Date: December 1, 2013
Distance: 15k (9.3 miles)
Pace: 10:12 min/mile
Finish Time: 1:37:40
Overall Place: 60/65
If you run a race but don’t get a single photo — not even a pre-race selfie — does it really count? I hope so, because I have absolutely no photographic evidence that I ran the MEC 15K, the last race of my year of running.
After a rough start to the morning — including waking up around 4am sobbing uncontrollably due to some now-forgotten nightmare — and getting out the door late, we made the early morning drive over to the North Shore. The MEC 15K (along with a 5K and 10K) took place at the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve. (Because the race was billed as being on the Seymour Valley Trailway, I had actually expected this to be a trail race. Glad we drove up for a test run the week prior, otherwise I would have been wearing the wrong shoes.)
I was a bit anxious about the weather, due to the higher elevation and stormy weather the day before, but despite a few light rain drops on our way to the start line, the skies cleared and we actually got some bright rays of sun. It’s been such a different winter for running compared to last year, which was wet, wet, wet!
The MEC 15K was an out-and-back course along the paved trailway, with a lot of hills — although more gradual and rolling than last month’s Poppy 8K so it didn’t aggravate my knee as much. My husband and I chose to run more or less together until the turn-around point, and then each run our own pace on the way back. Between that and the slightly downhill return, my negative splits for this run are kind of ridiculous: the first couple of miles, I was running 11:50/mile, but for the final couple of miles, I was running 8:15/mile.
MEC did a great job organizing the race — package pick-up at the MEC North Vancouver store was painless, the start/finish area was simple but had exactly what a race needed (water, hot beverages, a place to keep warm). And can I rave for a moment about the massage tent? I didn’t expect such a relatively small race to offer free massages, but they did. And I didn’t expect the massage tent ladies to stick around in the cold to give massages to literally the last people to cross the finish line, but they did. They were delightful.
And that completes my year of running. So now what? Although this was a fun challenge, I’m not going to attempt to repeat it next year. For one thing, I’m spending February in Russia and don’t think I’m going to find many opportunities to run while I’m there. Я не буду бежать! Instead, my focus will be on just two half marathons, both organized by RunDisney: the Tinker Bell Half Marathon in January in Anaheim, and then the Wine and Dine Half Marathon in November in Orlando. By racing both in the same calendar year, I’ll also earn the Coast-to-Coast Challenge medal. I’m also thinking of trying to spend more time volunteering at my favourite races, and learning more about race organization and logistics.
What are your running goals for 2014?