Jul 15, 2012
Fairview, Alberta
2006 Z06
So 6:07 am and today (May 4th) is my first race of the year. Honestly even after doing this for a couple of years I still find myself intensely nervous. How will I do? In this case a race I have never done before near a small village called Watino along the Smoky River.

It is about 90 minutes away and the forecast has changed from yesterday, no longer calling for a 30% chance of flurries and highs of 6, so I am thinking that I'll take the Z06.

I was also thinking far enough ahead to check the shortest distance to get there which was good since I had originally planned on taking the Fairview/Rycroft/Wanham road which is probably 30 plus minutes longer than the Peace River/Falher road. Sure it would give me more Z time but that is not the goal today.

It will involve some (probably) good changes in elevation along the river valley which I am not so excited about since I suck at hills but I am hoping that they will not be to long.

There were I think close to 70 people there last year, it was a fund raising event in honour of a local lady who died from breast cancer and it may be the same this year.

Curently -2 but with not to much of a breeze so that will be almost ideal weather for me since I tend to perspire so much!

But a good result, bad or otherwise it is a case of partitipating and pushing myself to do as best I can.

So if you read this in time, 10:30 to 11:30 am Alberta time, would you say a quick prayer for me?!


Best of luck Garry! I give runners credit! You're a tough breed! Let us know how it went.

Sent from my SGH-I747M using Tapatalk
Good afternoon Gentlemen,

Well it is all over but the pain! I actually tried to take some video clips during the race for the first time so I'm uploading them right now - they should be good for a laugh I'm sure.

The race was not as well attended as last year but I did finish 1st overall which was a first for me! A miserable mother hill climb about 4 km into the "10 km Challenge" category. Bad enough that I was reduced to walking at one point!

But also a great drive in the Z06, 90 minutes one way!

I'll do a write up as soon as I can. Now off to the farm and move the tractor and drill in front of the shed.............

Thanks for the supportive words guys, I had you all in mind when I needed to push myself or wanted to give it up.


Well, it is done. As usual it got a bit long. It is pulled from the diary I write for my son so if the tenses seem funny you have to imagine that I am talking to my son and then it might make more sense...........I hope you will enjoy it and perhaps laugh...........

The videos are on my Youtube site but here is a link to the first part, there are six. I haven't looked at them myself so I hope they are OK.

2014 Wanham Spring Scurry Running Race 10 km Challenge Part 1 - YouTube

May 5th

I went to my first race on Sunday, the “Wanham Spring Scurry” at Watino, along the Smoky River. The weather had originally been calling for 40% flurries the previous night but in the morning the forecast had changed to no precipitation so I decided to take the Z06. I was lucky in that I also realized that it was much shorter to go through Peace River and to Falher rather than going through Fairview and Rycroft. We had talked a bit about you coming with me to the race but as you were not overly excited I didn’t push it as this was not a weekend I would normally have you and there was another race next weekend that I also hoped to go to when I would have you – not that you’ll still want to go!

The drive down was nice. I called my friend Norm to see if he was at the farm which is along the highway as I was going to tap the throttle on my way by to get his impression of what the car sounded like from the outside since I don’t know that myself! But Norm didn’t answer his phone. I still had plans to stop to see Norm on my way back. The stretch of road from Falher to the Watino valley was terrific, flat, straight and the pavement in great condition. But I held my speed to the posted limit, practice makes perfect, right?!

It was easy to find the Watino Community Hall where the race was being held. I was not sure if there would be a large crowd or not and if I would know anyone. The only person I suspected I might know was Shara Stolhandske, the younger sister of Sharla, one of my two best assistants from my days with CPCS in Spirit River. Lo and behold when I went inside the hall there she was! I walked up to her and smiled and she smiled back and so I gave her a hug but it was a bit lukewarm which surprised me. I said to her, “Well I know you’re not Sharla but I can’t remember if you are Shara or Shenda”. Their parents had three daughters and all have “sh” names. All three are also exceptional kids, real performers. Sharla went on to get her M. Sc. And to teach at Simon Fraser University, Shara went to work for the CWB and then Cargill and Shenda was farming in Saskatchewan while operating an agri-business of some type. Then she looked at me and said that she was Shara but she didn’t recognize me. When I told her who I was a smile just beamed from her face and then I got a proper hug! Shara had become a runner a few years ago and we had done a previous race once before but it had been a while and of course she may not have recognized me as I’ve changed just a bit!

It is nice to have a Stolhandske in the area period but more so since Sharla comes to visit her sister and then I get to see her as well and it makes me feel good that even though we worked together back in 1990/91 Sharla still stays in touch with me.

So I wandered around and went for a walk to calm my nerves. I always get so nervous before a race. I harboured the thought, I will admit it, that I would do well in the race since it was a local event, sort of out of the way and I was not sure how many would attend. There appeared to be about 40 people, walkers and runners and in different categories, 5 and 10 km walk, 5 and 10 km run and the 10 km “Challenge” run which was the class I would be in. Apparently a hill you have to do that it difficult. Oddly, there were two of Aidan’s teachers there too, Mrs. Hvamb (kindergarten and Grade 2) and Mrs. Casselman (playschool).

