no way he'd won a medal. I showed him where he was in the 5 year age groupings, explaining that that's how medals were awarded. I told him that he'd won a gold medal in his age group, and I'd won silver. He just silently stared at me for a few seconds, and then suddenly yelled out "Congratulations!" while thrusting out his hand to shake mine. To witness someone going from dejection to jubilation within such a small amount of time was fantastic to see, a definite highlight of the meet for me! 
My last race a couple of hours later was the 400 Meters. I got smoked and so was 8 of 8 overall, but 2 of 2 in my age group with a time of 1:18.45.
So I picked up four silver and one gold big honkin' Provincial Championship medals, just for showing up and competing my best, and the entire meet was a blast!


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