Disclaimer: I won 2 free entries to the Eastside 10K from Modo Car Coop from their #ModoMobi contest. I appreciated the opportunity to run, and to invite a friend!
Now in its fourth year, the Eastside 10K remains one of my favourite Vancouver races. In addition to the charitable component, supporting the Downtown Eastside, the race winds through some of the most historic parts of the city. It’s well-organized, and I always run into a bunch of familiar & friendly faces on race day.
Except this year…those faces were really, really wet.
Flashback to 2015 – a rainy Eastside 10K. I thought we had it rough. I was wrong.
I woke on Saturday morning to the noisiest autumn shower I’d heard in a long time. Although we didn’t have a dry summer, we hadn’t experienced anything like this. Grudgingly, honey and I both got geared up and prepared for the worst. We were very fortunate that Susan had agreed to pick us up, and we headed to the start line.
Debra had kindly picked up our bibs while volunteering the day before. We huddled underneath the PowerBar tent, awaiting her arrival. We then stowed our gear in Susan’s trunk (fortunately – since the lineup for gear check was long, and in the open air/ocean).
I seeded myself in the middle of the Red corral – I kind of know who’s faster than me by sight, so I could determine if I was too far forward! Debra, despite the weather, still snapped a photo – and I still mustered a smile!
Having detailed the route in previous posts (here and here), I won’t give too much info this time around. Needless to say, any part of me that hadn’t gotten soaked while waiting for the gun to go off was well and truly soaked after splashing through a few of the unavoidable puddles in the first kilometre.
Much of the race is a damp blur. Here are a few points of note:
- The volunteers were TROOPERS. There were out there in force and yellow ponchos, full of energy and encouragement – and I bow to them. Amazingness.
- The guy who passed me twice by cutting corners (specifically at the 5km turnaround). You’re only cheating yourself. And I finished ahead of you anyway.
- Misa and the West Van Run cheer station in Gastown – Hawaiian-themed enthusiasm! Nicely done!
- Although it was not a PB, I finished this race with more strength than I expected to. I paced myself well without glancing at my watch.
- Umbrellas blocked the timing clock, and the finish line was not well marked. As I stood watching finishers arrive after me, a lot of folks stopped at the mat about 50 metres before the finish line (the one that tells the announcer your name) – and I was shouting at them to keep going!
And this is Tara. She approached me after the race saying: “Are you Bradley on the Run?” and proceeded to compliment me by saying that she reads my race reviews to help prepare for her races. This one’s for you, Tara!
Here are some familiar folks finishing the race:
After collecting my nifty dog-tag medal and gathering up my people, we packed it in and went home. Even after changing into dry-ish gear from the back of Susan’s car, the thought of doing anything other than taking a shower was unacceptable.
And then went out for brunch.
What I missed, however, was an award. Not for this race, but for my place in the Lifestages Lower Mainland Road Race Series. Somehow, due to my participation and placement in my age group in the Steveston Ice-Breaker 8K, Longest Day 5K, and Summerfast 10K, I qualified! My friend Kefi kindly messaged me, and dropped off my prize – a $20 gift card for White Spot for placing 5th in my age category! Totally unexpected, and truly delightful.
The other nifty thing about the Eastside 10K is that by running it I qualified for the Three-peat medal (earned by running this race, along with the Modo 8K and Scotiabank Half – other CRS West races). At time of writing, I haven’t claimed my medal…since I didn’t stick around after the race!
All in all – drowned rat be damned – I had a great time! Bring it, Vancouver – the Eastside 10K rocks!
Chip Time: 49:06
Average Pace: 4:55 min/km
Overall Place: 480/1836
Age Category Place: 36/96
Quick Review – Eastside 10K 2016
Package Pickup: Because Debra volunteered and gathered our packages for us, we didn’t need to do so. If I had had to pick up my own package, however, having it open a bit later than 6:30pm would have helped, since getting there during the work day would have been impossible.
T-Shirt/Swag: My favourite race t-shirt, one that I will wear out in public! It’s a cotton T, rather than a tech one – but I have heaps of those. It’s a great design, and a good fit. Love it! We actually got to vote on the design & colour, and I love the crowd-sourcing aspect of it. The medal continues the dog-tag theme from prior years, this time with the Woodward’s Building logo gracing the backside. Love the series!
Course: Basically a U-shaped out and back course that loops through the poorest and most historic neighbourhoods of Vancouver – as well as the touristy and progressively chic Gastown. It’s not ‘scenic’ in the traditional Seawall sense of the word, but it is evocative – and relatively flat.
Post-Race: I will reserve opinion, since I didn’t stick around. I wish there’d been more shelter, but what can you do? I got a banana and half a PowerBar. I likely could have sought out more food, but I just wanted to dry out.
Organization: Professional, like all CRS West events. My only observation was lack of ‘clarity’ at the finish line…I knew where it was, but even I couldn’t see it very well. Maybe a couple of course marshals to guide people through to the end? Just a thought…
Would I run it again? See you in 2017! Let’s hope it’s less of a swim, and more of a run!