There is much natural beauty on Bowen and sometimes it feels like I’ve photographed most of it. Maybe that is why lately I’ve been drawn to the interesting old human-made things to be found here. For example, when I’m out running in the woods I sometimes come across 100-year old logging equipment. The paint remnants and rust under the moss, and the interesting shapes and textures can look beautiful depending on the light and shadows. At one time this abandoned machinery was unwanted, unsightly junk, but over time it seems nature adopted it, and it is now an interesting part of the landscape. It is good to be reminded of the people who lived and worked here so long ago– and of how transient we are. Which few bits and pieces of our creations will be left after we are gone?

Once the logging was over the island became a popular holiday destination. There were also farms, and manufacturing (including dynamite), even mining. So there are all sorts of interesting bits and pieces to be be found around the island. Things too ordinary or decayed for the local museum but interesting nevertheless.

So I decided to start a project of finding and photographing things left behind on Bowen Island.

Here are a couple of pictures I took this morning at a derelict cottage in Snug Cove. The thermometer evokes fahrenheit-hot summer days, as well as seven-digit phone numbers. I liked the soft, warm colours and the contrasting textures. The clothesline reel and its multiple reflections in the window caught my eye too and brought back memories of summer holidays and bathing suits hung out to dry. There is no avoiding the nostalgia factor but my main goal is capturing things that are visually interesting– and sometimes old is more interesting than new.

Bowen cottages-2

Bowen cottages

Posted in Photoblog

VFAC Summerfast 10K 2015

Finish line photo by Rick Horne

Finish line photo by Rick Horne

Summerfast is my favourite 10K race: small, well-organized by a local running club (VFAC), on a beautiful course (Stanley Park seawall), fast and flat, with great volunteers, and home baked treats at the finish. Good photography too.

Training for an ultra marathon doesn’t do much for your speed so I wasn’t expecting a great time. My goal was just to have fun with my husband, meet up with running friends, and to find out my baseline 10K time for this next training cycle. It was 50:14 –not a PB but good enough this year for first place in the ladies over-60 category. My age-grade was 78% which apparently means that my time was equivalent to 38:39 in the open category. Was I ever an under-achiever back in the old days. In my prime I never approached that speed.

These age-adjusted numbers are interesting, well to some of us anyway. They do add to the competitive fun, especially for older runners though its not really about the numbers. I get more happiness from the sensation of running and racing– and the ineffable *.

And anyway, who cares about past successes or failures? Just enjoy the moment and then move on. I’m already thinking about my next race which will be the Vancouver Eastside 10K on September 19th. Although the Victoria Marathon on October 11th is my fall goal race, training for the Marathon should also prepare me for a good 10K. I’m aiming to beat my 10K PB. No, not my PB from 25 years ago. I’ve reset the clock so a PB for me now means a personal best since turning 60.


*Not your average running blog: Philosopher Jeff Edmonds writes about running and philosophy in The Logic of Long Distance.

Posted in Race reports, Running

Too cute

I’ve been trying to take a break from wildlife photography and focus  (no pun intended) on people, sports, and landscapes… but who can resist a fawn?

deer and fawn-2

Taken from our deck on Bowen with a telephoto lens.

fawn in the grass-2

Earlier, mummy deer had left her fawn hidden in the grass just off our patio. The pair had been foraging for spilled bird seed from our feeders, when they suddenly spotted us drinking our morning coffee. The little deer dropped down to hide and mum took off, perhaps to lure us away from the fawn. Well camouflaged, the fawn never so much as blinked or twitched an ear. Even though I could have gotten close, I used my telephoto lens again for this shot so as not to frighten him.

fawn in the grass

Posted in Photoblog

Wide blue yonder

Heading out again.



With the Comrades ultra marathon and all that energy draining training behind me I have resumed my photographic journey. Running is still a big part of my life and I’ll continue to write about my training and races– but now I’ll have more time for taking pictures.

Posted in Photoblog

Trail photos

It’s been a month since Comrades. For the first couple of weeks I didn’t run at all. Now I’m two weeks into a reverse taper and feeling ready to start ramping up the mileage. So far I’ve mainly run very easy on island trails close to where I live. We’re having a gorgeous summer and it’s been such a joy to run through the forest.

A few times I’ve also walked the trails with my camera. Here are a few photos taken on Bowen Island trails:

 Bowen trail



Trail bridge at Killarney Lake

Trail bridge at Killarney Lake

Bowen trail bridge

Goals motivate me and so I’ve already registered for a few races:

  • Summerfast 10K in a couple of weeks just for fun and to test out my speed. I love this race and try to do it every year. Not having done much in the way of speed work during Comrades training though, I’ll probably be pretty slow.
  • Handloggers (trail) half-marathon in September on our local trails- I haven’t done many trail races but I’m thinking about doing a trail ultra one of these days. I’m thinking of this one as a sort of (oxymoronic) mini-ultra to see if I like it.
  • Victoria Marathon in October. My short-term goal race. This will be the third time I’ve run  this marathon. The first time was in 1990 when I ran a 3:30 PB. The second time was in 2013, when I finished it in a discouraging 4:17 running on a tibia stress fracture. This time I’ll be hoping to at least beat my over-age 60 PB of 3:58.

My long-term running goal at this point is to improve my marathon time (not ready to say yet what that will be).

I had a great Comrades experience and I’m open to the idea of more ultras but I don’t know much about the North American ultra scene and whether I would fit in. It is all about trail running mountains. I do plan to research it further and discuss with my coach.

Anything is possible!

Posted in Photoblog, Running, Training