Race Review: Chilly Chase 10K

This weekend, I was in Vancouver. It was a get a way I set up over Christmas, just because. I figure I’m close enough and it’s a quick flight when Alaska Airlines is running on time. 45 minutes from Spokane to Seattle and 30 minutes from Seattle to Vancouver. After I had booked plane tickets, I did what any runner would do and look for races. I found the Chilly Chase race on Try Events Canada and ended  up signing up. Since I had a 1 PM flight back to the states, it really dictated the race I signed up for, as the start time was 9 AM.

I got into Vancouver Friday afternoon, though late because of plane delays. I checked into my hotel and then explored Yaletown. I ended up going to a spinning class at Cyklus in downtown Vancouver, showering and heading off to the Canucks-Panthers NHL game. Saturday, I explored downtown, did some shopping and took advantage of Dine Out Vancouver (the equivalent of restaurant week from what I could gather). I didn’t realize until Friday Night that I could have gotten my bib and packet at a place close-ish to my hotel. The place on Saturday was 10 miles away and there was no way I could get there. I ended up going with the race day pick up option.

I showed up race day around 845-850 to the starting area. The race started/finished along the Seawall and had pick up in a rec center. I was able to get my bib and socks without issue, but just be mindful that race day pick up for Try Events is $5 CAD. I gotta appreciate the race taking my $5 USD, because that’s all I had! I didn’t realize until after I was in Seattle on my way back to Spokane, that I had informally met fellow Bibrave Pro Brie at packet pick up (we were both a bit frazzled with race stuff in different fashions). I pinned my bib on and attached my running chip to my shoe. Yes, one of the old school chips that gets returned at the end of the race type of chips. Instead of the standard shirt, we got socks that were pretty cool too!

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Talk about old school timing chips

The race had 4 distances: Half marathon, 15K, 10K and 5K, so you really had a lot to choose from. Vancouver in general, doesn’t get snow and the winters are mild by Canadian standards, so being able to have a race with multiple options is huge. Since I was dealing with a tight flight connection, I ran the 10K, but I wish I could have at least done the 15K, if not the half marathon.

The course was out and back on the Seawall. The start was staggered, starting with the half, and then separated every 3 minutes. The 15K went next, followed by the 10K and 5K. Each distance had their own bib color (Blue, Red, Green, Orange). It was a flat and fast course and primarily on paved running paths. Any bikers had their own separate paths, though we were mingled with runners and running groups that weren’t involved with the race. The only spot I was unsure of was the area around the science center because it was a different type of surface.   Overall, though, no cars to worry about, overcast but dry. The rain came well after the race!  Water was every 1.5 miles or so, around the turn around points. The course was well marked, with people at major areas, and other areas with arrows or tape that marked off where to go/not go. This was a bare bones type race, which on this particular weekend, I was ok with. It let me get into my own head and get a good longer run in outside, since Spokane has been snow covered most of the winter. I finished in 1:03:03, not bad for me I think.

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I finished around 10:10. I was able to grab a banana and make my way back to the train. I took it back into the city and bolted back to the hotel. I was able to get a quick shower before heading off to the airport. I got to the airport around 1145 and through customs by noon and to my gate about 10 min before boarding. I don’t recommend that and thank goodness for global access. I can’t wait to be back in Vancouver this summer. I’m signed up for the Sciotabank Half, which hopefully will provide some good weather!

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Bedford Rotary 10K

10Ks I feel like are hard to come by.  While searching my running sites, I found the Bedford Rotary 10K, which started and finished at one of the satellite hospitals I work out of with my residency program.  It cost a whole $20 online, so of course I couldn’t say no.

The race started at 830, which means I could leave at 745 and still be early, even after picking up my bib.  The race was old school in the sense that it wasn’t even chip timed- you turned in your bag tag at the bottom of your bib as you crossed the finish.

It was in the high 50s and sunny out, perfect for running,  All 70 ish of us lined up at the make shift start and were sent off with a bell.  The first mile was good before we hit some minor hills that I didn’t remember Bedford having.  Most of the course was on paved roads along the metro parks.  The first water stop came around mile 2, and really, you didn’t need more than 2 people at each stop.  After mile 2, say hello to some more hills.  Really Bedford, I thought you were flatter.  We took a few turns (before and after mile 3) and began heading back towards are starting grounds.  The last 3,2 miles were decent and gave me a negative split, always a plus.  I passed a few people towards the end, but I couldn’t catch the little kid in front of me (daggon it).

Final time of 59:18.  And 1st in my Age Group.  There may or may not have been 1 person in my age group, but I’ll take it.  Good little shake out race after last week’s half!  Who knows if I got a prize, as after 20 minutes of waiting at the finish…

Penn Relay Distance Classic (20K) Race Review

Today of all days, I had absolutely ZERO desire to get out of bed at 615 AM to go run a 20K.  Tired from waking up at 500 AM for work during the week and not being able to go to sleep last night doesn’t bode well for a 730 AM 20K race.  But hey, I needed a long run, parking was free and that’s about where the fun stops.

