Sunday, November 13, 2011

2011 BC Cross Country Championships

After the 8km, I set my sights on the BC XC Championships which were being held on Oct 29th in Aldergrove. I ran this course last year and it was a brutal course. It consisted of three 2km loops for 6km in total. I had no idea how this year was going to go, but I decided to give it a shot and see what happens. As the race got closer, the women's starting list grew bigger with faster competitors. Soon my goals changed slightly and I hoped to come top 10. 

I headed over on an early ferry before the race, thanks to Sport BC for the ferry vouchers. I then had the job of locating the race. Last year I carpooled with Lucy Smith and a few other runners. Lucy simply set up her GPS and I paid no attention as to where she was going. It's different when you are in the drivers seat and without GPS. I google mapped the directions at work the night before and unfortunately the route took me along 0 ave (I think) which was right along the border of Canada/USA. It was also a very annoying road with raised intersections ever 400m or so. Although BC's aren't in Aldergrove next year, note to self not to take that road again!

I arrived in plenty of time before the race. The first race (masters men and women) was just starting. I took some photos and hung around, spoke with some of the high school athletes I knew and watched one of my NDSS girls race (congrats Miryam on your age 15 win). 

# for the race

The first hill on the course! Much steeper in person!


They make you run down the side and then up again (behind the trees)
Eventually it was time for me to warm up. Just as I was about to head out, I spotted Lucy and Hilary Stellingwerff. We waited for Marilyn Aresenault and then all went out on our warm up together (also with Sisi Hallam). 

Before I knew it, we were on the start line. 

Surprisingly, I wasn't as nervous as I thought I would be. I think that was a good thing. It was the same in Eugene back in May 2010 when I ran my 1:21:55 half marathon PB. I wasn't nervous before that one either. I just ran how I felt on the day. Today was the same. I went out with the crowd and made sure it wasn't too fast. The hills the first time felt hard, but still okay. I was sitting in 12th most of the race. 

1st lap


On the 2nd lap, the hills hurt a bit more and I could see one girl (Helen Crofts) falling back from the group in front of me. Slowly but surely I reeled her in, passing her with 1 lap to go. The hills on the 3rd lap hurt. I felt like I was barely moving! And everyone on the hill was cheering for Helen right behind me. Once I finished the hills, I let it fly on the downhill determined not to let Helen pass me again and she didn't. 

Start of the 3rd and final lap

Before the 1st hill

Down the hill

Up the 2nd hill and pulling a nasty face (I think my nose was running as usual)


While initially I thought I was 10th and was happy with how I ran, it turns out I was actually 11th (9th person from BC). Slightly more disappointed, but in the end I am thrilled with how I handled the race. I made an improvement on my time from last year, though the course was slightly different. I held my distance behind some competitors from last year and that made me proud, considering the year I have had.

Mar, Me, Becky and Mel (Post race)

As I stated after the race, I am simply happy to be out racing again. I feel as though I raced the course better than last year and I felt stronger than I have in ages. I felt stronger than pre injury so that was a good sign. 

After the race, we cooled down in a big group and then I booked it off to Surrey for a quick shower and then out to dinner for my brother's (half brother technically) 40th birthday dinner. I had to skip the cake after though, as I then booked it from Surrey to Horseshoe Bay for the 9pm ferry, which was the last one back to Vancouver Island for the night. In the end it was a long day, but very successful. Up next, National XC on Nov 26th. 

Congrats on Hilary on her win. Results found here

Photo credit (Copyrighted ones) to Vid Wadhwani

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