Sunday, October 26

BC Cross-Country Championships (2008)

As Thomas not only ran a marathon today (congratulations mate) but also posted a race report, I can’t help but feel a tad remiss as my event was three days ago.

Saturday morning I was up early and after some obligatory coffee, Ally dropped me off at local legend Bob Reid’s house where the rest of the Prairie Inn Harrier Team had arranged to meet. From there, the twelve of us squeezed into a rented van and like a tin of briny sardines made our way down to the ferry terminal and later Vancouver. The morning was everything I dreamed it might be, sunny, cool and reminiscent of a school day-trip with friends. Having never run a XC race before, let alone on a team, I felt I was being treated a special occasion.

Not seconds after arriving at the venue, we were treated to one of the school events and I had goosebumps watching 200+ juniors dash along the opening stretch, everyone vying for pole position leading into the first corner. After grabbing our race numbers at the rugby club, Hicham and I jogged the course. It, the route, was ambitious and larger-than-life.

Having not run a XC race before I’m very bias, but the course reminded me of the attached picture. After a short flat section along the grass, the path constantly climbed looping through the edge of Stanley Park before ascending still as it made its way around the rugby pitch and track oval. It was like walking to and from school in the snow, uphill, both ways.

While stretching on the grass, we watched a few of the races the most pleasing seeing Marilyn win the Senior Women’s title (well done). Before I knew it though, I was toeing the line with 100+ athletes and… bang, we were off.

It felt like mayhem as everyone surged away from the start, before converging on the first corner and fighting for the coveted inside track. Mud flew, elbows raised, feet slipped, and I loved every minute of it. I repeatedly reminded myself to relax on the first lap and despite trying to get my gasping under control, I don’t recall breathing comfortably until after the race was finished.

With the Senior Men and Masters being run at the same time, it was difficult to tell who I was racing against but as three men passed me at the beginning of the next lap I knew it was now or never. Sadly, after dropping almost 20” between the first and second loop I knew it was going to be one of “those” days. Despite leaving everything on the course and clawing one of the men back on the third lap, I never managed to run the other two down but if nothing else they kept me honest. My splits were as follows: 7:11, 7:29, 7:41 & 8:08.

Congratulations goes out to Hicham as came third in the race! Oh, and as for my key goal, lady luck was on my side as I had time to spare crossing the line 33” before the Senior Men’s Champion Jon Brown, who ran 10-k in 31:06 (he was a bloody machine, but after going to the Olympics twice I suppose it’s par for the course).

Saturday: 1:10:17 with BC XC 8-k 30:33, 10th OA (Master)
Sunday: undulating 1:28:45

Weekly mileage: 6h49’21”, 95-k or 60 miles (I need to run more)


Thomas said...

Congratulations, and I think you are unnecessarily modest. XC is tough, as I have been told, even more so for someone not used to it.

Grellan said...

Well done Michael. XC sounds like a lot of fun, even if it is tough.

Cliff said...

I never done XC before but does it sound like fun. There is always a lot of joy and pain in running someone down.

Chris said...

Nice work Mr. Lordship. I love cross and think it is where it's at.

DadTaxi had to turn down an invite to BCs...there is joy in parenthood!!!

Anonymous said...

You were a XC Virgin!!??? Had I known, I would have done some major teasing on Saturday!! haha! Well done!! Cross is so fun and it's good for ya...puts hair on your chest. Luckily Juice digs hairy women!

Michael said...

Thanks for all the comments. The XC race was a hoot and I'll be doing more next year. I was even talking with a friend today, about setting up a local XC series in preperation for the Provincial race (say 4-k, 6-k & 8-k over 6 weeks... it's all talk at the moment).

Divamar, you rocked on Saturday! Congratulations once again on the win!

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