I headed over to Vancouver the night before, stopping for a quick cookie (yum) and chat with Natasha Wodak before venturing a few blocks down to my sister and brother in law's place. I had dinner with them (sorry for barging in) and then headed off to stay with one of Canada's best Master's runners Catherine Watkins for the night. We visited for a bit and then headed off to bed where I had my usual pre-race nights sleep where I was up multiple times to the washroom.
The next morning we headed off to Stanely Park, arriving just in time to get settled and head off on our warm up. The legs felt decent, so I was hopeful I could run a good time. I have run this race for the past 3 years and this was the 3rd course I had run, each year the start and finish have been completely different. This year was no different. The start was in the same place, but we headed in the opposite direction. The finish was also in the same place, but we took a different route to get there.
This race had a stellar elite field, with race hosts Steve and Karen bringing in the best from the area. I knew I was in for a hard battle and that it was. The race started off super fast on a downhill before taking a left turn. The nice thing about the event is that it was run on the roads throughout the park instead of along the seawall. This led to a lot more room to maneuver around. The bad thing about the event was that it was run on the roads throughout the park instead of along the seawall.
Wait what? Did I just contradict myself? You bet. I love the open roads; however, being on the open road meant more hills. The seawall is fairly flat, whereas the road is undulating. Boy did this hurt. Not to mention the final km is mostly uphill still.
I went through the mile in 5:11 I believe, and felt as though I kept pressing on. Around this time I think I was 4th female and I held my spot the rest of the way. As I said, I felt as though I was pressing on; however, looking back on my splits made me say "oh my." The legs were definitely not as fresh, but I knew that going into the race and it was pretty much the point anyway. It was treated as a workout on tired legs.
I finished 4th in 16:53 and was closing in on Sarah Iginlis in front of me, but ran out of time. Not to mention I think Sabrina Wilkie was also closing on me! The race was won by Rachel Cliff in a fantastic PB of 16:14 (she recently went on to run 15:49 at the Stanford Invite on the track), followed by Natasha, then Sarah, myself and then Sabrina for the top 5. Catherine of course was the top Master and 7th overall I believe.
Right after finishing, I grabbed some water and then headed off for my post-race workout. Man that was tough. If I thought my post Bazan workout was tough, this one was longer and hurt even worse. The legs were definitely tired. I was happy to be under 17' on this course though, especially only 6 days post Bazan.
Results can be found here.
The following weekend I was suppose to race the Modo 8km; however, my body overruled my brain and told me to sit it out instead. It was a tough decision but in the end, it was the right one.
Photo Credit: Rita Ivanauskas