Shy of our largest event by one 1 person. Wednesdays race had 31 competitors toe the line!
Although there were many returning veterans vying for the Vincent Lavallée Cup, the headline of the day goes out to the rookies of the event stealing the show and taking top honours in both the Male and Female division.
In the female division, people had been talking about the new girl Jen and her exceptional running ability, with one of the men having been quoted saying;
"I had to really push it on the downhill to drop her during the fartlek workout, and I only found out afterwards that she had stopped to stretch."
Coming in as the strong favourite, the pressure was definitely on. In the mens division defending champion Matt Reeve was far too over confident stating that we might as well give him the trophy now.
With the construction finished on the bottom of the route, the run was now the full length rather than the shorter version we were forced to race last year. This resulted in a significantly longer run including the much steeper bottom section which would require great pacing to prevent losing too much time on the climb or alternatively blowing up before the top. With the race series starting in typically fashion (disorganized and a little frantic) there were 3 competitors who needed to race early rather than doing a warmup lap.
John Heinz, a UBCTC rookie, but many time Storm the Wall finalist was one such individual to start early. Melanie van Soeren and Dirk Haupt were the other two being led up the route with Vincent Lavallee up the road to time the finish. Running at a gingerly pace 45 seconds up of John, Vince jogged expecting to have ample time to reach the top, but looking back midway through the sight of a fast approaching John changed his plans, reaching the top in 4:12 second John was definitely setting the pace for the rest of the field.
Melanie came through with a very respectable time of 5:30 which still remained to be seen how that would stan up against the girls.
The times of the finishers was privy to Vincent Lavallee since it would give an unfair advantage to the racers to follow knowing the time to beat (so naturally Vince kept this to himself).
As the main field began, Vincent was the first to leave with Matt Reeve leaving 15 seconds behind. As the hill got steep the immediate threat of exhaustion was already upon our leader as he tried to focus on running strong and preventing his mind from wandering towards potential excuses for the post race debriefing. Unfortunately this had the negative effect since focusing on clearing his mind while running surely slowed Vincent down by at last 13 seconds as he finished in a time of 4:24 seconds.
Matt Reeve close on his heels did not have this mental focus requirement (as his mind is often blank) and just focused on keeping Vincent in sight and crossed the line in 4:18 seconds. Good enough for second.
In the girls race. Rachel came through the first female in 5:50 seconds with Melanie's time holding strong, but not for long as Victoria approached the finish line in a time of 5:21 taking over the lead!
This strong finish looked as though it may hold until Jen, the favourite in this event bettered that time but a mere second!
The top 5 was rounded off with Kellen Kjera finishing in a time of 4:32 and Winston Guo 6 seconds back in 4:38.
The girls race being even closer, had the 4th place finisher Stephanie Urness two seconds back of Melanie in 5:32 and Karin Olafson in 5:38!
A great day for racing in the woods and a fantastic opener for the Fall Classic Race Series!
|Melanie van Soeren||5:30|