Harriers Pioneer 8K: BC 8K Championships
For us mid to north island runners, the day began early with a 6:45 AM bus departure from Courtenay. I would like to give a big shout-out to Derek Kaufman from Run to Beer Comox Valley (RTBCV) for organizing the bus and allowing a great group of approximately 40 runners from Comox Valley Road Runners (CVRR) and RTBCV clubs to ride in style down to North Saanich.
Advantages of taking the group coach bus
Restful: Close your eyes. Visualize the upcoming race. Or just have a nap.
Social: Have some fun conversations, our bus even featured a friendly in-transit trivia contest.
Green: Reduce auto emissions and traffic on the road.
Economical: Bus cost was certainly cheaper than fuel and/or hundreds of kilometres of wear and tear on your vehicle and tires.
Safe: Seatbelts on the bus and the ability to have a beer (or two) after the race.
Private washroom: Though admittedly not the most pleasant toilet experience.
Secure: The bus was locked during the race, so phones and wallets were safe.
The Pioneer 8K was my first run of 2023, I spent pretty much all of December attending holiday parties and despite my intentions to get some training sessions in…
…it simply didn’t happen.
So, I implemented the good old “start slow….then fade” race strategy. I really enjoyed the energy and the rolling 8K course was great. In a surprising turn of events, my final kilometre was my fastest of the day and that bodes well for the future. Thank you to PIH, sponsors, volunteers, and VIRA for putting on a quality event. ‘Twas a great day with some really amazing runners in attendance.
Post-race our coach bus made a critical stop at the Prairie Inn Pub on the way home. Post race pub lunch is an essential part of VIRA racing for many, especially the RTBCV group. Established in 1859, this pub featured a genuine neighbourhood pub decor and hearty and wholesome comfort food which really hit the spot. Hoyne Brewing ‘Dark Matter’ was a popular beer on the menu too. Always important to think about caloric replacement after racing.
Cobble Hill 10K
What a fantastic day we had for the Cobble Hill 10K. Is it just me or do these races seem to be getting bigger and more popular?
There was truly spectacular winter weather for the 10K and I really loved the new course, though, for the second race in a row, I heard a bit of whining about an uphill finish. Maybe I should be adding in some hill interval training soon?
[editor’s note: The final 2K are downhill, Steve may have enjoyed a Dark Matter early for this race].
For the second event in a row, my final kilometre of the race was my fastest and while not ideal. It’s good in these early January races, knowing I am drastically under-trained, to just try and maintain an easy cruisy rhythm. This way I may enjoy more of being “out there” in the mid-to-back of the pack. For the second race in a row, I managed to break the top 30 in my age category.
It was so great to see my fellow CVRR and RTBCV teammates out on the course too. I saw my friend Livia just in front of me with 500m to go, I love trying to track down my running buddies on the course and then try and go wheezing past them at the line. Not whizzing…. WHEEZING. Try as I might… Livia could not be caught. Next time Liv. Next time.
Post-race featured our annual visit to the Cobblestone Pub for caloric replacement therapy. I truly love the smell of Voltaren anti-inflammatory gel combined with the smell of beer. I highly recommend the Buffalo Chicken Wrap with fries. There was Hoyne Brewing ‘Dark Matter’ beer on tap too. Delicious.
Thank you so much to Ceevacs Road Runners, all of the sponsors, volunteers, and VIRA for a fantastic day. It takes a small army to run a successful event. We are all so lucky to have these fun opportunities for competitive recreation on Vancouver Island. Time to start upping the mileage for the 12K and the 21.1K half-marathon coming up fast!
Next race is indeed the Cedar 12K in Nanaimo.