You can call it my first anniversary of racing, as the Chilly Chase was my first ever race since I started running a year ago. You can also call it my redemption race because I completely bonked and had a worse time than I could’ve potentially gotten because I became too cocky. You can read the full story here. Either way, a year went by pretty quickly and it was time for another Chilly Chase. I decided to go for the 15K distance this time because according to my training plan, I was supposed to run 16 km that day. It just made sense.
A quick recap: the Chilly Chase is the first of a series of 7 races put on by Try Events. Runners of all ages and abilities can participate because they have 4 distances available: 5k (run/walk), 10k (run/walk), 15k, and Half Marathon. It starts and finishes at Olympic Village, just outside Creekside Community Centre, and runs all along the False Creek seawall and a bit of the Stanley Park seawall (for the half marathoners).
Package pickup was different this year. They had a booth at the Gluten-Free Expo a week before the race and registered Chilly Chase runners were able to enjoy the Gluten-Free Expo for free. This is good and bad… good for those interested in the expo, bad for those like me who is not a fan of gluten-free products. I was literally in and out… but I did see the Nuun booth there and had a chat with the Nuun team. Oh and by the way, Nuun Plus has finally come to Canada and you can get it at MEC.
I had originally signed up for a 10K but I decided to change my distance to 15K. I was able to do that at the booth for a small charge of $5. They gave me a new bib and timing chip and of course the official Chilly Chase socks. Fellow runner and blogger Brie Hemingway designed the new logo for the Chilly Chase and other Try Events races. Don’t you love it?!
If you couldn’t make it to the expo, you were able to pick up your bib at a Fit First location in Burnaby. Same day pickup was only possible if you’re willing to pay for it ($5).
I was feeling kind of blue and unmotivated in the morning until I saw Richard and Graham from the November Project. Turns out they were leading the warmup for today’s race and I think for future Try Events races too. I was stoked… no burpees though! If you ever want to check them out, they meet at the top of Queen Elizabeth Park every Wednesday, rain or snow or shine at 6:29 AM and it’s FREE. They amped up the crowd and it’s exactly what everyone needed to start this race right.
The course was a False Creek seawall run that included a loop of Lost Lagoon. I don’t think the course well marked throughout. I saw more kilometer markers along the seawall than Lost Lagoon. It also seems that the city has put on a detour barrier on the north side of Lost Lagoon so some runners were confused and ended up running on the road, instead of along the lagoon. I decided to keep going along the water anyway. A few runners decided to ditch me and went on the road, so I thought ok, I’m not sure who’s right but I guess we’ll see. Turns out I was right as I saw the Try Events cones and arrows at the end of the loop. I believe there were 3 aid stations with water along the 15K route and runners passed them twice (since it was an out and back race). Didn’t need it as I had my Nuun in my pack to keep my going. It’s a nice route, I run this seawall quite frequently so I knew what to expect. It’s 80% asphalt and 20% Lost Lagoon trail (but nothing really technical). It’s very scenic of course and relatively flat. There were volunteers along the course showing you which path to take and where to turn around. They were great and unlike last year, they didn’t cross the path at the wrong time and get in the way. Thank you, volunteers! I mean, it’s for your benefit too… you don’t want to be run over by runners 😛
I don’t think there was really much at the finish line, but then again, I didn’t really stick around. Volunteers were there to take timing chips off shoes and it went very smoothly. We were then greeted by pageant queens and they put medals around our necks. The medal was pretty sweet, also designed by Brie. There was a photographer at the start and finish line and the next day, hundreds of photos were posted on their Facebook page. If you’re lucky, they got a few photos of you 🙂
How did I do?
I had one motivation. This photo:
Cuski took this photo at last year’s race and that was an expression of shock on my face. Throughout the race, she and I were taking turns passing each other. I thought I lost her during the latter half of the race, but suddenly, in the last 50 meters, there she was, bursting through and taking me by surprise. That was a bad race for me, I started off way too hard and burned out, to a point that I had to stop and walk at the 7th or 8th kilometer. Sure enough, if I hadn’t walked, this photo wouldn’t have happened. This also became my motivation to do better. So in fact, I thank you #4156! You not only helped me become a better runner, you also gave me a very memorable race photo.
This year I vowed not to look like that again lol! In fact, I was supposed to take it slow. My running coach (Karin of Ready 2 Run) said I should be doing my long slow distance pace for this race. Sorry Karin, I tried, but at least I didn’t push it either. I did start off strong again but I backed off and just stayed at a steady pace… once in a while stopping to catch my breath. I felt strong but a bit discouraged as I ended up racing by myself for a good chunk of it. I guess I’m not as fast as most of the athletes in the 15K (yet). What really gave me a boost was when Richard ran along side me in the last sprint of the race. I knew I couldn’t stop and I just pushed it. Thank you Richard for the push and to Graham as well for the post race bear hugs. I managed to finish with a time of 1:35:32 and I’m pretty happy with that. I could feel that my stamina was getting better. My heart rate was at threshold pretty much the whole time, rather than anaerobic. I can safely say I redeemed myself in this race. In 3 weeks, I will be running my first First Half. Hope I’ll be ready 🙂 Thank you again Cuski for hanging around us slow runners so early in the morning and taking awesome photos 😛