Wednesday, August 25, 2010

100 years of Fun at the Fair at the PNE

As a little kid, I loved going to the fair at the PNE every year. The popular annual fair only comes during the last two weeks of summer and did I mention it’s near my backyard?

For those who are still clueless, (ehem man with a million names), the Fair at the PNE is basically your last chance to complete all your summer’s to do list before school starts again. For adults, it was a chance to “WIN A HOUSE! WIN A CAR!” It was a pretty big deal for my dad over the years.

Hard to forget those little yummy (but dangerous for waistlines) donuts!

Yepzers, those ones! A summer’s must do.

Slowly as the years wandered by, the fair and I grew apart – tears T.T. As buildings were being torn down, the park was being restored into greener space. At one point, threats even came for moving the fair elsewhere, maybe Surrey? And despite key attractions getting smaller in scale by each year, the fair has still managed to survive all 100 years of it in a little piece of land known as Hastings Park.

I guess this is one of main reasons I felt so compelled as my civic duty to crash its 100th year anniversary. What I soon realized is that it was a lot of fun, you’ll see why in a moment. No regrets.

Of course this is a training blog, so opinions expressed on this post may have an unusual high-level of favouritism towards anything-cardio related (there, you are forewarned). =)

There was a lot to see and do, like watching heated track competitions especially. Racing, although its most basic form is in the form of distance running, can be quite a popular (entertainment attractions for people) fitness lifestyle for many farm animals too as witnessed at the park.

I was quite impressed with the calibre of competition, and could learn a few tricks from our furry friends. How to become one step closer to global domination, STEP No. 6 take in the spectacle.

First item on the list was Superdogs at Pacific Coliseum. They even had a very fitting titled sponsor, President’s Choice. I was just connecting the dots, i.e. the real Canadian SUPERstore sports the no-name brand PC, so hence SUPERdogs.

This show was called “BFF-LOL-WOW”, no joke. The show started with a few dancing routines and groovy theatrics before the exciting team grand prix event.

Apologies for the less-than-amazing action shots. These dogs were flying like superheroes out there. They never seemed to fail at impressing me.

They were graceful speed demons ripping up the fake grass. A greyhound’s top speed is 39mph, or better known as 0:57 min/km pace! A Whippet isn’t far behind at 35mph, 1:05 min/km pace. Great leg turnover speeds, and excellent stride lengths and superb cardio!

WHOLY SMOKES, if only I can run like that!

Next up was the duck and pig races at the Farm Country barn.

My guessimate the ducks were probably going at 8min/km pace.

These undeniably adorable ducks were all show as they take the plunge. 

The pink squeaking oinking herd was next up. They hug the final bend without any sign of slowing down at about 10mph, at 3:30 min/km pace (my kind of pace bunny).

The final event featured live horse racing at the Hasting Racecourse. Despite the potential dangers for both jockey and horse, doping, and gambling in this sport, a casual viewer like me was certainly impressed by the utter speeds these horses can generate. I’ve learned the track length is 6-1/2 furlongs (8 furlongs is equivalent to a mile). I can certainly appreciate the top speed of a horse – 47.5 mph or 76 kph and this works out to be a ridiculous 0:47 min/km pace. That’s faster than what I can bike going downhill with a tail wind!

Another must see event is the Peking Acrobats, very impressive and actioned packed. I'll try not to give any spoilers, but this one takes the cake. ^^

Ten on a bicycle!

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