Thursday, 2 October 2014

2014 Vancouver Eastside 10K

On September 11th, I received an email with the subject line 'Eastside 10k Event Confirmation - Bring to Packet Pickup.'  The body of the email had lots of pictures, ads, and race day information.  Then, I saw my details:

Joseph Hayden
Start Corral: BLUE | Start Time: 8:30am
Age: 30 | Gender: M
Bib Number: 666 

My immediate thought?  I have to get some horns, a cape, a tail, and a pitch fork.  The next day, I did just that.  And so began my experience running the Eastside 10K.

The morning of September 13th, my friend Ruth picked me up to give me a ride to the start line.  The look on her face said it all.  It was the perfect thing to wear to this race.  Not only was my bib number 666, but earlier that month there was an indecent with a devil statue at the Eastside Sky Train station.  Someone had erected an 8 foot tall devil statue on an empty pedestal.  

When I arrived at the start line, I received many puzzling looks.  But as soon as they saw my bib number they laughed.   

As the race began, the spectators at the start line clapped and cheered for the devil.  Many other spectators shouted at runners in front of me to "Run faster!  The devil is on your heels!"  These runners turned to see me and smiled!

The race started out on a nice down hill, then went into a few undulating hills before evening out.  The route was a nice out and back, but the way the course was aimed, the sun was in your eyes during the whole 'out' section.

I was feeling very good.  Coming off the Dumbo Dare a few weeks before, I was worried about my endurance. I had to drop my normal 10:1 intervals to a 6:1 for the half marathon.  But the day before the Eastside 10K I had run 12K with a friend and teammate at 10:1 and felt great.  It's amazing how much confidence can be restored after a good training run!

The volunteers on the course were some of the most encouraging people I have ever seen/heard.  The route took us through some of the more downtrodden areas of Vancouver, but people on the streets cheered for us like they knew us.  

On the 'back' section of the course, the sun was behind us, casting long shadows in the road.   It was then that I noticed that my tail was swinging in a very rhythmic, pendulum swing.  All I could think about what how girls' pony tails do the same thing and how memorizing it was. Often times when in the zone, I find myself staring at the motion of the pendulum ponytails.  Then it hit me.  Someone behind me had to be staring at my butt.  This gave me motivation to keep my pace up.  It must have worked, because my 5K splits were only 2 seconds apart. 

As we approached the opposite side of the undulating hills, the sun was in a position to cast my devilish shadow up the hill.  Runners in front of me would see my shadow, exclaim that the devil was chasing them up the hill, and began to run faster.  This was their own downfall of course.  Little did they know that this handsome devil runs faster up hill than on flat ground.

I crossed the finish line with many laughs and applause.  While waiting for water, food, and my body to cool down, several people asked for a picture with me.  One woman told me that she would had never made it up those hills if it was not for my shadow chasing her.  One of the race officials told me that he wanted my picture because I "embraced that bib number."  Apparently when that number was given in the past, people would complain and request a different number.

The race seemed to fly by.  It did not seem to last as long as most 10Ks I have ran.  I honestly do not know if this was a personal best on a 10K (mainly because I don't know what any of my other 10K times were).  Most 10K races I've ran were part of training for a half, so I focused more on doing the distance than the time. 

Great race, great support, great crowd, great atmosphere.  If you are looking for a local 10K come September of next year (and live in Vancouver), I highly recommend this one!

Pace: 6:48/k
1st 5K split: 33:59
2nd 5k split: 34:01

Thank you for taking the time to share in my journey as an endurance athlete.

Up next:  Vancouver Rock and Roll Half Marathon! 

No comments:

Post a Comment