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Comox Valley Road Runners Online Discussion Forum • View topic - Texada Island Half Marathon and Marathon
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Texada Island Half Marathon and Marathon

PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2011 9:32 pm
by Kiwi Keith
Here is a list of the local entrants in the Inaugural Texada Island Half Marathon and Marathon on Sunday.

Green Janet female marathon Courtenay
Johnstone Wendy female half Comox
Parsons Kindle female half Courtenay
Plamondon Angela female marathon Courtenay
Plamondon Roger male marathon Courtenay
Prager Andrea female half Comox
Richmond Zina female half Courtenay
Rowland Sandra female half Courtenay
Simpson Adam male half Courtenay
Smith Roslyn female half Comox
Wakelin Keith male marathon Merville

Good luck to everybody. See you there!

Re: Texada Island Half Marathon and Marathon

PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 12:35 pm
by Diane
How exciting to run an inaugural event at any distance! I'd love to join this group. I know I can't race, but i could finish the Half. Just ran for 70 mins, with 45 barefoot on the school fields by Aspen Park. At an easy pace it was so enjoyable. That's when this thought "hatched". I'll pursue it.

Re: Texada Island Half Marathon and Marathon

PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2011 7:36 pm
by Kiwi Keith
An update on entrants;

Chris Winkelaar -- half marathon
Diane Palmason -- half marathon

I drove the course today and in a word, BRUTAL! The hills are extreme both up and down, half the course is gravel logging road and there is a 2.5k steep hill on rough gravel in the first 5k! It's mostly wilderness except for one village called Van Anda at the halfway point. This is also where the half marathon starts. The start and finish for the marathon is at a very picturesque park on the water called Shelter Point. We spent the afternoon there. This evening we ate dinner at the Ravenous Raven which is also where we are staying. It's a beautiful spot. Janet, Zina, Derek and Roz also showed up for dinner. Afterwards we walked the trail beside the beach and picked blackberries.

Tomorrow my plan is to run the marathon as a training run and perhaps push it a little bit. The terrain itself will ensure a tough run.

Oh I just looked out the window and saw a cruise ship sliding through the glassy waters between Texada and Lasqueti. The air is still, the Canada geese are flying into Gilles Bay in formation and the light pink hue over the distant Vancouver Island mountains is captivating.

The economy on Texada is compromised since some industries here have shut down. The marathon and Half is a small start in the right direction for this island. 81 entrants in the first year is great. Hopefully it will grow in coming years and more people will make a full weekend of it.

More reports tomorrow.

Re: Texada Island Half Marathon and Marathon

PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 7:05 pm
by Kiwi Keith
The day dawned beautifully. No clouds or wind. A great day for the beach but not so great for running a marathon. Well, I did both so let's see how it went.

We drove to the start which was 4k from our lodging. Deb began her long run, training for the Victoria Half. I went over and talked to Roger and Angela about the course. They did not know what was in store. Soon it was time to line up and no one wanted to stand on the start line. Everyone was standing back from the line like it was the edge of a cliff or something. It was pretty funny so I stepped up and the race was on. I immediately found myself in the lead and headed up the short hill out of Shelter Point. I dropped into a nice easy rhythm and after a couple of minutes turned onto a logging road. I could hear people behind me saying things like, "what the hell?" I chuckled to myself and thought; if you thought this marathon was all pavement, guess again. You are about to get an even bigger shock.

After about 2.5k I turned off the logging road onto a one lane gravel road that signified the start of the big hill. This road was rough and was predominantly made up of loose stones ranging in size from marbles to ping pong balls. My plan for this hill was to take it easy but maintain a pace that was decent enough to keep me in the lead. At the top was the first aid station followed by the 5k mark. My time was 24 minutes. At this point I had a one minute lead on a group including Roger. From here we were back on the pavement for a few k's before turning onto Central Road which was gravel. The terrain was now undulating but with a continuing elevation gain.

Central Road was my favorite part of the course as it wound through a mixture of wooded areas and farmland. Only one car went by on this 13k section. It was mostly shaded and quiet. At one point I looked back and could not see anyone. It felt like I was on a tempo training run alone - very peaceful. After hitting the top of all the hills at about 13k, I proceeded down toward the small village of Van Anda and the halfway mark. Some of the downhills on this section were very steep and I tried not to brake too much. 10k was 49 minutes and 15k was 1:10. I passed 20k in 1:33 and was back on pavement.

Winding through Van Anda and past the half way point in 1:39, I realized the Half marathoners had about a 9 minute start on me. They started near the halfway mark and followed the same route as the marathoners to the finish. I wondered how many I would catch. Coming out of the village and onto Blubber Bay Road, I encountered the next uphill grind. It was about 3k of mostly steady climbing and by 25k I was feeling it. I decided to ease off the pace at this point. I was getting tired and I was hot. I was now on the other side of the island, running into the sun. Every water stop from here to the finish was a relief as I doused water over the back of my neck.

