So today's Yaletown Grand Prix was an interesting affair where I ran like a complete muppet and yet still walked away with $125, which I feel is rather undeserved. Since pressing the 'autofill' button on itunes last week my ipod shuffle has had Dire Strait's Money for Nothing on it. With an amazing guitar riff and lyrics it seems rather pertinent to how I feel.
The whole race set up was pretty incredible, the 900m of closed roads around the district made for some cool racing, although the cyclists made it look better than the runners did. The cat one riders were tanking it! Having all of it just one block away from home was especially fun and it really was just a case of walking out of the front day to get to the start line.
I made a class 'a' error right from the start. I saw a young guy warming up in Asics kit and thought it was probably Ryan McKenzie so when the announcers didn't call him up I thought the race was open and I stood a chance of going for the win. Little did I know that my lack of knowledge of Canadian distance runners would cause me a lot of grief as both Richard Mosley, a sub-30 10k runner and legendary marathoner Steve Osaduik were on the start line. I should have picked up on Steve's name but I was listening for 'Ryan McKenzie' and had turned my brain off to anything else.
I stuck in behind Richard and Steve for the opening of the five laps and felt pretty good, however I knew I was never going to be able to live with them as we headed out on lap two. We got a nice gap on fourth and I dropped off hoping to hold a decent pace to stay ahead of the pack, however the damage had been done and running solo was a real effort, especially with a headwind on the longest stretch of the course.
Lap two was decent but unspectacular as the guys started to disappear and I started to feel I was being caught on lap three. Come lap four I was overtaken by Tom Michie from Kelowna who had paced his effort a lot better than me. He drew alongside heading up the short hill at Davie and I couldn't hold on to the back of him when we got to the flat. By then I was already rocking and rolling so I backed off to ensure I didn't completely blow up and lose fourth. Lap five felt better as I knew I couldn't be caught and I managed a final kick off the last bend, but by then Tom was well up the road.
Although I pocketed $125 I don't really feel like I've earnt it. I'm more disappointed with the ridiculous naivity which cost me third place. No disresepct to Tom, but I know deep down that I really should have done a lot better, but come the day he ran a much better race, paced the course to perfection and showed me a clean pair of heels, so full credit to him, he delivered and I didn't.
Secondly the prize money seemed too much for what I actually ran. Richard and Steve deserved their $400 and $200 respectively as they're great runners... but $125 for finishing fourth with a poor performance? You've got to be having a laugh. It's the same amount as the guy who finished fifth in the pro bike race, and that was 65 minutes of flat out wheel to wheel racing where the pack had a sprint finish... and he would have been a top cyclist riding for a team. There were even national champions and tour riders in there, crazy!
All in all a great first Canada Day, which incidentally marks my 100th day in Vancouver, and a super event atmosphere, but probably the worst race I've endured since Northampton Birmingham League back in December of last year with this feeling of guilt that I don't deserve a penny.
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