So the course was explained to use and we got ready for the race. The race would start on a gravel road, then through a trail in the bush along the riverbank, back to the gravel road and then up the hill, along an old railway line, through the gravel pit and then the sprint home. I was not playing too close attention and the race actually started before I was up to the start line so I was a bit unprepared! I had been watching this girl, maybe 13-14 warming up and she looked pretty serious and indeed she was off like a shot. Her name was Brittany as I later discovered as people were cheering her on – the local favorite! I was in fourth behind two other girls but they stopped running after a few 100 meters so it was just Brittany and I. I was slowly creeping up on her and as she had her music on (always a mistake runners make I feel as you are not as aware of your surroundings) she did not know that I was wheezing up behind her. I passed her on the first section of gravel road and I thought ‘wow for the first time ever I am actually leading a race overall!”. I checked my Garmin Forerunner (GPS watch) and saw that my pace to that stage was 4:43 which is a bit too fast for me so I knew I would not be able to hold that. Then Brittany must have changed to a song with a faster tempo as she passed me and stayed about 5 meters ahead. I thought that it was unlikely that I would be able to stay with her let along catch her and I was a bit disappointed. But I kept on as best I could. Then oddly while Brittany kept on going straight on the gravel road I was directed to my turn to enter the bush trail portion. Well that changed things as Brittany was no longer doing the same distance I was! I was back into first place overall! There were a few kids from the local Eaglesham School’s cross country running club but they were currently no threat.

The trail portion was actually sort of nice. You can see the river and while it was leafless I’ll bet when the leaves are out on the trees it is very beautiful. The organizers did a great job of marking the trail so you did not get lost and so it was just a matter of trying to go as fast as you could, twisting back and forth and trying not to trip on the roots etc. Eventually I rejoined the gravel road and continued on. I saw the turning point to go up the hill and I started to get worried! The closer I got the more worried I became! OK that was one steep hill! So up I started. It twisted back and forth about every 50 meters or less so I had no idea of what it was like as I had never done this course before. Well, it got steeper as I went and the hill never seemed to end! As I went up I actually reached the point where I think I was walking more than running. Reviewing the data from the Garmin it turned out to be a rise in elevation of 76 meters over 500 meters. It was not so much the rise as how long it kept going for and that in the end it was worse as I was getting to the top compared to the bottom.

I should add here that while I bring my camera with me to races usually I only take still pictures and this time I thought it would be fun to take video clips that I would try to give some narration to depending on the wheezing and panting!

At the top of the hill you turned left and went along the old railway track. It took me a few steps to get back to running again and not very quickly either I might add. But off I went. I had checked a few times behind me and I never saw anyone else so I was hopeful but at the same time I do poor on hills and these young kids don’t ever seem to get as winded as I do so I was not sure what sort of pace they would be carrying. And even if you are confident of no one catching you there is the pride of pushing yourself to still do the best that you can and not just slowing down to finish a step ahead of the person behind you.

The gravel pit was again a challenge. I find gravel and sand the most difficult sort of footing to run on as it just seems to leach the energy out of me. So up and down these gravel and sand trails and at the far end again steal a look behind me and so not was there.

I checked my Garmin and it told me I had about 1.5 km left to go and I could see the buildings of the hamlet of Watino ahead of me. Onwards, pushing as hard as I could. At this time my average pace had dropped to 5:44 which was a bit slower than I’d hoped for but then again I had no idea of what that hill was going to be like.

Finally into the clear and the final 300 meters to the finish line. Wow what a disappointment – no one waiting at the finish line! Usually at most races you have a crowd that has gathered at the finish line to cheer their friends on and of course all the others who have finished before you. I felt sort of let down. So my final time was 51:13 and the distance was not 10 km but 9.11 km (it is hard to get races to be an exact distance) for a final pace of 5:38 so I had been able to pick it up at the end.

My margin of victory was a bit over 7 minutes from one of the Eaglesham club runners.

So my first, 1st place overall. I guess there is no doubt that it was due in part to there being a smaller group of runners but either way I am happy with the outcome and the feeling. I do wish that they would have had ribbons or medals etc. for placing as they do at most races but this being a smaller event I guess they did not go to that length. I always consider them to be such nice keepsakes, for example I have all of my other ones including my bibs marked with the date, where I placed in my division, where I placed overall, my time, pace etc.

So I hung around for about 15 more minutes, cheered on a few runners who also showed up and then into the Z06 and on my way home. One fellow who was there complimented me on the car twice which was also a nice feeling.

I called up Norm and stopped to see him and his family for about 30 minutes and then back home, to clean and eat and then off to the farming thing. Uncle John had to replace an auger on his cleaning plant so Dad was helping them so I gave them a hand and then gave dad a ride home. I think he was pretty tired after that experience. I moved the go cart forward in the East Garage and I was able to fit my BigHorn side-by-side in behind it so I could finally start to tackle replacing the clutch – it was suppose to rain and snow on Monday so that would be something to do. So I moved my combine with the new stripper header on it back to it’s parking place and moved the tractor and seed drill then the sprayer to the south side of the machine shed in preparation to checking them over for seeding.

So I came back home, dug out the clutch, changed the pillow springs to some stronger ones and read the instructions again and off to “pull wrenches” as they say. I had taken the box off to give better access which turned out to be a good thing. Getting the cover off the drive was fairly easy. But then the snag. You need special tools to hold the primary pulley and also the bell housing stationary to remove the nuts. The bell housing was made of steel so I was able to wedge a punch in to hold it still and to get the nut off but sadly the outside pulley is aluminium and when I tried the same technique I broke off the cooling fins so now I need to get a replacement for that – sigh! And still I can’t get the belt off until I get the front pulley off before I can take the clutch off. On the plus side, yep, the clutch was a melted mess! There is a lot of metal stuck to the inside of the bell housing as well. So I will try to get a replacement for that too. I’m not sure how easy it would be to find someone to throw it on a lathe and to get it turned and cleaned up...............

And thus was my Sunday!
Interesting terrain in the videos I didn't expect to see .Ya did great and it inspired me to start running a little (LITTLE).I also enjoyed the breastfeeding clip :D

Ya did great
Thanks! And oh great now I'll have to look at the videos to see what you mean! Still two left to go...........
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