After my ankle injury, I was debating whether to run a half marathon in Washington or one in B.C. I decided against the Washington race because it was a trail race. And my fear of running the trails still lingers after 2 weeks. So the only choice left was to do a road race. This one was on an island called Texada Island, in the Sunshine Coast.
This island was very difficult to get to, because it is quite remote. We had to transfer ferries 3 times. We started early in the morning around 6:30am and drove to Horseshoe Bay which is the main terminal for most of the island ferries.
The ferry rides were breath-taking. It was a sunny morning and waters were calm. We got off the first island and onto the second, and then to our final island. Each subsequent ferry got smaller and smaller.
The name Texada Island is of Spanish origin (see details of island) and was mainly a mining town before. The raw beauty of this island is really quite incomparable.
Everywhere we went, towards the Shoreline Park, we saw deer – and I mean lots and lots of little deer. They were on every residents’ lawn! Oh, deer!!!
I couldn’t believe how friendly these deer were. They were so humanized; they were not scared of people at all. At the place we stayed, they literally came up to our deck. There was an apple tree, and they were looking for fallen apples. Guess deer must be vegetarians!
As my family was cooking dinner, one deer remained outside our cabin for maybe 10-15 minutes. It stared right at us! At that moment, I didn’t know whether to retreat indoors or continue relaxing outside on the deck.
Before dinner, I went for a little shake-out run with my husband. It was very hot at the time, but we ran along a very nice, peaceful trail.
This town was so friendly, that we picked up our bibs at the organizer’s house. Very different. The town was also so quiet; I swear you could hear a pin drop. There were barely any car noises. From our cabin, we could capture the shimmering reflections of the water. It was particularly breathtaking as the sun went down. Really quite neat!
The morning of the race, I woke up around 7:00, had my breakfast and got dressed. As my family was making our toast, the toaster set off the smoke alarm. I am sure we woke all the neighbours up!
I had a hard time figuring what shoes to wear for the race. I hadn’t really worn my old pair of running shoes for about 2 weeks and I was so worried about my ankle – would it hold up or not?
Despite this, I decided on my usual pair! Once I was ready, we drove off to the start. When we got there, there was the Texada Museum. The exterior was kind of reminiscent of the Yukon gold-mining era, with a wooden frame. I didn’t have time to check it out thoroughly, but it was open to runners to use the washrooms before the race.
We lined up at the start at about 8:20am. The race announcer was radioing back and forth, and explaining the rules of the race, then with about 10 seconds to go, he called out start.
The first loop was brutal, because we had to run uphill already. Not having run for almost 2 weeks, my legs felt so heavy and my breathing too. It was like learning how to run all over again.
The half marathon had about maybe 30 or so runners. Not a big race, so after the first loop, we started spreading apart. For this course, the first half of it was brutal. There was lots of climbing to do. It was the latter part which got easy.
I ran this race with the mindset that I just wanted to run pain-free, without really paying attention to time. I was lucky the whole race as my ankle held up and I was able to pick up pace.
I did well considering I just came back from my ankle injury. The quick downhill at the end certainly helped.
The medal we received was carved from limestone and came from the quarry on the island. Very different!
Despite the time it took to get to this race, it was worth every minute of it. From the town’s friendly residents, to the cheerful volunteers at the finish at Shelter Point’s Park, it was absolutely spectacular!!
Run the Rock, I will treasure all the beautiful memories from this race!
Thanks to the organizers for putting on such a wonderful race. I wish you every continued success!