As a good Canadian, I support and admire our Armed Forces with special affinity for the Royal Canadian Navy.
Those ships at sea are akin to Imperial Star Destroyers defending the galaxy. Or Admiral Nelson’s armada ruling Britannia and defeating Napolean’s ships at the Battle of the Nile.
While living in Victoria a few years ago, I heard about the Navy Run Esquimalt 10k and was interested in participating but my running legs weren’t up to the task.
Now, after a year of dedicated racing, I registered with a dab of desire to run along side Canadian sailors and service men.
I drove over and stomached the $93 one way BC Ferries ride from Horseshoe Bay to Nanaimo. Yes, $93.
This 41 square kilometre naval base dates back to 1842 when we were still ruled by England and that chunky German Queen Victoria.
CFB Esquimalt is home to several Canadian patrol frigates, coastal defence vessels, submarines, auxiliary ships, a naval and military museum, barracks, and more. It’s even been designated as a National Historic site. It’s our Canadian marine navy base. In a war this would be a target.
The race didn’t start with a gunshot. It started with a cannon blast and scared the be-jesus out of every runner. Even for the hardened military types.
The route meandered through suburban Esquimalt with lots of inclines, plateaus, more inclines, an aggressive hill, plateau, downhill, then more inclines. All under the blazing, unobstructed early morning summer sun on steaming pavement.
It wasn’t an easy 10k. I used The Force, some determination, the power of positive thinking with an element of sarcasm, an advil and lots of energy candy.
I succeeded in finishing in good time with little to no pain and didn’t stop once during the race. Fellow runners who were military dudes served as inspiration to keep moving at a quickened pace.
As per the course, I had very little sleep the night before. Everyone yaks about training, diet, physiotherapy, yoga and manic fitness preparation before these races but no one mentions the importance of sleep. Or how little sleep one gets the night before due to anxiousness. I may have got three hours the night before.
There was plenty of food available at the finish line: muffins, cookies, bananas, oranges, coffee, juice boxes, and sponsored Muscle Mlk (which I think tastes kinda gross).
Because I was coming in from Vancouver I had a few email exchanges with the race organizer begging to pick up my race kit on race day. They do not permit this but she thankfully made an exception for me. My kit was available at bag check and it wasn’t a problem.
There was a Canadian rower Olympian handing out awards. I didn’t win any. The HMSC Vancouver team won an award for something.
Date Race – Sunday, June 21, 2015
Results – 49 minutes 15 seconds
Division Place – 22
Division Total – 48
Gender Place – 92
Gender Total – 186
Pace/KM – 4:56 (personal best)
Pace/MI – 7:56
Website – http://navyrunesquimalt.com
Post Race Brunch – Irish Times Pub in Bastion Square
Next Race – The Pride Run 2015 (the race the started it all last year)