The Bow Valley Harriers officially has a global reach, as demonstrated by Harrier Mark Steinle winning the 34 mile Endurancelife Coastal Race Series Sussex event (in England) in 4 hours and 38 minutes. Steinle is pictured below cruising up a hill in his BVH vest in a scene which couldn't look less like Alberta (particularly in March!) if it tried.
The first big road race of the Alberta road racing season kicked off in fine fashion for the Bow Valley Harriers. These early events are always exciting as we see who went into full hibernation during the winter and have work to do and who only went into a stage of torpor and have spry legs in anticipation for the months ahead. The new 10k course is quite a bit more challenging than the old course around the U of C; in fact the new South Calgary course is deceivingly hard, full of twists, turns, and rolling terrain, and a few long, gradual climbs. Needless it isn’t a course to break a world record on, yet some really solid times were posted from some of our star performers.
To begin, Darcy Bell, who is laying early claim to a 2:33 marathon performance at Scotiabank Calgary Marathon Weekend, placed 12th in a time of 35:49. Cracking the top ten in 8th place was local celebrity Blaine Penny, whose efforts earned him a time of 35:05. Mr. Consistent, Jody Draude, seems to defy aging with his clockwork improvements in running each year; he made his case for 4th place in a time of 34:35. It is worth mentioning he placed just ahead of Alberta Timex Series Road Race legend Brian Torrance, who was in our fine city from that god awful truck stop 3 hours north of us to test his mettle against the best Calgary had to offer. However the top performance of the day was had by Travis Cummings. On the eve of his 27th birthday, running like a man with something to prove, Travis regained his form as champion of the St Patrick’s Day 10k for the 3rd time in the past 4 years. Frankly, he was sick of being carved up for dropping out last year. Pretty sure he laid claim to the after party title as well but the recollections are foggy so that is still up for debate. Looks like winter mileage and newly christened maturity are starting to pay off for the moderately young Cummings. He finished in a time of 33:26, fighting off a strong performance by Ryan Russell, who made a ballsy move at 7.5k but faded with a kilometer to go.
The boys took it out pretty fast, going through 3k in 9:45 and 5k in 16:20, then the hills hit on the back half and the pace slowed a little. Great start to the season fellas, let’s keep the momentum going!
K100, pretty much the most important race in the world, is officially only 3 months away so it is looking promising for a successful title defence!
“It’s at the borders of pain and suffering that the men are separated from the boys.” – Emil Zatopek