Monday, May 30, 2011

Wednesday 5k

We were busy Harriers at the weekend!  While most of us were tearing up the streets of Calagry and while Blaine was pushing new boundaries in Ottawa, Harrier Carl Pryce quietly strolled to a 3 minute victory in the Blackfoot 100k (that's the equivalent of out-dipping your opponent over that distance).

But it's not all over yet.  Wednesday sees the latest in the "First Wednesday of the Month" 5K race series.  Usual place (under the Olympic Arches in Eau Claire), usual time (7pm start).  As an added incentive we have marathon hero Blaine Penny on the lead bike.  Blaine will be signing copies of his book "How to beat your goals 5 months in advance".

See you all Wednesday!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Ottawa Race weekend

By Blaine Penny

Family Fun Run

For anyone looking for a fun destination family race weekend, I highly recommend Ottawa. This is the second year we have come to Ottawa to visit family and friends - Sarah grew up here - and to do a little running, and there is something for everyone.

It all kicked off with the 2 km family run on Saturday afternoon. There were literally thousands of families running together which is such a fun atmosphere. Julia was tearing it up with her friend Jane while we just tried to keep tabs on her and follow with Evan without losing her.

Sarah’s 10 km

Sarah ran the 10 km (along with our good friend Anne), which was a later start at 6 pm. Evan and I were on course to cheer her on. With her blue tank top, she blended in nicely with the other 15,000 people who wore their new (blue) race shirts. It was mesmerizing trying to pick her out of the crowd! We did manage to catch her on the final few hundred meters and cheer her to the finish. She ran a new PB of 50 min and a few seconds, which is about 14 minutes faster than last year!


Next up was the marathon this morning with an early 7 am start. It was misty rain and about 17 degrees to start. I knew the high humidity was going to be tough and made an early mental note to drink more than usual. Within the first kilometer I was just starting to find my pace when I hear “Hey Harrier!”. I turn around and I see this woman in yellow that I didn’t recognize and she was quick to introduce herself as Emily. Aaron and Jeremy mentioned that a speedster by the name of Emily was going to be at the race and joining the run from Boston en route to a summer in Calgary. (Emily I have learned is a running superstar and has won many Canadian titles over the years.
I asked Emily her goal time and she said it was 2:40, and I said “Perfect – me too”. She then pointed up ahead to a 2:36 pacer and we shortly bunched into a group of about 6 or 7 runners with the pacer. I was thinking this was faster than I wanted to be going, but figured I would go with the pace for a few km’s and see how it felt. We all stuck together until about the 15 km mark and Emily started falling off the back a bit, and slowly but surely our pack was diminishing one by one.

I was lucky to get some great cheering on the course from my sister Diana, Rich Thomas, Phil Villeneuve, Heather Gallagher, and of course Sarah and the kids at the finish.

By about the 25 km mark it just the pacer dude and myself left and we kept our consistent pace going. After a few more km’s he was straggling, and faded, and then I was on my own.

My whole approach to the run was to keep myself distracted from the task at hand as long as I could, and then when I needed to I was going to dig deep and really focus on finishing strong. When we hit the canal I knew we had 10 km to go and that it was pretty much flat. I thought to myself, “This is relatively easy now – just keep it steady and it’s 2 back-to-back BVH Wednesday night races I need to survive”. I knew that pain well and it felt just about right.

I continued to reel in a few more people over the next few kilometers and then with 2 km to go I poured out what I had left to bring it home. I was so pumped to see Sarah, Julia and Evan with just 300 m to the finish, which gave me enough for one final kick.

I crossed the line at 2:34 and was quickly being ushered into the elite area. When I said I wasn’t elite and just a ‘wanna be elite’, the guy told me I was the first non-elite to finish. I seriously couldn’t believe what I had just done!

Emily finished in 2:43 and was the top Canadian woman. Given this was the Canadian Marathon Championships, Emily is the 2011 Canadian Marathon Queen. I managed to finish 9th Canadian. A big congrats to Emily for an impressive run and what a great way to meet the latest addition to the BVH group.

Full Results:

Today I far exceeded what I ever thought I was capable of doing. I was inspired in so many ways today, and I think that was a big part of what helped me be in such a great headspace to pull this off.

With all the great performances in the Calgary races today – congrats to all by the way – I think we need to keep the running project going. Sarah tells me I have qualified for sub-elite status for New York so we already have a fall 2012 project for the Harriers!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Fantastic Motivation!

by Mark Fewster

What were you all doing at 6am this morning? Blaine and I were running…..while you were sleeping! A little blurb from the TDF 2002:

Throughout the Tour de France, a Colombian rider on the Kelme - Costa Blanca Team, Santiago Botero, has been keeping a diary for the newspaper. Each day the newspaper publishes his diary from the previous day. Unfortunately, the only diary entry I have seen appeared in this past Sunday's edition. However, it was worth the read:

There I am all alone with my bike. I know of only two riders ahead of me as I near the end of the second climb on what most riders consider the third worst mountain stage in the Tour. I say 'most riders' because I do not fear mountains.

