Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Iron Knee 2009

It was a hot morning for a race and I strapped into my Salomon S-Labs ready for a P.B...or at least I hoped. I'd previously run a 1:51 over this 21 km course and I really wanted to come in closer to 1:45. I also really wanted to beat fellow Flight Crew Member, and good friend, Duncan Coo. I'd been "secret training" for 9 weeks so why shouldn't I expect a P.B. and to beat Duncan?

As we started out of the Grouse parking lot I followed Duncan closely, trying to figure out what he was up to. I was thinking he was waiting for me, and then he'd follow me like he has in the past. It's his signature move to tail a fellow runner and then bury them with his gargantuan quads just before the finish.

Anyway, I passed him and carried on through Baden Powell Trail heading east toward Lynn Headwaters. As I crested the climb to St. Georges bench I found a nice pace with another good friend, Brad Cunningham. He carried me through to the headwaters and then left me on the flats. He's a turn-over guy. I ran through the midway with another buddy, Rob Doyle, who is also incredibly strong and quick. Considering the company, I started to wonder if I had ceded myself properly. With a push from my teaching colleague and coach, I put my head down and headed for the powerline climb up Mount Seymour. I knew I could run this monster, but I wasn't sure if I had saved enough today. On previous training runs I managed about 18 minutes river to peak. I managed the same on race day, even with a short walk just before the top. From there I made my way down hill toward the final section into Deep Cove. As I came out on to Indian River Road I grabbed some Cola from the Steed Cycles aid station. Thanks for the liquid encouragement, Kim. Back into Baden Powell and still no sign of Duncan, but four runners just ahead. The section from Quarry Rock is a personal favourite of mine and I had a suspicion that I might be able to catch these guys, and 1 girl. As I got by the third of the male runners and looked up to see Katrina, the first place women, I snagged my toe on an elevated root and hit the dirt. I rolled through it with style and grace of course, but it shook up my confidence for the remaining kilometer. A little rattled, I came out onto Panorama Drive and down into the park, still in front of the men, but no Katrina. I ran across the finish feeling solid and reading another 1:51. But, where was Duncan? I walked down to the ocean to bath my tired legs and at 1:58, Duncan's name was announced.

I'd managed one of my goals, to beat Duncan, but I still haven't run under 1:51. After telling Duncan about my secret training plan, I could see that "I'm going to get you" look in his eye. I'm really going to have to train hard to keep up from here on.

A great day. It was hot and sunny and I felt terrific. I'm really looking forward to this weekends
5 Peaks race at S.F.U. I haven't run a race this short in a while so it promises to be interesting. I was incredibly happy racing in Salomon's S-Labs and I'll definitely be out in them again this weekend.

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