MEC Langley Race 4 – Campbell Valley Speedway 5k

This was run on Sunday October 30, 2016.  It was supposed to be October 16th but bad weather closed the course.

Unfortunately, there’s no “Race FOUR” poster to post here !

Cold morning, got to the Speedway around 8:30.  Strange place – a ‘forgotten’ sprint-car oval in the middle of a forest, only recently “rediscovered” and brought back into occasional use.

The morning, and the day on the whole, was very nice –  better than the rainy day before, better than the rainy day that Monday was going to be.  The course itself wasn’t all that great – the first (and last) 3/4 of a kilometer was forest trails, and I mean forest trails – roots and rocks and mucky spots, no pressed navvy-jack trails.  Got caught behind a couple runners and couldn’t find a way to pass for 100m or so.

And my Video iPod (b-day present 7-8 years ago, has all my music on it and my best playlists) decided to run dry halfway thru the second song.  And my lungs were not in the mood for this adventure.  So all told this was shaping up to not be any kind of winning effort.

It's already framed !

It’s already framed !

There seemed to be a lot of confusion on this course.  The half-marathoners left at 9:00, the 10k’s at 9:15, and the 5k’s at 9:30.  I think at least 5 people in each class went off-course; in some cases just a wrong turn quickly corrected, in others a much, much longer delay.

For most of the course there was a woman in a Batgirl costume (day before Halloween, remember) who was pushing a decent pace.  I fell in behind her, usually within 6-10 ft until I’d take a 20-30 sec resting walk interval, then resume running and catch up.  Well, as we finished our loop and doubled back on our original track, she was ~100m ahead and going down a hill out of sight.  I didn’t see her again for the rest of the race, which at that point was about the last 1.5k.

I cross the finish line (the race started and ended on the oval racetrack) and am standing these about 4-5 mins later when I see Pace Batgirl again – but she’s running in from the finish-side of the oval, and crosses the finish line from the wrong side.  Turns out, I overhear, she was following another runner who turned the wrong way at a fork in the path, and they ended up doing an extra 2k loop before stumbling back onto where the finish line was !

Sounded like more than a few people missed the turns.  It seemed marked well enough, I thought – orange pylons ‘blocking’ the wrong way, if not volunteers pointing the right way.  Allegedly there was a water station for the 5k’s but I don’t recall seeing it, just hearing a mention of it from a volunteer at the point on 216th where the 10k’s went right and the 5k’s went left.

Oh, and the organizers’ generator crapped out for 5-10 mins, deflating the finish-line arch as people were coming in, and raising fears that the chip-times would be lost (they weren’t).

The MEC races seem to draw a friendly, easygoing crowd.  And given the race is $15 (for 5k’s at least) and not for ‘points’ or prizes, no-one has much reason to be irate.

Well-organized as usual, from the ‘front office’ side – MEC even phoned me on Oct 15th to inform me the race was postponed.  Their e-mails were very informative :

Hello runners,

Good News!

Race Four Campbell Valley has been re-scheduled for October 30th.  If you have not already returned your race package, please return it before package pick up on Saturday, as we will need to re-assign bib numbers. We are also allowing runners to transfer their registration to Langley Race FIVE on Saturday, November 12th, with a 5K and 10K option in Williams Park if they are not available next Sunday.

Who loves Halloween?  We do! Show off your running friendly costumes on race day with us!



Race Four is fast approaching, so here are a few tips and reminders for the Campbell Valley Run.

Package pick-up is at MEC Langley on Saturday October 29th from 9am – 4pm or at Campbell Valley Park on Sunday October 30th from 8am – 8:45am.

To access the start/finish area, take 208th St. south from 16th Avenue.  It is a dead end road, but go to the very end and there will be a lane that takes you to the Historic Langley Speedway.  Because of the high fire risk, cars must be parked on the pavement of the Speedway.  There is NO parking on the grass.

Start times are as follows:

Half – 9am

10K – 9:15am

5K -9:30am

The race is chip timed and the timing chip will be given to you at package pick-up.  The chip is to be worn on your shoe.  If for any reason you don’t do the race, the timing chip must be returned to the store.  Results after the run can be found at:

The route is on a variety of surfaces.  It is a combination of pavement, single track trail, horse trails, and foot trails.  There are some areas where you may encounter equestrians.  Proper etiquette is that you WALK past the horses and avoid any sudden movements.  The local community has been notified about the run however we are sharing the trails so please be considerate.

There will be one water station for the 5K, three for the 10K, and six for the Half.

There are washrooms at the start/finish,  and a washroom close to the 10K turnaround which the Half Marathoners will go by twice.

Stick around at the finish line for some refreshments and cheer on your fellow runners.  It’s pretty cool that in the middle of a beautiful big park there is this historic Langley Speedway.

Thanks for participating in our event and for your patience while we re-scheduled.


Kara Power

Mountain Equipment Co-op


As to the outcome – the course was actually 4.8k, not a full five, so this throws matters off a bit.  What the Garmin GPS shows is this :

27:23 on an incomplete 5k, with a lousy pace of 5:44 min/km.  Which I get; there were a lot of walking intervals in there, out of necessity.  It’s a time under 28 mins, tho.  And in the last ~150m there was a 5k runner coming up behind me, on the oval.  I shifted ‘outside’ to give him the inside track, not wanting to be rude.  As he pulled alongside I realised we weren’t that far out from the finish, so I apologised to him and turned on the jets, sprinting in the last distance (Lap 19, above).

Looking at the official numbers, I ran a 27:18 for what they claim to be a 5:26 pace.  This puts me 9th place of 20 on the mens’ side :

And considering the top finishers of the 38 ladies who ran it :

Then of (20+38) 58 competitors, I came in 16th overall.

Next event, Nov 12th.



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