So the third race of the 2024 Vancouver Island Series, the Cedar 12k, fell on the day after another event in my calendar, a retirement party for local sporting legend and SMUS teacher Ian Hyde Lay. Let’s just say that a good time was had by all. Those who visited the Bard and Banker that evening, and let’s also say that when my Sunday morning alarm went off, racing 12k was far, far from my mind.
But, mainly because I volunteered to drive the carpool (sucker!), off I went. I said to one of my club mates that I was going to take a wait-and-see approach. And after a cup or two of black coffee, a bite to eat and some last-minute hydration on the drive up, I was feeling good enough to toe the line. Not good enough to challenge my PB, mind you, but still OK. In the back of my mind, I thought “Well, let’s start at a minimal effort pace (5:00/km for me), and see how we do.” And then the horn went on the start line, and away we went…
And of course, all those good and sensible ideas got thrown out the window. Truth be told, I got into a comfortable rhythm and managed a respectable 4:30/km for the first 5k. After getting to the one standout ‘hill’ at that point (and waving at Brandon and Dusty already headed back…), I took a bit of stock of my condition and felt pretty good, truth be told.
I decided on the way back to see if I couldn’t get progressively faster on the return. And I ended up doing just that, negative splitting by almost two minutes (26:53/25:07) to finish right around 52:00, which would have been just 5 seconds off my PB. If it hadn’t been determined later that the course was approximately 90m short. Ah well. That time was still good enough for 10th place in the horrendously competitive M50-54 age group. So I was pretty pleased overall. And the warm hospitality and snacks from our friends at Bastion Run Club made it a great day.
Sean’s Strava race stats: https://www.strava.com/activities/10743274292
Cedar tips: What to do
- Have fun
- Run the rolling road to your advantage
- Run the tangents – every little bit helps!
- Hang around and socialize afterwards, and cheer on the award winners
What NOT to do
- Neglect your hydration and race prep as I did
- Get too excited with the first 1k downhill – hope you didn’t go out too fast!
This coming Sunday, Feb 25th is the unique Hatley 8k, put on by Frontrunners Athletic Club on the grounds of Royal Roads University in Colwood. I say unique because it’s part road, part trail with a sizeable hill in between. This is a race to focus on effort, not pace or time, but don’t let that scare you – it’s a great course and a lot of fun. Hope to see you there!