Monday, August 17, 2009

Black Press 5000 Race Report

I guess I was classified as a spectathalete on Friday night. I took the evening off work and drove the hour and a half to Victoria and found my way out to the Jack Wallace Memorial track in Oak Bay. I arrived at about 6pm and slowly everyone started arriving. The first race was set to start at 6:30. There was going to be 3 races, going slowest to fastest. Basically this meant:

Heat 1: 18:00 and slower
Heat 2: 16:00-17:59
Heat 3: 15:59 and faster

Heat 1 went off not long after 6:30. I only new one person in this race, which was Joey (Mar's husband) and he ran well finishing 2nd in the heat at 18:50. I think it was a bit slower than he wanted, but there was a bit of a breeze which made it hard. Another friend, Melissa Ross, was supposed to be in this race based on her best time, but arrived later than expected and didn't have sufficient time to warm up. Plus she was gunning to run under 18:00 so I think she wanted to be in the faster race anyways.

These are the leaders of Heat 1. The girl in red (Jessica won in 18:42, Joey was 2nd and the girl in the front was 3rd both in 18:50)

Heat 2 was the highlight for me (no offense to the elite men in Heat 3), but this was the highlight because it had all the elite women. There weren't many women in this race actually, basically Lucy Smith, Marilyn Arsenault, Natasha Wodak and Melissa. Lucy, Mar and Tasha were all looking to run under 17:00. While Lucy has done it before, Mar and Tasha hadn't. Melissa as I mentioned was looking for under 18:00. Other notables in the race were Keith Mills (heat winner), Jon Brown (former Olympian and stellar pacer), plus a variety of other people.

Gathering at the start line

It was actually a tad funny as everyone started out and then filed in behind Jon as if everyone was afraid to pass him. Then again, most of them knew that he was pacing Mar to under 17:00 so they could base their pace off him. After a few laps, Tasha and Lucy put on a surge to take the lead from Jon; however, Jon and Mar reeled them back in and once again, Jon was leading the group. In the end, Keith won in 16:29 (huge PB for him), Lucy in 16:30 (would be a masters record, but it wasn't a sanctioned meet), then Mar in 16:34 with Jon right behind. Tasha ran well but lost touch with about 3-4 laps left and finished in 16:57, which was still a big PB from her previous 17:13. Melissa also ran a PB by a few seconds finishing in 18:15.

Here are some photos throughout the race.

Start of the race

Everyone behind Jon

Lucy, Tasha and Simon take the lead

Jon catches back up

Lead group looking strong

Lucy leading going into the final 100m. Keith on the other hand (in black) out kicked her to finish 1 second ahead in 16:29

Mar digging in for her final 100 for a new PB of 16:34

Heat 3 was the last one and by the time this one started, the sun had started to go down. It caused me to get some blurry photos and I had to go find a spot on the far end of the track where there was sun. Not to mention by then I was actually freezing and close to shaking. But still, I managed some okay photos. Cam Levins took this race in 14:09 and was really unchallenged as Richard Mosely was next in 14:19. 3rd in the race went to Sean Chester who ran 15:16 and my friend Craig Odermatt ran well to finish 4th in 15:25. Here are some photos of the last heat.

Leaders Richard Mosely (1796) and Cam Levins (1836)

Eventual winner Cam in 14:09

2nd Place Richard in 14:19

After the races, I hunted Tasha down and told her I had to pass on a message to her from D and that I had to video tape it so D can see the response. Basically, I had to tell Tasha that if she doesn't slow down, D was going to Tonya Harding her. It was awkward to film at first and Tasha looked nervous as she didn't know what to expect. I am sure she thought we were freaks D. Oh well. I guess I should mention that Tasha, D and I all ran against each other when we were kids so we have known each other for a long time. I hadn't seen Tasha in years, probably since I quit track almost 10 years ago. That is probably the last time I have seen D too and yet they both live just over on the mainland.

I should also probably add that both Lucy and Mar are masters and they kicked butt. Both of them technically broke the Canadian Master's Record for the distance; however, the race was not sanctioned, so its not a valid record. While that is too bad, the good news is when another race is held hopefully they can have the race sanctioned and use each other to break the record officially.

One day I plan to potentially run this race (there is talks to make it a monthly series event next summer); however, not until I am fast enough by my own standards. So until that happens, I will be happy to be a spectathalete and take photos instead.

Full results can be found here

After the race, a few people were heading to downtown Victoria to go to the Sticky Wicket pub. We (Melissa, Craig and I) went down there too, but it was packed and we were told we would have to wait for a table. Due to the fact Melissa had to drive back to Parksville (just north of Nanaimo) and I had to drive home, we opted to leave and went to White Spot for dinner instead. You can't go wrong with White Spot. Then we took off and I made it home in about an hour 10-15 minutes. Melissa and I (in two different cars) may have been speeding a little bit.

So there you have it, the Black Press 5000 race report. Great races, fun people and fast results. Overall definitely worth taking the night off work.


D said...

I find it sort of weird how young Master's are (is it 35 or 40+? ... either way!). That's the triathlete in me.

Erin said...

These 2 are true master's 40+. They amaze me