On June 21, 2013, I ran the 800 Meter race at the Friday Night Mile, at 6:30 PM at the South Surrey Athletic Park track. Myself and Jay Zhu were the only participants in the shorter race, and he finished well ahead of me with a time of 2:34.27, while I stopped the clock at. 2:47.58. I was quite happy with my race as I'd run a new personal best.
On Saturday morning at 9 AM I ran the Paavo Nurmi Run 5K at Burnaby Lake Park. It was the same out and back jaunt through the woods as last year, and I went by a young female about a kilometer into the race. As I hit the turnaround I had seen only 2 fellows come back going the other way, one of them a young teenager, so I knew I was in 3rd place overall. As I headed back I saw Len, who I knew was in my age group, coming towards me and the turnaround. This caused me to concentrate on keeping my pace up, because we still had half the race to go and he didn't look like he was giving up on catching me just yet. The next racer I encountered heading towards me was the young woman I'd passed, and she was still the first place female!
Soon we were on a wide path going back through the woods and I was running about 100 meters behind the teenage guy. He was just as determined as I was to retain his placing, so I was unable to gain much ground on him. I saw him turn left up ahead, and as I did the same I saw a woman running with her young daughter down the wide gravel path. He'd already passed them, and the little girl, who looked to be about 5 years old, ran ahead of her mother. I saw that they were both wearing numbers, meaning they were in the 3K race that had started after ours. When I approached the little girl she looked back and moved over to the right to let me pass, and as I went by I shouted a big "Thank you!". If only all of us practiced such great race etiquette!
Soon the finish line loomed and then I was over it, happy to have finished 3rd and won my age group with a time of 21:19. Len showed up next and it wasn't long before the top female came in, and I saw that the young woman had managed to lead from start to finish! I congratulated her on winning the race, and she said thanks, and that it was her first ever 5K. She's a sprinter but she decided to try her hand in this much longer race because her Dad always ran it. Then she said "Don't you remember me? I was jumping long jump with you last week." It turned out to be young Cheryl Chow, who had indeed been jumping at the same time I was in my first ever meet. I'd actually be watching her as she jumped and tried to copy her form, as she is very good at it. She's only 14 but told me she's been jumping since grade 3, so she's the experienced vet and I'm the novice.
And I'd failed to recognize her dad, Alvin, either, but to be fair I hadn't seen him for a year. He was with Mikhail Titov and myself on the podium for our age group last year.
This time Mikhail ran the 10K, which he won, and instead of only having a 40+ oldest category they created a couple of others, 35-49 and 50+.
Alvin is still in his 40s, so Cheryl, myself, Alvin and Mikhail all won gold age group medals, plus Mikhail and Cheryl were awarded $25 Running Room gift cards for winning their races! I'd finally done it! After 2 previous silvers I'd finally struck Paavo Nurmi Run gold.
After the ceremonies were over, and having refueled with Tim Bits, a banana, and coffee, it was time to head home, for the Scotiabank Half Marathon awaited me the next morning.