Great Climate Race

This weekend was pretty awesome. Due to back problems and not training as much as I should have for this 10K, and having had a couple bad episodes where I could barely move, I extremely doubted my capability to run a 10K this past weekend. But something somewhere, deep inside, said I could do it. I kept telling myself that. I believed so heavily that this race was one of the most important things that I and other runners could contribute to our local city: push solar-power, fund for renewable energy projects, and raise awareness of climate change, all while doing something fun and community-oriented: running!

Well, several family and friends joined us this weekend for an in-between American-Canadian Thanksgiving. It was the first time I bribed people with food to join a race (all in a good joking manner), but everyone had a good time. We got to the Second Beach area of Stanley Park early on Sunday morning, and it was cold and slightly drizzly. We layered clothing until the actual race started at 10 and went around to talk with others. The race was entirely solar- or bike-pedal-powered, and it was a zero-waste event, meaning no throwaway paper cups. We brought our own water bottles.

When the race began, I discarded my hoodie, tied it around my waist, and just felt really good with that pumped-up kind of pre-race feeling. I ended up running the entire way, with no back issues, though my run was slower than usual because I had not run anything close to a 10k or even 5K for a few weeks. I was the tortoise in a pack of hares for a while, where they would sprint, then walk, and each time I would catch up to them–until at one point I noticed they were no longer running past me. I think I do have a little long-distance blood in me. So my goal now would be to continue to strengthen my core, get my back healthier, and increase my pace again–and maybe train for a half-marathon. I honestly think I could do it. I had a good solid run on Sunday. This was, by the way, my first running 10K. I had done a couple Sun Runs in the past, but each time walked a good portion.

One thing that helped was just running along the seawall and being engrossed in the beauty of the day, right next to the water, with a lovely misty sky and occasional sunlight trying to break through. The mountains lined the day, and the trees of Stanley Park stood like ancient statues. I really and honestly did feel that this kind of activity tied us closely to nature, brought us together as a community, contributed to a cause that may directly stop fossil fuel industries, and was a fun and healthy thing to do.

Thanks so much to Ben West, from Tanker Free BC, for organizing this amazing inaugural race. I’ll definitely join them in the future, year after year. You can find out more at the Great Climate Race. This race reminds us that we are racing to mitigate climate change.

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