by Bronco, posted on 4:09 PM, July 2, 2013
Sasamat enthusiasts run for campers
On Sunday, June 23, staff, Community Board members and other volunteers participated in the Scotiabank Half Marathon and 5K Run/Walk to raise funds for SasamatOutdoor Centre's "Send a Kid To Camp" program to assist children from less fortunate families to attend a session of summer camp.
In our inaugural year for participation in this event we set a goal of raising $5000.00 and raised $5335.00.
While most of us participated in the 5K Walk/Run, a couple of brave souls did the distance in the Half Marathon.
Valder Belgrave, Treasurer of our Community Board and first time Half Marathoner tells his tale (edited by the author, for the eyes and ears of small children):
A little over seven hours ago I completed my first half-marathon and raised just under $1,000 for the Sasamat Outdoor Centre. This has to be the most painful way to raise money I could have ever imagined.
Now, I've done my share of stupid things over my lifetime, but given my current condition, this definitely ranks at the top of the pain for dollar quotient.
Years of swimming conditioned me into an early riser, so a 5:30 a.m. alarm, a light breakfast, shower and walk with Sumo did not impose any significant hardship. However, mistake number one was assuming that swimming would also prepare me for today's run. The truism about "ass_umptions" certainly rings true this afternoon, as I dragged mine down the staircase to the computer…literally.
I do have a history of knee injuries resulting from previous running exploits, so my declared strategy was to use my swimming to build my cardiovascular base (and I do continue breathing remarkably well in spite of the pain) and do a minimal amount of pre-race running to minimize the risk of injury. Prior to the race, I completed a pretty exhausting 10K run with a group in West Vancouver (thanks Ian) and a lactic-inducing 45 minute run up and down the hills of New Westminster. Clearly, this strategy will have to be revisited should I ever take leave of my senses and sign up for another of these in the future.
The race start was pleasant enough. I cheerily completed the first 5 kilometres to the strains of Gretchen Parlato's Blue in Green running through my mind. I focused on running well within my capacity... .
The first ten kilometres were completed in a respectable 52 minutes, ...... Gretchen (was replaced) by Esperanza Spalding's soulfully scatting Really Very Small. I can distinctly remember thinking, just another one of these to go and I'll be home safe and sound, but I had crossed into a new and unknown frontier. By kilometre 13 I could feel a knot beginning to form in my left calf. My thoughts had drifted to "what the he-- am I doing here" and I was trying to console myself with Chic's Good Times.
15KM, breathing fine, knees holding up ok, but the da(r)ned cramp wasn't satisfied with just my left calf, it took up residence in the right one as well. I don't recall consciously summoning up any music for motivation at this point, but it would probably have been King of Pain by the Police if I'd had my wits about me.
Having earlier overheard one young lady to confide to another that her race strategy was to ensure that she kept running and not resort to walking, I finally cracked at about the 18KM mark and slowed to a hobble. I alternated between a confident walk and a running limp over the Burrard Street Bridge...strategy be da(r)ned when survival is at stake. The final 2 KMS along Beach Ave into Stanley Park were relatively uneventful and I even ran the final 200 metres, being the glutton for punishment that I am.
Now that I've "been there, done that", I want to extend thanks, on behalf of all of the kids who will enjoy their experience at Camp Sasamat this summer, for all of your very generous support. I'm not able to say that the pain was/is worth with it, but time heals all wounds and erases painful memories, so don't be surprised if you hear from me again next year.