Date: April 28, 2013
Distance: 5K (3.1 miles)
Pace: 8:29 min/mile
Finish Time: 25:50
Overall Place: 12/89
When I signed up for the Game of Life 5K, a fundraiser in support of the Commonwealth Games’ grassroots sports programs for developing nations, I thought it would be a pretty low-key event. A nice chance to stretch-out my legs in a short distance event before the following weekend’s big BMO Vancouver Half Marathon.
The day before this particular 5K, I completed the third and final session of an introductory Crossfit workout package. Crossfit involves a lot of squats and lifting heavy shit, which had in turn left my muscles feeling like shit for the subsequent days. When I woke up on race day, I could feel how tight and sore my legs were, and figured this was going to be a slow run.
The Game of Life 5K event was small – maybe two hundred participants total between the 5K and 10K races, with a lot of families and many folks who were probably running their first race. When they called the 5K participants to the start line, there were a few elite-runner-type people right at the front, but most hung back a bit and almost by default I ended up very near the start.
Here’s my problem: I have a tendency to match pace with the people near me. So when the buzzer went and the elite runners blasted out of the start, I ran fast. I checked my watch, and knew that I should slow down. But once I reach a certain speed, I have a hard time down-shifting into a lower gear, even when it’s the smart thing to do.
Starting from Lumberman’s Arch in Stanley Park, the course headed down towards Coal Harbour before looping back along the Seawall. Right around the 2K mark, I got a killer side stitch, so bad that it slowed me to a walk. It would just not let up, but as a few people starting passing me, I tried to breathe through the pain and shuffle on.
I got my second wind as I rounded the Brockton Point Lighthouse, picking up speed again. But whose bright idea was it to both start and end the race on an uphill slope? Sadists.
But I crossed the finish line, and was presented my race medal from none other than John Stanton, the founder of the Running Room and board member of Commonwealth Games Canada.
After grabbing some water and fruit, we cheered on the rest of the 5K and 10K participants and waited for the results to be posted. And guess who placed first in her age group?!? Okay, so there were only six women between 30 and 39 running the 5K but I WAS THE FASTEST OF THEM!
My prize? A towel. (“The most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have…”)
Check out the Garmin activity report for this race.
Next up? Finally participating in Vancouver’s signature running event, the BMO Vancouver Half Marathon.