Friday, March 27, 2015

Double 5km - Bazan Bay 2015 and St. Patrick's Day 5km

 Bazan Bay 5km- March 8th

March brought on the month of 5kms. First up was the Bazan Bay 5km down in Sidney, BC. This is on the outskirts of Victoria. I worked Saturday night and found myself tossing and turning until approximately 1:30am. This normally wouldn't have been a big deal; however, this also fell on daylight savings, so 2am quickly became 3am. The alarm went off at 7:30 so I think I ended up with approximately 5 hours sleep. 

The drive down was pretty uneventful and I arrived shortly after 9:30, which allowed plenty of time to pick up my race bib and relax before warming up. The weather was more like a gorgeous spring day. We have been pretty lucky here on the West Coast this winter, fairly dry and mild. I don't recall any real snowfall here in town and less rain than usual as well. While the weather has been great for running, the mountains lacked snow. This resulted in the local ski hill barely having a season and could mean we will have lack of water issues this summer. 

Anyway, back to the race. I ran my warm up, spotting my coach and his fiance down the road for a quick pre-race chat. The legs didn't feel that great in warm up, but I was hopeful they would show up for the race. 

Warm Up

Our 2015 Asics Canada race kit came earlier that week so I decided to debut; however, the buns and crop top left me feeling super awkward on the start line. Pretty sure I got a few weird looks and yes I felt pretty darn naked but I figured if I wanted to try the uniform for the first time, it was best to do it in a 5km rather than a half marathon. 

Feeling naked

On the start line and the race went out quick. The Bazan Bay start is pretty brutal. It's packed and everyone is fighting for position. A few hundred meters into the race, a guy in front of me stumbled and began what seemed to me like slow motion falling. As he was falling, another guy not far in front began to somewhat trip over him. Pretty sure I said "oh sh!t" and put my hand on someones back to try and not trip over these two. I might have put my hand on one that fell, but it's hard to remember! It happened so fast, but seemed so slow at the time! I think they both went down or at least partially down, but I know for a fact that one did get back up. 

Thanks to Greg, I am gaining muscles. Look close ;)

This caused me to interrupt my stride for a bit and I found the lead ladies had already gapped me. I believe Hilary, Alison and Lemlem were ahead plus a few others. My adrenaline made me pick up the pace a bit to try and catch them, but soon I realized my legs were not having the pace. I kept pushing and didn't look at my watch. The kids in front told me the first km, which I believe was 3:15. From then on the race became hang on for dear life. My legs and my lungs were not having it that day. 

I was 4th female after 2km and then passed Lemlem shortly after. We hit the turn around and I kept trying to pick up the pace. Kyle Weagant was nearby and said "let's go" (or something like that) at one point I believe just after 3km. I tried to go. I really felt like I was picking up the pace on the way back, but the watch disagrees with me. I do remember thinking "wtf where did this wind come from" as there was a bit of a headwind on the way back. It wasn't the worst headwind, but enough to feel it. 

In the end, I finished up 3rd female behind Hilary and Alison in 16:47. Initially I was extremely disappointed with my time. I ran 16:35 here for the win last year and going into the race this year I felt like I was in PB shape and really felt like sub 16:30 was in the cards; however, my body decided differently on race day. 

Photo credit: Ross Palfery

I know I am my own worst critic and am super hard on myself, so after a few reminders from my coach that my training had been different this year, I accepted the result and moved on. He was right. Last year I went into Bazan having run Pioneer 8km, an indoor 5km and NACAC XC (6km). This year I went into Bazan having run Pioneer 8km and First Half Half Marathon, with the half only being 3 weeks prior. Training had not been directed towards the shorter speedier stuff.

After Bazan I took off on a post race workout and ran out some frustrations. Results can be found here

6 days after Bazan I headed over to Vancouver to race the St.Patrick's 5km. Steve and Karen are the race directors for this and they do such an excellent job assembling top fields and treating everyone like gold. This year, they were able to help me with some travel to the race. I found myself flying over to Vancouver on Friday morning via Harbour Air. I left my house at 9:30am and by 10:30am I was in Vancouver. How much better could that get?

