Sunday, November 29, 2009

Oval Wednesdays

Welcome to Oval Wednesdays!
What are Oval Wednesdays? They are our regular BVH Wednesday night training sessions at the Olympic Oval. Meet at 8.30pm for a 15 minute warm-up and the session will start at 8.45pm. It's a regular event every Wednesday at 8.30 throughout the winter.
So what sort of sessions will we be doing? Intervals mainly. They are a chance to keep some speed in your legs over the winter months when snow and ice tend to make this much more difficult, which will make the spring races much less painful. They are also great for staying in tune for the winter cross country races.
Sessions are open to anyone - just turn up on time and even if you can't keep up with the fastest among us, we'll make sure you get a session out of it, either by handicapping it or making it a relay.
Meet inside the Oval (it's a few dollars for entry). This week we will be doing a gentle introduction - 10 x 400m (or, one lap of the Oval which is more like 440m) with 90 secs rest. I won't be there this week but we definitely have a group turning up (look for Mark Fewster if you know him). Those turning up, try and wear your BVH vests so that we are an easily recognisable group and we get the name out there!
"I feel the need, the need for speed"...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Okotoks XC Report by Ryan Rawlyk

Weather was perfect around 5 degrees with a little wind. Course was dry with good footing for the most part, some ice and snow in the coulee for short sections.

Bow Valley Harriers had two representatives myself (Ryan Rawlyk) and Jason Wilcox.

Good field of runners and the early start was a mad panic for the first corner. Me and Jason quickly found ourselves behind 10 to 20 guys.

Course was a 2 loop race with only 500m of level ground at the start of the loop. It was a hard, undulating battle both physically and mentally and the finish line could not have come soon enough. I found myself in a group of 4 for the entire race, surging and fighting from getting dropped. I was eventually gapped in the last kilometer before I was able to battle back and barely win a print finish for 12th with Lindsay Mclaren. Jason Wilcox came in 25th putting in a solid effort despite fighting off a nasty cold. Andrew Carruthers took the win handily in front of Trevor Williams.

This race is one of the better courses and definitely not one to miss next year.

Next X Country race is Silver Springs in three weeks (Dec 12). Bow Valley Harriers expects to see a better turnout, with Phil Ukrainetz and Mark Fewster back in the fold.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Cover Girl

Check out this month's Impact magazine. Harrier Syl Corbett is on the cover and there is a great article all about her achievements including the fact that she is reigning national snowshoe champ!

The full article can be accessed here:

Friday, November 20, 2009

Strides Running Store...

Friend of the Bow Valley Harriers, Strides Running Store, is having its annual Strides Friends & Family Night from 5-8:30pm on Wednesday, November 25th and they have very kindly offered all Bow Valley Harriers to be "friends and family" for this event. Turn up with your vest as proof of membership and get a head start on your Christmas shopping. There are great deals on this night only including a massive 20% of all fall shoes and clothing and 10% off accessories. For those who have not been there recently, they are now at 3558 Garrison Gate SW (across the street from the Garrison Safeway & Starbucks):

Also, don't forget the Okotoks XC race this weekend. Starts at 12 noon I believe. This may be the only year ever you can run it without snow on the ground so make the most of it! I know a few names who are running so look forward to a report.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Last Chance Half Race Report by Scott Manktelow

The Last Chance Half took place yesterday and I was fortunate enough to be present at the finish and see Harrier Manktelow (in the words of the immortal David Coleman) "open his legs and show his class". It was a fantastic finish that went right down to the wire. Here's what the Harrier himself had to say about the race:

The Last Chance Half is run along the riverside paths, starting and finishing at Eau Claire. I had two main goals for this race: 1) a new PB, and 2) having gone off-course in 4 separate races this season, I hoped to Stay On The Course. Achieving #1 was probably only going to happen if I achieved #2.