I was passing quite a few halfmarathoners now and it was fun to say hi to all the club members who had come over for the event. Even though I had consciously eased back on the pace, from 30k to 38k it was mostly downhill so I was maintaining even splits. In the last 4k there is a long uphill rise followed by a steep downhill near the finish. This last 4k seemed to go on forever. I was definitely feeling the effects of the sun and I was dead tired. Amazingly though, I was able to keep the same pace and crossed the line in 3:18:02. With all the hills and changes in terrain, I had even splits.

In 1975 I ran the Vancouver Marathon, my first. I finished 102nd...........last place. I was 16 years old. I vowed at that time that I would win a marathon. It took me 36 years.

11 minutes later Roger came over the line in 2nd place. A one, two finish for CVRR. It was nice to relax and cheer the runners through. Janet finished her 248th and Angela just broke 4 hours for a first place finish in the women's division. Deb and I went back to the room for a shower after I dipped in the ocean, then we came back for the awards ceremony. Angela and I received trophys made from the rock that is mined on the island for our wins. A nice touch.

Chris and Andrea had fantastic results in the half marathon, considering the heat and hills; 1:32 and 1:39 respectively. Congratulations to all the club members who ran one of the toughest courses around.

We went back to the Ravenous Raven for an excellent brunch, then headed for a beautiful sandy beach called Spanish Banks, for the rest of the afternoon. This place is a gem and known only to the locals. We had to walk on a trail for about 25 minutes to get to it but it was well worth it. Incredibly we had the entire beach to ourselves. We caught the ferry back to Powell River, had dinner at the Shinglemill Pub overlooking Powell Lake and caught the last ferry back to Little River while watching the sunset. It was a great weekend and I would highly recommend Texada Island as a short weekend getaway vacation.

The inaugural Texada "Run The Rock" half marathon and marathon is in the books and it was a success. Congratulations to Rob McWilliam and his crew. Well done!

Re: Texada Island Half Marathon and Marathon

PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 8:47 pm
by WayneC
Excellent Keith et al. Congrats on the win. Nice training run!

Re: Texada Island Half Marathon and Marathon

PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 6:49 pm
by Kiwi Keith

Re: Texada Island Half Marathon and Marathon

PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 10:38 am
by CGP

Re: Texada Island Half Marathon and Marathon

PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 12:37 pm
by WayneC

Re: Texada Island Half Marathon and Marathon

PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 4:35 pm
by Kiwi Keith

Re: Texada Island Half Marathon and Marathon

PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 8:30 pm
by WayneC
Hahaha. Reminds me of Bart Yazzo talking about finishing a marathon in 2:45 in Kenya and everyone had already packed up and headed to the pub. They found it hard to believe anyone would take that long to run a marathon.

Re: Texada Island Half Marathon and Marathon

PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 3:39 pm
by WayneC
Rumor is that a special guest will be posting a race report here soon. Just has to get his password sorted out. Looking forward to hearing the story,.

Re: Texada Island Half Marathon and Marathon

PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 4:21 pm
by Farmsalmon4ever
great race report Keith. There are lots of small marathons out there, you should try to win 10 in a row.

Sounds like a brutal course.

well done to all finishers

Re: Texada Island Half Marathon and Marathon

PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 9:49 pm
by BC
Here is the debut race report from Chris Winkelaar. Lots more reports to come in the future! :P

Run the Rock 2011 Race Report

This was to be a training run for me-not an A race as that is coming up at the end of September (MOMAR Cumberland). But I know my run fitness is a little lacking based on my performance at the Snowden group run earlier this month so I appreciated the opportunity to tackle the distance. Goals for this race were:
- Run about a 4:15 pace
- Avoid going out too fast and abandoning my pre-race plan (as has been my trend over the past few races)
- Take in fluids and food regularly to continue experimenting with waht works best for me

