by Judith Belton
I went a lot further and ran longer than I had intended on my latest wild expedition, which was intended to explore the dyke trail on the east and west sides of the Trans Canada Highway. I made my “trailhead” in the parking lot near the dog park and opposite the Beverly Street entrance of the Cowichan Sportsplex.
I would have started in the Sportsplex parking lot, but they don’t open the gates to allow cars until 8 a.m. and I was up and about two hours earlier. My intention was to see if I could give myself a 10 km run by starting on the dyke trail running behind MacAdam Park, crossing under the TCH and carrying on through on the new dyke section to Church Rd and back. I ended up making a start on the track at the Sportsplex, with the full moon shining overhead, and doing some interval training. I made a short-cut from the track (after I had 3 kms under my belt), across the Duncan Christian School field and then across Trunk Road and through the subdivision roads until I got to the beginning of the dyke trail at the feet of Marchmont and Wharncliffe roads.
I was at the 5km mark by the time I started on this trail. There were lots of dog walkers about at this time, with a feeling of safety and company. I figure I travelled about 1.5 kms until I reached the Silver Bridge and another 2 kms from under the bridge, past Black Bridge on the other side and to the end of Church Rd. I was able to make my way on the trail behind the old Malaspina College building. By the time I retraced my steps and found my way (via a circuitous route) through the subdivisions, I had done a 14.11 km. run. The sun was up and glorious by this time (this was before the heavy rains later in the day), the moon was nowhere to be seen and I was ready for the rest of my day.