I went early so I could get in a visit with my adorable nieces. My original plans were to stay with Catherine Watkins; however, she and her family fell ill and she was no longer racing. My sister had her in-laws staying so I ended up booking a last minute hotel room downtown. I had the noisiest neighbours as well and became "that" person who went out in the hall in pj's and said "shut the blank up." The one girl was nice enough and turned down their stereo right away; however, the constant door slamming and yelling carried on. Unfortunately I forgot my earplugs as well (lesson learned). 

The next morning I woke up to pouring rain and wind. Good thing the race is on the seawall.......  hah. I walked over to the start, had some time to relax and visit then warmed up with Dayna Pidhoresky and Josh Seifarth. It was wet and it was windy. This race was going to be fun. The weather gods played nice in the end and gave us a break, the rain stopped just before the start and the wind even died down slightly as well. Unfortunate that we were already pretty wet, but what can you do. 

Yaletown photography

This race starts off and runs downhill and me being one of the worst downhill runners ever found myself around at least 8-10th female. I slowly began picking people off, finding myself 4th behind Asics teammate Rachel Cliff, Dayna and Erica Digby through the mile in 5:15. 

Photo credit: Denise Relke

I kept plodding away through the rolling course. The legs were burning, but the body and lungs felt better than Bazan. At around 3.5km I passed Erica to take over 3rd. 


I apparently glare at race photographers. The photo credit above and below is to Rick Horne
The final km is brutal as it is nearly all uphill. I egged on a t-shirt wearing kid (aka Josh) as I passed him on the hill; however, the darn t-shirt boy passed me in the final few hundred meters. I finished 3rd female again in a slower 16:56. Last year I ran this course in 16:53 and felt like death. This year, while I was 3 seconds slower, I felt better than Bazan and I felt better from what I remember of last year.  

Top 3, Dayna, myself and Rachel (Yaletown Photography)

I went into the race wanting 3rd or better as those 3 positions offer cash prizing from BMO. 4th and 5th are a Starbucks coffee machine. I was 4th last year and already had a coffee machine (which is barely used as I don't drink coffee) so the last thing I wanted was 4th or 5th. Turns out, Erica was happy with the coffee machine and I got $100 to put towards my hotel! Woo hoo, up $13 whole dollars by the end! Only I spent $18 on the most yummy yoghurt covered raisins at Whole Foods so it was $13 well spent! 

Women's Top 10
Photo credit: Denise Relke

After the race I went for a post race tempo workout and a cool down, then walked back to the seaplane terminal to relax before flying home. Results can be found here. HUGE thanks to Steve and Karen for putting on a spectacular race as always!

You can also watch my Athletics Illustrated interview. I have not yet watched it as I dislike watching/listening to myself. 


My sponsor Sundog Eyewear is passing along a special offer to help me raise training funds. Until April 30th, they are allowing me to pass on a 25% discount code to all of my friends and they will in return donate 15% of every sale to my training fund. This discount code applies to ALL styles of shades. Just use the CODE: ERINB25 on


Anonymous said...

Hey Erin , my name is rob Harrison I met you way back in 96 in Kelowna I think it was at a athletics meet. We were a small australian squad competing over there . Anyway it is great to see your still into your running and I wish u luck with it all too.

Erin said...

ahh yes at the Jack Brow meet. I do remember. Long time no talk. How are you? Find me on FB if you have an account. :)

Anonymous said...

Hey Erin thanks for the reply. I'm great thanks. So good to hear from you. I don't have Facebook anymore but would love to share a few emails to catch up if you like? Glad to see your back into your running. Rob

Erin said...

Sure, send me an email Just remember last name has 2 "R's" not and R and N ;)