Saturday, September 14, 2013

Eastside 10k 2013

This was the inaugural running of this event and offered a great opportunity to race through the historic and colorful downtown east side of Vancouver.  The area was the city center at one time but has seen significant urban decay since then and has become synonymous with poverty, homelessness, drug use and the sex trade. Like I said, a very colorful part of the city and not one that I would normally choose to run through.

The race attracted a sell out field of 1,500 runners. All the usual suspects lined up at the front in the elites section. The weather was cool and perfect for running as we set off. The first kilometer was mainly downhill and a nice easy start but I knew that it was also the end to the race as well, so an uphill and not such an easy last kilometer finish.

Soon into the race there lots of interesting views and scenery along the way.  As well as some great vistas across the city and old historic buildings, there were some interesting spectators too.  It was great to see lots of support from the east side locals that we were running past on the streets, many of which were the down and outs. Smiling faces and cheers of support.

The hills were plentiful, not overly steep but were fairly long and I could see that my mile splits were slightly down on what I had hoped for, just a few seconds per mile.  However, I was pushing hard and I needed to leave enough in the tank for the latter stages of the race. Maybe I could make up a few seconds when there is a flat section without any hills. However, as it turned out, there really wasn't any flat sections of more than a few hundred meters at a time.

It was getting tough as I ran past the 8km marker but I knew that the end was close. However, the last big climb was still to come.  This is when the hill training would pay off.  As it turned out, I made short work of the last hill and the finishing line was only about a kilometer away and now in sight.  I gave it everything that I had left.  I was digging very deep when I saw my good friend Janette and her dad cheering me on (for the third time in the race - speedy supporters of the year award!) which helped to spur me on and I crossed the line in 42mins 27secs.  Not what I had hoped for but the course was not easy and I had given my all. The results showed that I had finished 8th in my age category and 100th overall out of 1,500.  Not too shabby!

To say that it was a brand new event, the race organizers did a great job.  The course was awesome, everything ran very smoothly and a really nice shirt and medal provided too. The Eastside 10k is here to stay!

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