Cobble Hill 10K: The Russian Doll of the Vancouver Island Race Series
The Cobble Hill 10KM is the Russian Doll of the Vancouver Island Race Series. It’s a race in a race in a race, in the sense that there are three very distinct sections.
The first part is the first three klicks, and it has no surprises. The first two are flat and allow you to settle in a pace and hopefully find your little pace group. Right away, you get a little out and back and you can wave at all the familiar faces you see on the course. The first section has all the ingredients to get you off to a good start. After two kilometres, the uphill begins. It’s a very gradual uphill, nothing to worry about. While you shouldn’t blow up in the first two miles (3K), this course asks for a start that’s a touch hot. There are many flat parts where you can give a little extra kick, so this is the time to do it.Photo credit: Joseph Camilleri. The Cobble Hill 10K archway
The second part starts when you turn right and as you begin your fourth kilometre. Things are getting bumpy. Some uphill, some downhill, some a bit shorter, some a bit steeper. The road narrows and there may or may not be some potholes you want to avoid. Until the turnaround, you might still be somewhat comfortable because it’s been more downhill than uphill. You can guess what’s coming though, the same bumps you just did but from the other direction. It will feel steeper, longer, and harder. And you would be right to feel that. If you started out a little hot, this is the time to use the extra seconds you banked. Don’t overdo it on the uphill. You only need one thought in your head: hold on. Don’t get discouraged, things are about to get better, much better.
Right as you finish up the eight-kilometre, you will turn back on the main road. The road gets wider and smoother, and this is the time to open up. Remember the gradual uphill at the beginning? That’s a gradual downhill now. So peddle to the metal. If you don’t do it now, you’ll regret it later. The final 400m are ever-so-slightly uphill again, so you have to win your race here. When the course goes uphill close to the finish line, try to hold on. You can see the finish, you can see the clock. You vaguely hear the speaker announce someone’s name. Could it be yours? Only one way to find out: get to that finish line.
And just like that, you got yourself a new personal best on the 10KM. Enjoy the race!
By Sander Nederveen