The Totem Pole at Cates Park in North Vancouver (Photo Credit - http://tjguy98.blogspot.com)
6.3k of cross country bliss today at the Frank Reynolds Memorial Cross Country race at Cates Park in North Vancouver. It was a good race for me as I felt strong throughout, building throughout the first lap, being conservative during the second lap and pushing throughout the third and final lap. Not a blistering fast time, but a solid effort coming off the 2 x 3 miles workout on Thursday.
The day was perfect, what fall should be like for everyone everywhere. Crisp, clean air and coloured leaves, just enough dotting the ground to remind us that we are approaching the end of a cycle. I ran into Mike Murphy again with whom I am quickly becoming cross country friends.
The race went out quite quickly with a number of the young bucks who were only doing two laps racing to the front. There were also two Open Men up there as well (and by up there I mean 100m out in front after 800m). I wasn't sure of anyone there, so I worked my way slowly up to the front, jostling and being jostled through the twists of the curvy course. It was a great course and a lot of fun with enough variation to make each of the three laps enjoyable. By about 5 minutes in I was back up to fourth, but that quickly became third as we passed by one of the leaders who had twisted his foot while navigating the root-filled single track section. Unfortunate break for him as he seemed to be going well. The other guy with him was no longer visible, so I sat on the shoulder of the second place runner for as we finished the first lap and started the second. My pace had slowed as I ran on his shoulder, so after taking a little break, I made a move on the uphill and pushed the subsequent downhill to create a gap. The fact that Sonja was sitting on a rock watching my on that uphill might have a had a little bit to do with my decision to throw in a surge.
Having created a bit of a gap, I decided to not work too hard on the rest of the lap, instead waiting for the third lap to turn the screws a little more. The third lap passed much as the second, but with me running more of a time trial, unsure of whether the person in front of me was (he was that far ahead). I passed Sonja again, making sure that there was no snot on my face so as not to gross her out too much and dissuade her from attending any more of my races.
I finished second on the day and ran a 22:22; I am beginning to get a knack for these double numbers after my 27:27 last weekend. Maybe my Gunner Shaw will be a 31:31? Turns out that the guy who won the race is Norm Tinkham, he of the 1:10 and 4th place in the half marathon last weekend. That would be a reasonable explanation as to why I didn't see him at all during the race. However, I felt good on the course, my foot felt strong and my lungs are beginning to catch up to my legs. A good day. Tomorrow I hope to be in the trails a little bit, but I'll see how everything feels in the morning.
PS. If you don't have the new Macbook, you really need to get it. It is a little piece of amazing.