Wednesday, June 17

25th Chemainus Legion Twilight Shuffle 5K

(BC 5K Road Race Championship)

With an achilles that has been nothing short of maddening, I decided to book an appointment with my witchdoctor of choice. Janet is a lovely lady, with a warm smile who’s quick to laugh. However, underneath that façade is an individual who I’m convinced takes great pleasure in causing others, if only me, immense pain. There was a moment I remember clearly when I should’ve been face down on the massage table, but instead my back was arched like a cobra and I found myself quietly murmuring uncle. She had found my threshold.

Tuesday morning my achilles felt markedly better.

That afternoon, a colleague and I booked off work a tad early and drove the 90’ up island to the sleepy little town of Chemainus (locally known as the “Little Town That Did”). Not allowing for the early evening traffic, we arrived much later than expected. After a quick warm-up and an even quicker trip to the loo, I found myself toeing the start line with an unusual amount of butterflies in my stomach… it was the thought of going from “zero to pain”, that had me questioning why.

The elevation profile of the first kilometre is analogous to a large ladle, what with an ever decreasing downhill only to be followed by a bitch of a hill. Given that, I split the K in 3:15, five seconds faster than intended. After passing through the start/finish line we ran back down Main Street and up another hill into a large gravel log sort. At this point, the race started to break open and I found myself amongst a pack of eight. Unfortunately rather than concentrating on relaxing and finding some rhythm, we found ourselves hot-footing it through potholes and rocks. I knew I was slowing down but didn’t expect a 3:35.

The next two kilometres were relatively uneventful. Although there was minor reorganization in the group, we had pretty much succumbed to our positions. It was at about the 4k marker that Gord Christie (a former 2:11 marathoner) passed me, and it was at that very moment I feared I was going backwards. I remembering urging the others in the group to stay with the living legend, but despite a willing mind my legs weren’t ready. The last kilometre was akin to adding insult to injury, as we once again traced back down the panhandle only to struggle up the hollow.

I finished with a time of 17:23 (3:15, 3:35, 3:29, 3:30, 3:32), which was 4” faster than the Black Press 5,000m I ran May 15th. What I take solace in, is that fact that this was a significantly harder course. I know there are pitfalls when comparing, but the winner of both races was 20” slower in Chemainus, and Paul O’Callaghan & Gord Christie were respectively 51” and 19” slower. Regardless, yesterday was a step in the right direction (sore achilles and all), and I’m looking forward to my final 5k test on July 1st.



Monday: day off (scheduled)

Tuesday: 1:02:15 with Twilight Shuffle 5k, 17:23, 21/553 OA, 6th AG, 3:29km/pace

Wednesday: easy 37:38


Thomas said...

As you've said yourself, a step in the right direction.

Grellan said...

Good solid race Michael given the terrain and achilles. The only urge I get 4k into a 5k race is to stop or throw up!

Wayne said...

Congrats. Be careful not to aggrevate the achilles.

Michael said...

Thanks everyone. Grellan, I was surprised myself that I wanted to push forward at 4k, but in the end I was afriad I'd blow and end up going backwards. That said, 4k into a 5k race, I think my reasoning was a mistake... next time.

Wayne, achilles seems to be getting better, fingers crossed.

Cliff said...


Just wanna say thanks for the encouragement. There shall be some crazy running on the HIM :).

Chris said...

I am glad witch Dr. has improved your achilles

A corretion: Gord Christie once ran a 2:14 marathon. He also participated in the Commonwealth Games in the 1500m - but had an off day, that day, so no medal. He also once beat Kenyan Henry Rono in the Vegas Half Marathon, by running a 61 minute half. Rono, as you probably know owned at least 3 world records at one time.

Anonymous said...