Guest Post: Shaughnessy 8K Race Report


Well, on top of my tendonitis – which is healing quite nicely – I’m dealing with something of a strain. In my groin. Yep. Fine when I’m walking, really uncomfortable as soon as I pick up the pace. As a result, I continue on with my non-run healing plan.

I am therefore pleased to introduce my friend and running mate, Beverli Barnes, as this week’s guest blogger! I had really looked forward to running the Shaughnessy 8K Road Race again this year (I’ve run it twice before), but it was not in the cards. I had then hoped to cheer on my peeps, but my physio appointment conflicted. Two strikes against. Thankfully, Bev came to the rescue! So without further ado…



“Runners will be pleased to know they only have to run up the ‘HILL’ once at the beginning.  The upper part of the course is undulating with the last 1K being downhill and flat.”

“Hill”, “once”, “undulating” & “flat-lining” (as in my HR), are the immediate words that come to mind.

Warming up for the 8K race on the nearby track with my friend Darryl, I could see the “HILL”, as described in the race course. Not scary but definitely something one would want to prepare for and be warmed up before the race start. It was 300M into the start! I had done a fair bit of training on hills leading up to the BMO Marathon 3 weeks ago, so legs and lungs were feeling strong and intact. After all. How hard could it be?

It’s only 8K I told myself.

Yes I was prepared to go harder than marathon pace but I’d be done in 40 minutes as opposed to 4 hours!


“Once”, I got up the “HILL”; I cruised into the 1K mark at a 4:54 pace. “Ahhhhhhhhhhhh” Looking forward to the downhill now which is my strength.

KM2 4:41, KM3 4:36  Swwwwwwwwwwwwwwweeeeet! This downhill is a breeze and a gentle Spring rain cools my hot flashes. As a woman at the end of her 50-54 AG, there is no escape for hormonal interruptis. Nature is not on my side today but I have a strong will, so push on. I’m struggling with breath and leg speed coordination. For some reason everything feels out of whack and I feel like I’m out of my league and have forgotten how to run fast.

The 50+ year old man next to me is goading me and whenever I pick it up, so does he. It’s throwing me off my game. Why do some men feel the need to constantly compete? After several blocks of his tail-gating & gasping I decide to let him pass. This is MY race. I need to focus and allow my legs and feet catch up to my breathing.

Undulating is like beauty. It’s in the eye of the beholder. Going into the 4K stretch is a long, false flat hill that has no end. This is not undulating or rolling. It’s UPUP,UP,UP and then more UP.  I want to quit! There is the lone water station at the top of the hill, so I settle into a jog to catch my breath while gulping 2 cups of water.

“Why am I doing this?” At 30K into the marathon I wanted to quit but this is only 4K. What’s wrong with me?

My mind is playing “mind games” and I know this drill all too well. Pace is slowing to 4:59, 5:02. “STOP THE MADNESS! STOP THE DISTRACTION!!!!” My body is strong and I know I can do this. Time for the hammer to come down and stop making excuses.

Pace picks up as I approach the final 1KM. 4:48 and falling to a 3:34 but my HR feels like it’s going to flat-line.  NO! “Barnes – you suck it up”. The final downhill was not as easy as I had hoped and expected. Brakes are on uncontrollably and I’m petrified that I will crash to the pavement since my quads are burning and feet are scrambling beneath me.

As I turn the final corner into the last 300M, unlike the BMO Marathon, I have gas left in the tank and sprint to the finish!!!!!

Hallelujah!  39:15. Surpassed my goal and placed 4/14. Up against super fast women like Susan Gordon – I can’t complain. In fact…I’m ready for the next challenge. Bring it on!

Beverli Barnes
Avid Runner & Group Leader at Forerunners

Congrats on your awesome time, Bev! I wish I could have been there! Thank you for sharing your experience with my readers, too!! Looking forward to next year’s race!

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