I managed to book some work in Powell RIver for the Sunday so that allowed me to finance part of my travel for the trip-yay! So I was able to share the wealth and shuttle over Diane and Andrea to Texada in my Supervan after meeting them on the ferry. Unfortunately, the ferry to Powell River on Sunday am was a 6:30 am start so not much sleep in and a long prep time before the race. Fortunately, I think I benefit from longer prep times as my aged body takes longer and longer to warm up now. I also got the chance to pick Diane and Andrea's brains over various running strategies (that's approximately 80 years of running experience combined!) Needless to say we were unable to cover all the ground in one morning-another time...
I did change one part of strategy based on my chat with Diane-only electrolytes with me for this race-no gels. I knew that I wanted to take in electrolytes based on the heat of the day but was nervous about mixing the Cytomax that I carry with the gels so...no gels. I also was a little hesitant about trusting the water stations on a 1st ever run but this turned out to be pretty needless. Nonetheless, I did not stop at any of the water stations along the way.
Pre-race chatter involved talk about Keith modifying his anticipated race time due to his pre-race viewing of the course and consideration of the heat. This gave me further cause to stay with my plan of staying conservative and not going out too fast.
On with the sunscreen, compression socks and Green Silence minimalist shoes. This would be my first race in the socks. I have experimented with them in tempo runs and found them to be hot but no other benefits seemingly. Still I wanted to try racing in them-how can so many cool looking guys and gals be wrong? I actually believe the research is more supportive for them as a recovery tool but this is not obvious for me either to date. The Green Silence have been my racing shoes of choice over the past year. I have Nike Free for training shoes and find the sole can catch rocks at times. The Green Silence do not, they are light and with a name like Green Silence I can catch up on someone and they dont even know I am there (aside from the heavy breathing and sweat splatters that is).
At the start line, we were given a history of the race by one of the organizers. This seemed to be informative but was interrupted frequently by messages she was receiving over her I-phone by ear piece. So in between explaining the efforts that it took to put together the 1st ever Run the Rock, we would hear her telling her phone to "Be quiet!" or "What-2 minutes to start? I better hurry this along!". Suddenly she announced the countdown- "7-6-5-4-3-2-1", the horn went and we were off!
The 1/2 marathon involved 2 loops of Van Anda before heading out on the remainder of the course. Two younger guys shot off and I considered staying with them as I was unsure how many fasties were there. Diane had heard that 1 of them was running his 1st half after having had a successful 8k so I thought he might be in over his head. Still, his 1st 8K of the race could likely be fast so no need to chase him right away I thought. The loops involved some hills and gave an early favour for the remainder of the course. My 1st K went by in 3:57-oops! better back off...I went by the crowd at the start line again and they were cheering wildly-a very enthusiastic organizing crowd-that was great!
The course seemed to get onto gravel roads right away after leaving town and along came the hills. Fortunately, much of the logging roads were out of direct sunlight so that allowed me to keep somewhat cool. I also like having to focus on my footing as it takes my mind off of thinking how long the race is and how much I am suffering otherwise. On the hills, I would think of 'fast knees' to keep up a quick cadence and not overstride. When going downhill, I think of leaning forward and keeping my feet close to the ground to-you guessed it-keep a quick cadence and avoid overstriding. On the flats-and there was not much of them for the first 12k-I think of proper arm swing to maintain good form.
So..there was much to think about as the course went up, down, up, up, little down and on and on. My Garmin was set to give me feedback on actual pace and I was looking for 4:15 but the course never offered much chance to truly guage pace so mostly I went by feel. As I said, I did not stop at any of the water stations but I was sure to say thanks at each one. I took little sips of my Cytomax but did not actually end up drinking the whole 500mL by the end.
Given the hills and turns of the course it was also hard to determine where the frontrunners were. Definitely ahead of me but I could not really tell how far. I tried to use the yells from the aid stations to determine how far back my chasers were but that didnt work much after about the first 5K. So..I ran alone for the whole race. That really was fine for me as I am not much of a talker when running and it allowed me to get into my own groove. Maybe I could have pushed or been pushed more but it was a training run after all and probably not the place for it.
After 12k, the course seemed to be descending and I took advantage by increasing my speed. I felt good on this portion and knew that the majority of hills was behind me. Into Gilles Bay and-well-a bagpiper! This was a good distraction and kept me relaxed as I made the turn into town. I began to focus on breathing as I knew that the end was coming. This is typically when I start to fall apart a bit and lose focus. A course marker seemed off (only 2k to go? thats not right!) and this threw me a little too. Still I knew I was having a good run and wanted to keep it together for the final stretch.
I was a little sad that I could not see the 8k specialist but oh, well - good 1st half for him-beginners luck! Then it was around the corner and I could see the finish line. Relax..finish strong for the cameras and.. done! I was given my finisher magnet-a piece of stone from the local quarry and then immediately carried on down to the ocean. All gear off and into the salt water-a fantastic way to finish!
I was pleased with my race-a 1:32 for 3rd overall with a 4:31 average pace. The course did measure short by Garmin-20.48 k but in this case, I usually trust the markers got it right!
Post-race food was fine-watermelon, bananas and oranges. I got to see the CVRRs finish and hear about the difficulty of the marathon course from Keith, Roger, Angela and Janet. Definitely not a good choice for one's first ever marathon as it was for some locals.
There was a little mix-up in picking up Supervan from the start line but we managed to make it to the ferry line in plenty of time (despite Roger's fearmongering) and back to PR for me to go to work and then meet the gang for Thai food.
It was a long day but fulfilling-way to host a run Avid Fitness and Texada Island!

Re: Texada Island Half Marathon and Marathon

PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 6:23 am
by WayneC
Nice job CW. Way to keep to the plan. Just as well you did not see anyone as I sense that the plan may have gone out the window. Look forward to the next report.