The rain has found a new home, if only temporarily, soon to be replaced by its cousin, snow. Just having walked outside to confirm the weather shown to me on the Internet, it is cold, but not bitterly.
My mood has lifted as well as the approach of "the race" has quickened. Gunner Shaw was tragically killed in an auto-accident years before I was to make my way to this island in the sea, but his legend is palpable when on the start of line of the Harriers Gunner Shaw Memorial Cross Country Classic. An eloquent friend, Rumon Carter, wrote an article, this first of many on amateur sport on Vancouver Island we hope, on Gunner. It was personally interesting because while I have read accounts of Gunner and his running from people who knew him well, I appreciated the honour that Rumon afforded Gunner, who, like me, did not have the chance to know him. To read an reverent, articulate account of the man whose presence I will be chasing throughout Thetis Lake today makes this race even more special.
Thetis Lake is a beautiful park with miles of trails (and trials) to be explored. Each year, the there are three races that are put on by the venerable Praririe Inn Harries, and each year I anxiously await the races - the Thetis Lake Relays, Gunner Shaw, and the Stewart Mountain 10 Mile Challenge. I am not dabbling with hyperbole when I say that I look forward to these mornings more than Christmas. Both Jasper Blake and Peter Reid have spoken about how each Ironman steals a little part of you to keep for itself; each time I run at Thetis Lake, especially when racing, I feel a little part of me is restored to its original state.
I am excited to start my pre-race routine in mere moments. I will lay out my clothes, shower, shave, get dressed, listen to upbeat music on my drive over to the race, arrive an hour early, talk with people, get my number, warm up, change shoes, put warm up clothes into the bag, do some strides, and then race.
Time to find a little piece of myself.