24. When Running Made History – Roger Robinson
week twenty four – 41.2
2019 to date: 1,162 KM
I read and wrote about this book last fall just before I ran the Victoria Marathon, after meeting Roger Robinson at Forerunners on West 4th while out on his book tour. (A book tour of running shops, go figure.) What struck me then, and having a bit of a reread now, are the bits about running’s connection with charity.
The impulse among the majority of runners to run for a cause other than, or greater than, their own result has brought measurable enrichment to the work of many charities and thus society.Roger Robinson
As my personal situation has improved I’ve been able to give back to the arts and culture community, which is easy if you’re able. It’s a lot harder to ask other people to join in. I learned pretty quickly that I’d never make it as a development officer or a fundraiser, and yet I’m currently trying to figure out how to ask my social circle and beyond to support The Capilano Review just because I’m running twenty-one point one kilometres in a week’s time, along with 5,000 other people many of whom are likely asking their social circle to support their charity of choice. While it does seem a bit weird to choose a running race to raise money for a pauperous literary arts organization, it was around the time that I took on their managing editor role that I gave this whole jogging thing a try. So for me, it seems, the two are rather tied. In timeline at least. Since I left The Capilano Review office, they continued to bring me a certain amount of enrichment. I always look forward to the writers and artists that I’ll be introduced to, always exceptionally curated, and often stuff that I wouldn’t otherwise see. If you’re familiar with their work, I hope that you’ll consider making a donation in support of my run next Sunday.
If you’ve never head of The Capilano Review, I hope that you’ll check them out. Maybe attend an event, or purchase a subscription, or just get lost in their massive archive of work that was recently posted online in collaboration with Simon Fraser University Library.
On Thursday I made my fifth attempt to run five kilometres in under 20 minutes, this time at Mile2Marathon’s sixth-annual Chase the Pace 5,000 on the track at Swangard Staduim in Burnaby. The event was in collaboration with the first Pacific Distance Carnival put on by BC Athletics, Mile2Marathon, and the BC Endurance Project. The evening started with a few 1,500 metre foot-races and a wheelchair heat, then four heats of 5,000 metres with pacers. I registered with the goal to run 19:59, which put me in the 7:55 p.m. heat where I and about 30 others chased three different pacers. The gun went off and I tried to get in behind pacer Laurel Richardson (19:55) but got stuck in the crowd for the first of 12 and a half laps of the 400 metre track. The field started to thin after the first couple laps and I managed to find a rhythm that felt ok but not great. By the eighth lap I’d slipped quite a bit and knew that I probably wasn’t going to be able to catch the pacer. There was a cluster of us that were right on the cusp of 20 minutes and we traded leading a few times. On the second last straight I remember M2M coach Rob Watson telling us we only had about a minute left and to give it hell. I didn’t have much to give but I managed a bit of a sprint coming out of the final turn. Ryan Chilibeck from East Van Run Crew was in front of me and I tried to catch him but he crossed the finish a few tens-of-a-second ahead of me. Perfectly ahead of me, if his intention was to block my view of the clock. Not that it mattered. I knew that I was over 20 minutes. Strava said I ran 5 KM in 19:53 but my Garmin said my run was 20:12. I checked the results board and my official time was 20:10:97. Not near my goal, and third in terms of attempts. It’s not a great result but, unless you count running loops of a park in Paris, I’ve done just two speed workouts since running the BMO Marathon at the beginning of May. While I do feel a bit like it was a missed opportunity, I’m really rather pleased with just how well it went.
After the 5,000 metre heats were complete, the Pacific Distance Carnival main events got underway, with Canadian 10,000 metre championships. The 25 laps of the track saw Ben Flanagan finish in 28:37 in the men’s race, followed by current record holder Natasha Wodak finishing in 32:09 holding off B.C. 5K champ Sarah Inglis, and Canadian half and full marathon record holder Rachel Cliff. The whole event was a lot of fun both to participate and to watch. I look forward to next year.