There was a strong wind from the west so the first 5km was blustery and slow. At the turnaround I accelerated and passed the early leader, Jan Pedder, and tried to lay down some fast splits with the tailwind. I got a nice gap, running the 2nd 5km almost a minute faster than the first, and going through 10km in just over 36min.

I might have been a bit too eager. By 12km, I was starting to stagger, was getting dizzy and realized it was a perfect opportunity for me to lose focus and Go Off The Course. Steely resolve was required. By 15km I could see that Jan had caught up to within 10-15 sec. and Harrier Don King was not far behind. I tried to drill it for the last 5km, but despite my best efforts, Jan kept closing the bloody gap. At the 20km marker, Jan passed me and passed HARD. I hoped he was bluffing and surged to get on his shoulder.

With 400m to go, we had to climb the ramp leading to the pedestrian bridge over the Bow R. I stumbled up the ramp, turned right, and was surprised (and dismayed) to discover myself kicking as hard as I could from 300m out. With 100m to go, I could see Duncan cheering by the side (with new baby in tow) and knew I could not let him down while wearing the dashing new Bow Valley Harriers vest. Unfortunately, Jan was still on my shoulder and it turned into a full-out sprint to the line -- not a pretty sight in a half-marathon.

I was able to get a small gap and win by one second (!), successfully getting a new PB (1:17:11) and also successfully Staying On The Course.

Much credit is due to Jan Pedder for hauling ass through the 2nd half of the race, and Don King who came in a fast-closing 3rd in 1:17:48. The full results are here:

Friday, November 13, 2009

Drinks, Training and that order!

First of all, the inaugural pub night at Kilkenny's last night was a great success. Lots of new faces to add to the names and we really are a great group of people! Not sure how many early runs will have been missed this morning...

Part of the conversation last night turned to group training sessions and there was some discussion about a group training night at the Oval on Wednesday nights from starting at either 8pm or 8.30pm. A few of us did these last year and it was good to leave it later so the place clears out and then we can either do intervals inside or head off on a run depending on what everyone is keen on. I was thinking of December 2 being the first week we try this out and then just making it a regular Wednesday night event with minimal commitment and people just turn up if they can, knowing that some of us will be there at least. Let me know what you think either by adding a comment to this post or by sending me an email (; (a) would you be interested (b) is Wednesday good for you (c) is the Oval good for you (d) what time is best for you?

Finally, it's the Last Chance half marathon this weekend and the race is sold out. Good luck to those running and I look forward to a race report...

Monday, November 9, 2009

CRR Edworthy Park XC Race Report

The sacred grey and black vests made their first appearance in a local race this weekend, and to great effect.

Saturday saw the first of the Calgary Road Runners' series of XC races. There are about 6 throughout the winter and they are well worth doing.

We had a number of Harriers competing and, as you can see from the picture on the left, the vests were out in force (picture of a very relaxed Mark Fewster leading Scott Manktelow). The full men's team was Manktelow, Fewster, Phil Ukrainetz and Ryan Rawlyk.

The early pace was forced on by Fewster, keen to impress on home soil, with Manktelow close behind and Harrier Phil Ukrainetz just behind them. In a close-fought race, however, Calgary's Trev Williams managed to outsprint Manktelow for full honours with Manktelow capping a marvellous autumn season with a second place. (Manktelow is the bookies' favourite for this weekend's Last Chance Half - provided he can stay on course that is...!) Fewster was just a few seconds further back in third and Ukrainetz finished a fantastic fourth. Rawlyk also had a good showing in a competitive race to finish 13th. A GREAT showing at the front by the Harriers. The picture on the right is of Fewster leading eventual winner, Trev Williams.
On the women's side we had just as much success with our one female participant (it's all about the quality, not the quantity with us Harriers!), Syl Corbett. Syl clearly had a very close-fought race with eventual winner Lindsay McLaren and Syl finished a matter of seconds behind Lindsay, to take the silver medal.
A very successful start to the cross country season - good work everyone! Full results are here:
The next race in this series is in Okotoks on November 21.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Races and Pub Night

There are two main races this weekend and we have BVH representatives in each. The first is the CRR Edworthy XC event at Edworthy Park. This is a great little series of races which goes throughout the winter and is great fun. Start is at 12 noon and you just turn up and pay your $10 entry. All standards are catered for and there are two races (8k and 4k) and a kids' race. I know that Harriers Manktelow and Fewster will be running and sporting their new vests to boot. I know that Manktelow in particular is very excited about dusting off the old spikes having retired them a few years ago...

