Few months ago, I promised my sponsors from the Skechers Canada Performance Division to run a race for the team on Canada Day at White Rock. I wasn’t sure if I was going to do the 5 or 10K. If you have read my previous blog at the Scotiabank Half, you’d have probably realized I was in a bit of hot water. Considering I was still recovering from the half and I was still ill, I decided to run the shorter distance.
I have not been to White Rock for more than a decade. I really had no idea about the course that I’d been running on Canada Day.
Having a glance at the course route above and from Google Map, it appeared to me that it was a nice out-back flat route along the beach. Sounds nice and easy, eh!
I was actually quite eager to run the 10K race after realizing that the winner would receive a maple leaf shaped diamond pendent as 1st prize. However, I was unfit to be competitive. I stuck to my initial decision to race the 5k.
I got up extra early for this 5K race as it’d take almost a good hour of highway driving from my home to race site. When I reached White Rock, I slowly realized that this is a very hilly city. I never remembered this place was like that. All I could remembered was the beach, the restaurants, hard to find parking and the painted white rock. I was still naive believing that the course was nice and flat along the beach similar to the seawall around Stanley Park in Vancouver.
TryEvents is always great in setting up their events. Everyone was dressed in red to celebrate the national day. Sponsors’ booths were nicely organized. I got changed in my car and took a slow jog to the start line to check out where I’d be running. I just realized that I was not running along any seawall, promenade or flat route. The route was along Marine Dr. The hills were massive. I was shocked in awe. I didn’t expect to run hills that morning. My body just whined to the point I wanted to shut it off and go for a nap. I dragged myself for an easy 30min warm up. I was completely unfamiliar to the neighbourhood. I was running like a curious cat trespassing into the residential area. It was interesting to run into the First Nation’s reserve area. I mean the experience was quite adventurous. Anyhow, I did some easy run and some strides.
At the start line, a First Nation lady led everyone to sing the national anthem in the First Nation language and then we all sang again in English. There were few competitive runners I recognized in the crowd. One of them was Chris Barth, who became the eventual 10K winner.
We did a quick count down and off we go. The course was very steep rolling hills. I went out feeling easy sticking with the first pack. I knew I wouldn’t be able to run at that pace (~3:30) for too long when the hill comes, so I slowed down to about 3:45 and was eventually running on my own. I finished the first steep hill and 2km at about sub 7:30min. I made the turn around at half way point and realized there was really no one coming after me. I eased up a little on my pace as I ran the next two hills. I never really did look back. It was great having so many spectators cheering for us. I kept a nice steady pace on each hill without pushing hard too much. Viola, it was about less than 1KM to the finish line. I kept a steady pace at about 3:45min/K and crossed the finish line with overall 1st place. Beautiful!
Thank you for reading my post. I’ll be racing in 18 days at the Summerfast 10k. Hopefully, I will be fully recovered by then and race a good time. Cheers!