After all, our country is nothing but mountains. I train year-round in the mountains. I am the national champion from a country that is nothing but mountains. I trail only my teammate, Fernando Escartin, and a Swiss rider. Pantani, one of my rival climbers, and the Gringo Armstrong are in the Peleton about five minutes behind me. I am climbing on such a steep portion of the mountain that if I were to stop pedaling, I will fall backward. Even for a world class climber, this is a painful and slow process. I am in my upright position pedaling at a steady pace willing myself to finish this climb so I can conserve my energy for the final climb of the day. The Kelme team leader radios to me that the Gringo has left the Peleton by himself and that they can no longer see him.
I recall thinking 'the Gringo cannot catch me by himself'. A short while later, I hear the gears on another bicycle. Within seconds, the Gringo is next to me - riding in the seated position, smiling at me. He was only next to me for a few seconds and he said nothing - he only smiled and then proceeded up the mountain as if he were pedaling downhill. For the next several minutes, I could only think of one thing - his smile. His smile told me everything. I kept thinking that surely he is in as much agony as me, perhaps he was standing and struggling up the mountain as I was and he only sat down to pass me and discourage me. He has to be playing games with me. Not possible. The truth is that his smile said everything that his lips did not. His smile said to me, 'I was training while you were sleeping, Santiago'. It also said, 'I won this tour four months ago, while you were deciding what bike frame to use in the Tour. I trained harder than you did, Santiago. I don't know if I am better than you, but I have outworked you and right now, you cannot do anything about it. Enjoy your ride, Santiago. See you in Paris.'
Obviously, the Gringo did not state any of this. But his smile did dispel a bad rumor among the riders on the tour. The rumor that surfaced as we began the Prologue several days ago told us that the Gringo had gotten soft. His wife had given birth to his first child and he had won the most difficult race in the world - He had no desire to race, to win. I imagine that his smile turned to laughter once he was far enough not to embarrass me. The Gringo has class, but he heard the rumors - he probably laugh all the way to Paris. He is a great champion and I must train harder. I am not content to be a great climber, I want to be the best.
I learned much from the Gringo in the mountains. I will never forget the helpless feeling I had yesterday. If I ever become an international champion, I will always remember the lesson the Gringo taught me."

Thursday, May 5, 2011

BVH 5k Series Standings - After 2 races

OK so I have unilaterally decided to change the rules.  You get points depending on how many people you beat and the one with the most points from their four best points tallies wins.  This means that even if you run fewer than 4 races, you can still get a lot of points if a lot of people run the race.  So if you come 5th in a race with 25 people in it you get more points than winning a race with 10 people in it.  We'll see how that works.  Current standings are:

1.  Duncan Marsden  28 points
2.  Blaine Penny  25
3.  Travis Cummings  19
4.  Chris Hooper  15
5.  Frank Woolstencroft  14
6.  Scott Jensen 12
7.  Jody Draude 11
8.=  Mark Fewster  10
       Colin McArthur  10
       Aaron Swanson  10
11.=  Ben Pryce  9
         Paul McCloy  9
13.  Phil Villeneuve  7
14.=  Bob Banks  6
         Alex Harmer  6
16.=  Mike Brewster  4
         Lisa Harvey  4
18.=  Bruce Dalton  3
         Kevin Lindland  3
20.=  Anna Pryce  2
         Kerry Zwiers  2
22.=  David Omahen  1
         Glenn Mutsemaker  1

BVH 5k - May 2011 Results

1.  Duncan Marsden  16.28
2.  Blaine Penny   16.36
3.  Travis Cummings 17.06
4.  Colin McArthur  17.16
5.  Paul McCloy  17.19
6.  Chris Hooper  17.33
7.  Phil Villeneuve  17.36
8.  Alex Harmer  18.08
9.  Mark Fewster  18.29
10.  Mike Brewster  18.36
11.  Bruce Dalton  18.49
12.  Kerry Zwiers  20.48
13.  Glenn Mutsemaker  23.06

Report and series standings to follow...

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

MitoCanada Run

By Duncan Marsden

Last Sunday was the first running of the MitoCanada 5k/10k run in Canmore and I am certain that everyone who turned up would have considered it a fantastic success!  The Rec Centre in Canmore was full of people wearing MitoCanada buffs and showing off the rest of the fantastic swag given away as part of the entry fee. 

The course was an out and back along the river.  The weather was fantastic and apart from the last 1.5k which was snowy, it was all bone dry!  Perfect.

There were not as many harriers present as there have been in other races recently but we had Blaine (President of MitoCanada) and Jeremy running with their kids in 5K race and Mark Fewster manning the water station with his family.  That left Sarah Penny and me running for the glory.  And I think we covered ourselves in it.  Sarah took 8 minutes off her best 10k time ever and came 3rd in her age group - I don't know if she was more pleased with the time or with the cookie she won as a result.  I was helped by a few lost souls going off course, as well as cheers from Blaine and Jeremy in the last mile, to take the victory in the 10k in a time of 35.01. 

As an aside, Calgarians beware!  As I passed Blaine and Jeremy in the last mile, I was running full-out.  Jeremy told his 8 year old son Matthew to try and chase me and chase me he did.  At one stage I was worried he was going to overtake me!  You've been warned, Calgary, the next generation of Deeres are on their way!

Don't forget the 5k tomorrow.  Start at 7pm at the Olympic arches in Eau Claire.