Being subscribed to the Canada Running Series email list after all those Scotiabank (half-) marathons, I learned about the inaugural Vancouver Eastside 10K as soon as the news broke back in January or whenever it was. While I wasn’t running anymore, I was still intrigued.
Back then, I was languishing in a ground level feels-like-a-basement apartment in east Vancouver and participating in the run just seemed a little cliché. Then, finally, all of my life started to move forward in the end of summer and I moved out and into the city’s better-to-do Westside and I could stomach a sojourn back to the east side. And I wanted that medal after it was revealed in August. And my new runner cousin, Alan, was registering and so was his visiting friend from Toronto.
Mind you my last race was last October’s Detroit half and I most definitely have not going running, not even on a treadmill, since coming back to Vancouver eight months ago.
Was I going to wing it the way Alan wings his 10Ks? That would be a first for me.
Work will reimburse. The inaugural race. A decently designed t-shirt (sourced from a no-name though). My affinity for things “east” because that’s where I come from. Alan is doing it and I really do look up to my older cousin. And that unveiled medal that is shaped like a dog tag and features Vancouver’s flat iron building. I signed up and on the last day to register, I sent Alan a friendly text message to remind him to register.
The last few weeks have been crazy and I have been canceling my barre and ballet classes left and right. Not that they provided any cardio exercise. I did do the Grouse Grind (slowly) two weeks ago. I didn’t even carbo load.
In the morning I ate a banana and drank water. It’s just a 10K, a no-pressure workout for me while a thousand other people are racing. I wore Capri length tights in skin colour because I’m definitely a candidate for thigh chafing and a long sleeved black race shirt from my last race. Maybe that can be my new tradition: wear the race shirt from my last race so the last experience can spur me on.
Alan and I arrived separately and we met up with his friend and friend’s father. Mr. S is over 65 and does trail running near this home on the North Shore and son, S, just started running and completed his first 10K last weekend.
I’m glad the charities supported revolve around the troubled downtown eastside including women’s shelters and food banks. It was a conscientious race that made a lot of effort to minimize refuse and divert other waste to appropriate recycling and organics bins. The porta-potty line was horrible.
From racing the old Vancouver marathon route, I suspected the east side could be a bit hilly. It all looks kind of scary over a 10K distance but it was just lightly rolling with great downhill stretches and a downhill to the finish line.
I didn’t expect it but Alan kept me company the entire way. We chatted and I stretched out my inane stories, but stories nonetheless. He never suggested resting so we only broke for a walk at water stations and once around 8K, after a corner with high concentration of people cheer. My right trap muscle was sore I believe from gripping my old iPhone in my hand. Alan marveled how I’ll thank random people cheering and probably when I whoop a cheer for frontrunners we saw and the band.
We reached halfway just after 30 minutes and slowed down a bit in the back half, but never gave up. I had predicted a 1:15 finish if I was lucky and we slid in around 1:05. I’m happy that I participated in the inaugural race and spent time with my cousin doing something unique.
Mr. S and S finished before us and S stood in the middle behind the finish line and took multiple photos of me and Alan crossing the finish. Both of them finished in under 56 minutes and S was happy to beat his father at something as Mr. S excels at hiking and ribs his son about it… then Mr. S lined up to see his exact time and place at the SportsStats.com kiosk and I pointed out he might have won something because he was in the top three of his age category. Sure enough, Mr. S picked up a big honking round medal, S still didn’t fully beat his father and a large anime tear formed on his cheek!
We didn’t really plan it out but my cousin saved me from a bad race so I’m eternally grateful.
Results from Sportstats.ca
Gun time: 1:06:26
Chip time: 1:05:04
Overall place: 960 / 1,495
Place in gender fields: 446 / 828
Place in age+gender field: 70/129
First half: 31:58
Second half: 33:06
Final sprint (I didn’t know they were measuring it): 0:19.3