The Penn Relays have been going on since 1885 and typically start with the distance classic which is usually a weekend or 2 before the actual Penn Relays (this year, they’re April 26-28 or so).  I actually forgot about the race until Wednesday when I went to check something online and realized it was actually today.  Woops.  I was wondering if this was actually going to happen as we got pouring rain all day yesterday (seriously from the time I woke up yesterday until after midnight).  But the sun was out and the Schuylkill River was high and looked like any more rain could send it flooding over the edge.  I arrived around 7 and had to find parking.  About 1/3 of a mile away was free street parking which is always a plus in Philly.  I picked up my bib and shirt and had to run and put it in my car before running back to the start in front of Franklin Field.

The course took us to the Art Museum and down West River Drive, over the East Falls Bridge, part of Kelly Drive and back the way we came.  I either love or hate out and back courses.  I hated this one because West River Drive can become monotonous.  And, it was a good 9.5-10 miles of the course.  When we got past mile 10 to where we actually had to make a decision about which way to go (up a hill or not), there was no good direction on where to go.  The Penn student volunteers decided to sit where we couldn’t see them and there was another race for Organ and Tissue Donation (a 10k/5k run or a 3k walk) that was setting up.  It was windy the entire race and I just felt like crap the entire time.  My hip flexors weren’t agreeing with me for awhile and I just wasn’t feeling like running.  I ran a 2:10:25 or something.  Had I been motivated and had this been a half I cared about, I could have PRed but oh well.  A run is a run.

The Penn Relays have been going on since 1885 so you think these guys have been doing this awhile.  While the Schuylkill River trail is nice, every distance race in Philly uses some portion of it.  The Philly Marathon uses both sides (which is why I only do the half since it only spends about 2-3 miles on it), Get Your Rear into Gear 5K/10K uses it, the Philly Distance Run uses it for a bulk of the course.  Can we come up with something else to use?  This race isn’t particularly big.  It’s almost like it’s a secret race that no one knows about.  Since it’s Palm Sunday, I give people the benefit of the doubt, but there were a boatload of people running the Organ and Tissue 10K/5K race.  The finish of the race took you into Franklin Field and around the track for the last 300m or so- I can’t tell you how much I hate races that end like that.  If I see the finish, I don’t want to run the long way around to get to it.  I think the Penn Relays could really use some PR help with the race because people would run this if they knew about it.  Still undecided if I’ll run this next year.  I have to get over the fact I really didn’t feel like running today first.

Get Your Rear Into Gear 10K

The Get Your Rear Into Gear 10K.  I had every intention of running the NYRR half this past weekend but wasn’t selected through the lottery.  I found this race instead about a week and a half ago so I signed up for it in order to keep my running motivation up for the Cleveland Marathon in May.

So after my whirlwind of a day last Saturday in getting to DC, watching some March Madness Basketball and not getting back to Philly until 3:10 AM and my apartment at 330, I woke up  around 815 and knew it was going to be a long run due to exhaustion.  I thought I left with plenty of time to park (around 855 AM) but the city is already shutting down one side of the River (Kelly Drive) and the other side of the river was detoured due to all the crew people rowing around.  So not only was parking almost non existent, you had to go around and about just to get to the race.  Spots just opening up.  By 9:25 (the start was literally a 7 minute drive from my apartment, 10 if you include actually being able to park on a good day), I figured if I don’t find a spot in the next few minutes, forget it.  At least the money I paid was going to a good cause.  i finally found a spot 1/2 mile from the start and was running to get there…

I got to the start (with some other late comers due to parking) 8:30 after the start of the 10K and 5K (there was a 2 mile walk that was getting ready to start).  I ended up just going with it and starting late.  I managed to make up some good time though and caught up with the 10kers eventually.  What was kind of a bummer was on the way back, we ran into the 2 mile walkers and trying to work through them wasn’t fun when they take up 2-3 lanes of road.  I made it to the finish in a little over an hour by my watch (1 hr 9 minutes by the clock).  Unfortunately, they never took the 8:30 off of my time officially.  Not like I was trying to win a prize or anything but still!

The best part was I got a 7.5 mile run when I was aiming for 6.2 miles and they had volunteers after the race walking around handing out water (very much appreciated).  I even was able to find a good picture of me from the event which I will be ordering since it’s so difficult to get a good picture of a person (especially me) running.  Good event, good cause, just gotta remember spring in philly means less parking since more people are out 😦 .

Side note, they have Get Your Rear Into Gear races all over the country

Side SIDE note, if your over 50, get a colonoscopy….it’s not worth getting colon cancer because you’re scared of not eating for a day in order to have a tube un through you…

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