Sunday, 2 December 2012

Remembrance Day: Hershey Harriers 8km Cross Country in Stanley Park

I spent this Remembrance Day not in Victory Square, but just across Coal Harbour at the Brockton Oval. This year I threw my hat in the ring for my 3rd 8k race of the season: The Hershey Harriers Remembrance Day run.

Having never ran in the trails of Stanley Park, I was quite looking forward to what this run had to offer: 32 minutes of heart and mind blowing effort, some steady climbs, fast descents, and a well organized race in the crown jewel of Vancouver.

I showed up just after 10 am and made my way to the Brockton Rugby Club for registration. After picking up my race bib, I took a steady warmup on course where I ran with Drew Nicholson, winner of the Bear Creek Cross Country, Surrey Marathon, and Turkey Trot to make it a three win streak for him. It was good talking with him and seeing that as far as warmups go, we were running the same tempo in order to get ready for the race. He was in the open catagory, I was challenging the masters. Both race starts were separated by 10 minutes.

At 11:01, we had a moment of silence on start line as the cannons rang throughout the city. With the Last Post played, we were off. I settled into a group in the top 5 or so, but immediately backed off as per Mike Murphy's instructions from the Provincial Championships. Rachel Ruus, her coach/husband type guy, and Catherine Watkins. We held together until the second uphill, when Catherine put the gas on and dusted the three of us, which would prove to be the winning move for the women's overall. I was steady with the other two, making up some good speed on the downhill, and managing to hold on to them on the flats. With 2.5kms to go, a gap formed, and I fell off the Ruus train. I knew that Darbara Ghuman was hot on my heels, and I would have to work hard to push for the run into the finish. Still, I stayed steady and came in at 31:39. Not my fastest time, but it would prove to earn me 2nd place in the 35-39 catagory, and I went home with a medal. I came in front of Tom Craik, a guy that I admire and respect very much. He likes to Run Now....
One of the best parts of the day was cooling down with Mike Murphy, Will, and Winner Catherine. A good end to the race.

Awards were a bit of a mess as the computer did not separate athletes into age cats, so it had to be done manually. This was okay for the food that the HH club provided. And I got to speak with Mike and his buddy Will. All told, this was a solid race day. A good run put together on that day!