Running 2:05:08  19.58 km (6:23 / km) +754m 5:22 / km
Handloggers Half on Bowen Island
I've been meaning to get over to Bowen for a while, and discovered last night that this race was happening. Quick on-the-day entry and I was set to go! It's a beautiful island, and although we never got spectacular views, it just means I have to go back some time and summit Mt Gardner :)
The trail race itself was great - trails were well-marked with flour arrows, pin flags and caution tape (across trails you shouldn't take). The only issue is that it was 1.5km shorter than I expected!
My "race strategy" was sound - walk the ups, run the flats and downs, but don't run crazy fast as this is supposed to be a taper weekend. I lost a few minutes to a guy on the big climb (400m in 2.5km), but caught it all back up on the first descent. I may not be fast in rough terrain compared to good orienteers, but I felt like a demi-god on the technical downhill today!
I managed to save a lot of time at the aid stations as I was carrying my own water + tailwind. It was a hot day, and the water was supplied in tiny cups, so non-carrying-people were taking quite a while. It felt great to overtake 2 people at the second aid station by just not stopping :)
I was feeling really strong on the last section (mostly flat) and opened it up a bit. I kept picking people off, most of whom were looking quite tired. I got 3 people in the last km, and if the race had been the distance I was expecting, I probably would have made the podium. The great thing is that I wasn't really tired at the end and still had a lot of energy left. This confirms that I stuck to my "race" plan well, and that I'm definitely in reasonable shape at the moment.
I highly recommend this race for next year. Especially as half the profit goes to the Bowen Island Trail Society, which can only be a good thing. Fingers crossed they'll add some better permanent signage to the expanding network of trails!