Comox Half Marathon

The racing continues. This time the Comox half marathon (there was a 5k in there a couple of weeks ago that I didn’t write about). I reset my personal best (only been racing for 3/4 of a year, so I’m still gaining quickly.) to 1:37:22. Not ultra fast by any stretch but I was prepared to struggle to hit 1:40. So, I was stoked to run a very fast second half of the race, keep my weird hip at bay, and battle the oatmeal that I ate too soon before the race which had me starting off with legs full of lead. No warm up either.

The course was an out and back starting in downtown Courtenay. It immediately left town and put us into the rural roads N and W of the city. It rolled along the river for a while before climbing a hundred some meters up toward the hills. It was uphill almost the whole way out and therefore downhill the way back. Thus, I clicked some fast kilometers on the way home and managed to chase down the guy I knew I had to beat to place in the race. I finally caught him on a lonely stretch about 4 km from the end. We congratulated each other on a good race and I was on my way. It was blustery, rainy and cold on the way home with a head wind and a long rolling road keeping the constant mental battle going in my head. I still haven’t found the quiet place to put my mind in these races but at least keep it from making me stop. The push to the end and the cheering crowd was great. I had been eying my watch to see if I could beat 1:40. At the 1/2 I was a bit slow but as each kilometer passed, and each split was closer to 4:30 I knew I could do it. So when my first glance at the race clock showed 1:36:59 tick over to 1:37:00 I knew I had something. 22 seconds later I had my time as my legs froze into painful cramps. Argh.

Wound up with an 8th place finish in my age category (out of 20 people). These races are fun because you get ribbons for the top ten. The web is being weird, I’ll put pictures up when things are working more smoothly.

Fiona also had a great race. She’s got a longer racing career behind her, but still almost beat her personal best and was out by only 20 seconds or so. She placed 4th in her age group and is set to take a medal in the overall for her age category. Sweet.

Vancouver Island Race Series GPS Routes

I’ve always thought that this stuff should be easily located on the web. And maybe it’s out there, but hard to find? Regardless, I’ll put another page out there for Google to crawl over and to help people find out what the race routes of the 2013 Vancouver Island Race Series were/are. These are races I’ve done and recorded with my phone’s GPS. They seem fairly accurate given the race distance plus a little bit of distance between the finish cross and my panting to subside enough for me to play with my phone. The routes are in kml format so if you click on a link, your computer should open up google earth and display these. If you don’t have Google Earth and want to view these do the following:

1) Right click on a link and copy the URL for the link (not sure what the Mac equivalent of right click is offhand);
2) Go to Google Maps at
3) Paste the URL into the search bar of Google Maps (not the address bar at the top of your browser).
4) hit return and you should see the route overlaid on top of the normal google maps.

Google Earth gives you the option to look at elevation profles, speed and other things so is the better way to go.

Anyhow, without further adieu and in chronological order (this list will be updated in coming weeks when I complete the remaining four races):

Harriers Pioneer 8k Race

CeeVacs Cobble Hill 10k Race

Bastion Cedar 12k Race

Fronrunners Hatley Castle 8k Race

Synergy Bazan Bay 5k Race

Comox Valley RV Half Marathon

River Runners of Campbell River Merville 15k Race

Sooke River 10k Race

And some other routes of interest:

Victoria GoodLife Fitness Half Marathon

Gunner Shaw 10k Race

Mt. Finlayson Loop

Ten Mile Point/Queenswood 9k

San Juan Island Half Marathon