Campbell Valley Stomp (10km)- January 20th, 2013
Time for race number 2 in the series! For this race, there was a 5km and a 10km option, so naturally I chose the longer one! My mom came out to support me today- it was really special as she has never seen me race before! It was so special to have her out there for me and be so interested and excited for me even though I know she had reservations about me trail running. Today was the foggiest morning and I just hoped we'd make it in time! Luck was on our side though and we made it! I started warming up and when we were headed to the start line I was greeted by a smiling Sean Baker. His family had come out to this race as well and he introduced me to his dad and brother as we came into the front. They briefed me on the course which was really nice as I had no idea what to expect, other than running the last hill as warm-up a few times. The race started and the pace was crazy as the 5km and 10km runners both took off at the same time! It was hard to know how to pace myself with this and I think a few others struggled with this question as well. Olivia was gone with the wind with the top boys right away and I just continued on with what felt right for me. I was soon joined by Sean Baker and Joshua Weiss and couldn't be happier about it. They are both such great people and I was thrilled to be able to have company. Of course that means just a lil' chatting as we discussed the upcoming Chuckanut 50km race (that they are both competing in and I am on the waitlist for). We maintained a wicked pace though and stayed pretty closely knit. Joshua and I played switchies a lot in who was leading. It was great to have someone to push you to run harder and faster. The course was quite a neat mix of terrain, mostly a flat gravel path through farm land, but very mysterious with all the fog! Then there was a steep frozen downhill section that I let fly on because.. slowing down on hills just isn't fun, I'd rather run like an airplane! The massive cracks in the dirt left some scary jumps and shouts from Sean and Joshua! Then we entered my favourite part of the race- the real trail bit, through the trees and across bridges. The moss covered trees were beautiful! I couldn't help exclaiming about it. We passed Olivia on the last hill of the loop and continued on our speedy pace as I again took off the long sleeve (Sean had been teasing me that I was going to have to take it off earlier if I wanted to set a record this time- as I almost had the race before). The rest of the race was wicked fun and our group carried on making some passes and changing up positions. Joshua put the jets on in the last km and showed what he can do as he flew down the gravel path and onward to the finish! My legs were screaming at me as Sean and I climbed the last hill. Again Sean was cheering me on and I gave it my all. Coming into the finish line I saw my mom smiling and cheering me on saying, "Go Shannon!" it almost made me cry, I finished strong and burning- ouchie tired legs and sore knee, and immediately shared a group hug with Joshua and Sean. What a wonderful race! I really felt that I had gave this one my absolute all. I could feel my body fatiguing in the last km and knew that I had done well. After some frozen bananas and more hot coffee, I was able to meet the amazing winner, Mike Murphy- who is such a nice guy, awards and doorprizes were announced! Top female and age category winner for me again! AHHHHH! So excited!!! When they posted the results later on, I discovered that I had set a course record for that trail!