2014 Hatley Castle 8k

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2014 Hatley Castle 8k

Postby BC » Fri Mar 07, 2014 7:51 pm

Hatley 2014

Race day was far from ideal. We met at Safeway to leave for 7:30. I had talked to Wille about picking him up on the way to the meeting but had to change plans the night before. So the group of us were at the pickup ready to leave and Wille still hadn't shown up. I knew he was supposed to be coming so I called him to see where he was. He answered groggily. “Can you come pick me up?” F*#$*!!! Clay was nice enough to say that he would pick Wille up, so off we went. Once we were on the road we made pretty good time. No stop in Nanaimo, though, so my race morning routine was definitely a bit thrown off. We ended up stopping at Safeway in Duncan. After we finished doing our bathroom break, Clay and Wille decided that they wanted something to eat. So we waited again while they got a breakfast sandwich. Back in the car and on our way. The sandwich smelled delicious and awful at the same time; the sort of thing that I knew would never sit well with me in a race, but would taste just SO good on the way down. Clay and Wille both bragged about the olive tapenade. We got to Hatley at about 10:20. Crap! Luckily they let us park in the lower lot, but it was still another 5 or more minutes before we were actually at the gym for registration. I quickly grabbed my number and changed, then headed outside to check out the bathroom lineups. They were depressingly long. Crap! I knew of a few other bathrooms from the previous year, when we arrived late with Les so I jogged over to the cafe as a warmup and dashed in to use the bathroom. No line! On the way, I also ran into some peacocks which was totally cool. There were three of them perched on a railing and they were so still, I first thought they were incredibly elaborate statues. I was just thinking how crazy it was that someone had gone to all the effort to carve that sort of detail, when they moved their heads to keep an eye on me as I passed. It was awesome and inspiring! With the bathroom business done, I jogged back, took of my warmups and started doing a few strides. I had only done three when it was time to get to the start. Talk about a short warmup! They had done roadwork at the start so the road was even narrower than usual, unless you wanted to run on a rough gravel shoulder. As we waited for the final countdown, I noticed that none of the regular Bastion boys were there. I had hoped to be able to keep pace with Byron in this race. Oh well.

We started off and blasted down the hill. I was close to the front, just behind Thomas and Shane. I was in a pack with Nick Patenaude and Clay. The kilometre clicked by quickly, with the only mishap being a near miss when Thomas and Shane almost took a wrong turn. Gary Duncan shouted out from behind and corrected them before they could even get off course. 1Km was in 3:20. Next was the climb to the out and back. Clay pulled slightly ahead of me and both of us moved past Nick. The hill felt smooth, and we reached 2km in 3:53. On the downhill I tried to keep it easy and controlled. Clay was still in front, and I just aimed to not let him get a huge gap, knowing that the hill was coming up at 3k. The descent was smooth with 3k in 3:32. Just as we hit the bottom of the big hill, a guy in black came flying down and passed us. I went into climbing gear and quickly ground past the man in black, with Clay almost at my shoulder. I kept a steady pace and was able to slowly pull away from Clay. Reaching the top of the hill, I thought, “Don't let up! Hold this effort over the top and you will put them away!” I held to the plan, and was rewarded with a comfortable gap on Clay and the man in black. I was definitely hurting as I ran along the flats on top of the hill, but I held on for a 3:59. Now across the flats, there was only a guy in orange who was quite a ways ahead of me. Too far ahead to catch, so it felt difficult to gauge my pace and effort here. I was completely alone and felt almost like I had no reference point even. 5K went by in 3:43. As we headed to the gravel out and back, I could start to hear some heavy breathing creeping up behind me. Crap! I kept pushing but was definitely hurting. As I hit the turn around, I saw that it was the man in black. Clay had fallen a ways back and was with Nick Patenaude. We hit the trails, and suddenly I felt great. I was dipping and dodging around puddles, and having a blast. I could sense that he was still gaining on me, but I thought, “I'm going to make him work for it!” and made sure always to take the best lines and run the tangents. He passed me just before the little bugger of a hill. I caught back up on the hill, but he quickly pulled away from me. Damn! 6K was in 3:47. Now it was just a little more gravel trail and then the crazy downhill. I kept him relatively close and felt like I closed a little as I ran like a bat out of hell down the hill. So fun! This was actually the first time ever that I didn't feel like the soles of my feet were on fire by the bottom of the hill. Not sure whether that is a good sign or a bad sign! We hit the flats and the 7k mark in 3:21. It was somewhere around here that I looked at my watch and did some mental calculations. If my PB is 27:37, I would need to run a couple 3min Ks to hit my PB. Clearly that is not going to happen. I felt like the guy in front was out of my attacking range, and there was no-one close enough to be a threat, so I eased off on the pace somewhat and ground out the last kilometre. Then with about 500m to go, the man in black wiped out in the gravel. There didn't seem to be anything there, but he ate shit face first. Holy crap! “Are you ok?!?” I yelled. He didn't answer, but got straight back up and kept running now only about 10m ahead of me. The brought back memories of the previous year, when Laurence Coogan wiped out in almost the exact same place. Weird! We kept pushing, and I started reasoning with myself as to why I shouldn't try for the sprint. What a wimp! We had just crossed the sprint line and probably reached the 80m to go mark, when all of a sudden the man in black went down again! I was in shock. What do I do!?! Do I stop and help him? Do I sprint past? Do I run through and then wait before crossing the line? Argh!?! There were people there so I ran past and finished, but boy did I feel terrible! It's funny because I had just been listening to a podcast that talked about how the trail runner ethic is to always stop and help. I definitely feel that I let up with the distraction of not knowing what to do. But I still finished with a 3:28, for an overall time of 29:06.

The other thing that I forgot to mention in the race was that on Saturday I had gone out and done some cross-country skiing. I did classic skiing, which I don't think I had ever done before. And through the race I could definitely feel it in my legs. After finishing the race I realized that my PB had been 28:37, no 27:37. I felt like if I had known that at the time and kept pushing through the final k and a bit I might have been able to meet or beat my PB. Now in the looking at the splits I think that was probably unlikely, but who knows!

We did a nice group cool down, and it was fun to catch up with everybody. It was funny chatting with Clay, because he said his plan had been to drop me on the hills. He said that it crushed his will when I keep the pace at the top of the hill (the plan worked! :P) He also said that he struggled with his guts, and especially olive tapenade burps throughout the race. It was especially hilarious when Wille overhead, and his experience echoed Clay's. All in all a good day, so we'll see how the body holds together for Bazan!
I've got nothing to do today but smile :) - Simon and Garfunkel

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Re: 2014 Hatley Castle 8k

Postby Kiwi Keith » Sat Mar 08, 2014 12:04 am

Holy, I didn't know about the guy falling. Did you find out what was going on?
"Aint nothin gonna breaka my stride, I'm running and I won't touch ground, oh no I've got to keep on movin."
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Re: 2014 Hatley Castle 8k

Postby BC » Sat Apr 05, 2014 8:45 pm

No idea! He seemed to be fine, apart from a nice scrape on his arm from the gravel. He did get taken to first aid as soon as he crossed the line. His name is Shay Averbuch.
I've got nothing to do today but smile :) - Simon and Garfunkel

Toenails are for sissies!

We the artisans of dirt, rock, and snow, humble dancers of steep mountain trails...
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