October 31, 2010

Surprise 60th birthday run...

On Thursday I received an emailed invitation to a surprise 60th birthday run arranged for this morning at 9.30am. Thinking it a superb idea, Tim and I were game, and so was Luka. It was another gorgeous fall day, perfect for a celebratory run.

The birthday boy in question is an inspiring ultrarunner who began training for the Vancouver Marathon after a few too many beers one night. However, unlike many boozy bets he stuck to his word and has been a runner ever since. Five years after he took up his new lifestyle, he started and finished the Western States.

Among the many races he has done is the Haney to Harrison 100km, which he has run twice. It was a great and inspiring start to the day. Afterward we went to Vancouver since I had to pick up my race package at the Running Room store. I received my race number, bright yellow, instructions and the H2H black hoody.

I also found out that this edition of the Haney to Harrison is the final one. As for 2011, an ultra will be held in Whistler, a 50-miler held on 20km laps along the Valley Trail which I am not familiar with. I am glad I will have a chance to do this event I have heard so much about since moving to Squamish two years ago.

Piles and piles of H2H sweaters were a reminder there are plenty of relay runners, aside from the 17 solo entrants. Our next stop was the MEC where, among a couple of other items, I loaded up on my favourite gels and bars. I brought 16, and typically have three an hour so that should be five hours worth.

Next stop was the Vancouver Public Library, where the one item I really wanted to get was a novel by John Parker called Once a Runner. Then I went to the sports section where I brought 10 more books, both for motivational and research purposes.

Here's the list, in no particular order:
Going Long: Legends, Oddballs, Comebacks & Adventures edited by David Wiley
Barefoot Runner: The Life of Champion Champion Abebe Bikila by Paul Rambali
Running Through the Ages by Edward Sears
Strides: Running Through History With an Unlikely Athlete by Benjamin Cheever
Run With the Champions by Marc Bloom
Running With Pheidippides by Nick Tsiotos and Andy Diabilis
Marathon Woman by Kathrine Switzer
CC Pyle's Amazing Footrace by Geoff Williams
The Runner and the Path by Dean Ottati
Bunion Derby by Charles Kastner

There should be plenty of extra inspiration in there, for both my running and my writing this week.

Another stop was a shop to get a drink to help me hydrate and stock up on electrolytes this week.

I think I am all set.

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