Later that same day (about 7pm I think) the Banff Winterstart will set off from the Caribou Lodge. I know that Harrier Russell will be doing this sprint (for her) following her Okanagan marathon success.

I look forward to reports from all!

Finally, our first pub night will be held next Thursday (November 12th) at Kilkenny's starting at 8pm. I will be bringing the vests for those who let me know they will be there. Hope to see as many of you there as possible. Friends, partners, spouses etc welcome!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

NYC Marathon Report by Jody Draude

4:30 am - alarm. That would be EST. Too early. Perhaps I could fake an injury.

5:30 am - Staten Island ferry. Pouring rain and windy. Yup, the warm, dry, bed is looking good right now. I bet it's nice in Calgary.

6:30 am to 9:30 am - Refugee camp - with coffee and bagels. Still raining. This is not cool.

9:30 am - At the start line. An Italian guy just peed on my leg. Note to self : must, at all cost, beat that Italian guy. Can't wait to get going. This is cool (can a 40 year old say that?).

9:40 am - We're off. Rain has stopped. Windy. In our face. Still happy to be there.

Approx 1:23 and change later - 13.1 miles in, and all is well. Plan to run the second half in low 1:20s. Left the Italian guy behind long ago. This is easy. I am awesome. ( Foreshadowing....)

6: something later - Mile 14 water station. Wondering if anyone ever gone blind from splashing Gatorade in their eyes while running a race. I am something less than awesome. Bad omen. Getting plenty of shouts of "Go Harrier", though.

Approx Mile 15 - beginning to wonder if I should have taken Jeremy's Deere's advice and worn my Etonic Tayu's. Why listen to Jeremy? What does he know about running anyway? The excruciating pain emanating from my right foot within my beat-up DS Racers provides the answer. I am an idiot.

Mile 17 - wondering if I will ever walk again. I actually stop and re-tie my shoe in the hopes that somehow my amateur knot-tying technique is my issue. I curse the triple knot I tied in my shoe to ensure that it would NEVER come undone in the race. Amateur. Back and running approx 1:30 later. Shouts of "Go Harrier", replaced by "You suck Harrier". Am I in the Bronx?

Mile 20 - Decide that I will make it. Way off pace. Too bad: aside from the excruciating pain in my foot, I feel pretty good.

Mile 22 - Decide that I don't care if I ever walk again: I will at least break 2:50. Spend the next 5km all but sprinting past - well, it felt like sprinting, compared to the death march around me - the many, many inconsiderate bas--ards who passed me during the shoe fiasco. Fueled by a combination of fear of failure and anger, I pass 108 people. Not one passed me. Not sure what me knowing that fact says about me aside from the fact that I am obviously OC.

Mile 25 onward - Lots of "Go Harrier" cries again as I roar past people like a psychopath: feeling pretty chuffed about myself until it dawns on me that the huge roar from the crowd is not for me, your now humbled Harrier, but for the 52 YEAR OLD lady that just beat me. I feel a bit better that it was Joan Benoit Samuelsson (sp?) (I should have beat her). Oh well, I definitely beat the Italian urine-boy.

2:49:14 - Done . Broke 2:50. Don't care if I looked like a maniac doing it.

Approx 2:50 after start - DS Racers deposited in the rubbish bin. Note to self: listen to Jeremy.

3:53 pm - Having my fourth recovery Guinness in St James' Pub. Humbled. My only truly professional running move of the day.