This weekend, the LGRR ladies sent a team to run the Edge to Edge Marathon Relay event. Present were myself, Jeanne Kim, Christine Blanchette, Stephanie Keane, and Tina-Louise Harris. We had no expectations for this race as some of us were not as fit as we would like, or we were injured, or our focus was on another event, but, in the spirit of running and representing Lions Gate, we ran and hoped for the best.
We drove over on Saturday morning and the weather forecast was NOT favorable – a wind warning and steady rain.
Race morning and the weather was looking favorable – overcast and sitting around 8 degrees.
I started the event by running the first leg – 8k, with 1.2k along Chesterman Beach. It has been a while since I’ve run and having only had 3 training runs under my belt since Boston, I was hoping for the best. I started off a bit too quick (no surprise there!) but after a few km’s, i finally settled into my pace. The beach section was absolutely gorgeous, but that’s when the rain started to drizzle down. Most of the beach was hard-packed until you turned a bend and it became softer and a bit challenging to run. We came out of the beach and went back on to the road and I ran my heart out to tag off to Stephanie, finishing at a pace of just under a 8min/mile – I was thrilled. I don’t know how many teams were ahead of me but I knew that only 2 women passed me and neither of them were in the relay event.
Stephanie’s leg was described as the “roller coaster” and as we drove the course, we could all empathize with the undulations to come for her. There were about 7 or so teams ahead of us and one was quite a bit ahead – I believe they were the FrontRunners team. Stephanie’s leg was the longest leg of the relay – 10k – and she ran it beautifully, keeping our team strong and in the running.
Stephanie handed off to Tina-Louise and this leg was hilly .. with steady up’s and steady down’s. We were all confident in Tina-Louise’s ability and rightfully so, as Tina-Louise passed 5 people on her leg!
Tina-Louise turned it over to Jeanne Kim – as drove alongside Jeanne, we all remarked at how comfortable, smooth, and strong she looked. Jeanne put in a fantastic performance, passing one more person on her leg.
Christine was our anchor for the event (as she was for the Vancouver Marathon Relay) and we cheered her on – noting the undulations in her leg as well. But we were confident in Christine’s fitness and running capabilities to give us a strong finish. As we drove to the finish line, we were surprised to see that there were no relay teams ahead of her that we could see. We waited at the finish line and asked a volunteer at the finish line if any relay teams had come in … and none had. Shocked and elated, we anxiously waited for Christine to finish.
A few moments later, we saw her make the last turn and come down the hill to the finish line. We cheered at the top of our lungs as Christine crossed the finish line at 3:08:57!
Rene led the ladies team to a victory at the Vancouver Marathon Relay (coming in First Female Team AND First Overall Team) and I was privileged to be in the presence of equal talent at the Edge to Edge Marathon Relay (coming in First Female Team AND First Overall Team).
Notable performance by Matt Murdoch and Josh Tanner’s team who came in 4th overall in the event – way to go boys!
My mandate for the year as Ladies Rep was to increase our presence in the running community and to make Lions Gate the “team to beat” and I think we’re well on our way.
Rainy Kent ran the Edge to Edge marathon and commented to us that the 2nd place team (an All Male Team) were looking at the results and said “Who are these LGRR people anyway?” and she responded “They’re the Lions Gate Road Runners. They kick ass everywhere they go.”
They say you are only as good as the company you keep and I am ever so blessed to be in the company of such wonderful talented women and supportive men all in one club. To date, we have had a stellar year for the LGRR ladies, and just to name a few:
- First Female Team and First Overall Team at the Vancouver Marathon Relay and Edge to Edge Marathon Relay
- Stephanie Keane running her first marathon
- Ketty Alfaro running her first half marathon
- Rene McKibbin winning the Peach City Half Marathon (first lady)
- My first Boston Marathon
- Tania Tasaka’s PB at the Eugene Marathon
- A few ladies finishing in the top 100 women (Rene McKibbin & Tania Tasaka to name a couple)
- and many more that I can’t think of …