Brooke and I have run this race every year since 2003, with the exception of last year, when we were in New York City. The Pride and Remembrance Run is one of my favourite races on the calendar. It’s part of the annual Gay Pride celebrations here in Toronto and there’s always a really fun atmosphere, with lots of costumed runners and a real community feeling. Not to mention, they actually cater the food, with great stuff like pasta salad and Dufflet pastries at the finish line! This year, it was going to be kind of a warmup, so to speak, for the much hotter weather we’ll be experiencing on July 4 when we run the Peachtree 10K in Atlanta.
At race time, the temperature was already into the 20s (Celsius) so I knew I’d have to stop at all the water stations since I’d decided not to carry my own water bottle. I started off very conservatively and ran the first kilometre in about 5:15. I actually slowed down for kilometres 2 and 3, and then picked it up toward the end. I’m pretty happy with my time, considering my total lack of training. But it did make me a bit more nervous that the heat next week will be even more debilitating. I’m going to make sure I bring some Gatorade along and I’ll still stop at all the water stations.
P.S. There is one team of guys that always dresses up each year. They’ve come as a team of Richard Simmons one year, and dressed as Dorothys (from the Wizard of Oz) another year. This year they all wore red bathing suits and blonde wigs and came as Gaywatch. Somehow, watching a team of male Pamela Anderson wannabes wasn’t as much fun as watching the real Baywatch girls would have been, but what do I know?
Gun Time: 28:06.0
Chip Time: 27:28.9
Overall Place: 388/812
Gender Place: 280/424
2008 Chip Time: (didn’t run)
2007 Chip Time: 24:28.5
2006 Gun Time: 25:08
2005 Gun Time: 26:06
2004 Gun Time: 24:10
2003 Gun Time: 28:45 (this is still the only race where Brooke has ever beat me, although she was on my heels this year!)
Well, it was a perfect day to run the Sporting Life 10K along with 10,000 others. About 14° Celsius at the finish and clear skies. And I began well. More than well, in fact. Hoping to break 55:00 (a 5:30/km pace), I set off quite quickly and was running close to 5:05 pace for the first 4 kilometres. But I knew I didn’t really have 10K in my legs this morning. I hadn’t run at all since my last race four weeks ago, and although my breathing was good, my legs felt a bit heavy. I figured I could slow down my pace and still make my goal time. Then something weird started to happen.
I have a very fancy GPS watch (Garmin 405) and around the time I began to feel tired, it kept notifying me of my split times several metres BEFORE the course markers. As the race went on, this happened earlier and earlier, until by the end, my watch was reporting that the course was almost 400 metres longer than 10K. As a result, according to my highly calibrated (well, accurate to within 5m, according to it) watch, my 10K time was actually 53:32. When I stopped it at the official finish line, it read 55:12. Odd.
Anyway, even though I didn’t quite reach my goal of breaking 55:00 officially, I felt pretty good for the first half of the race. If only this had been a 5K!
I did struggle in the last half, and felt really dehydrated. Stopping to walk and drink water almost every kilometre near the end wasn’t pretty, but I’ve learned a lesson for our upcoming 10K race in Atlanta on July 4. The Peachtree Road Race will have more than 50,000 participants and the weather will likely be MUCH hotter, so I’m going to make sure I drink plenty of water, Gatorade, whatever it takes.
Gun Time: 56:58.8
Chip Time: 55:23.5
Overall Place: 4901/10762
Gender Place: 3159/4857
Age Group (M40-44) Place: 390/597
2008 Chip Time: 54:32.1
2007 Chip Time: 51:22.7
2006 Chip Time: (didn’t run)
2005 Chip Time: (didn’t run)
2004 Chip Time: 52:30.9
Full results from 2009
As always, the Harry’s Spring Run-Off 8K is the first race of the season for me, and I’ve done next to no running over the winter months. I did go out and run 8k last weekend in preparation, but I was still woefully underprepared for this challenging race, which ends with a steep 300m hill. Yesterday, it poured rain all day and all night, and there was rain forecast for this morning, but luckily it held off. But it was COLD, about 3° Celsius, and with very high gusting winds that made it feel more like -4°. Unfortunately for me, that meant I had to run in long pants with a rain jacket. I absolutely HATE running with all that gear on; I always feel completely weighed down and sluggish, and that was the case today. I ran at roughly a 5:40 pace for the first 5 or 6 kilometres, which wasn’t horrible (except I wanted to be running at least a 5:30 pace), but around 6k, I developed a nasty stitch in my right side that didn’t go away and caused me to stop and try to walk it off several times.
So, I was pretty disappointed overall with my run. Brooke also had a sub-par year, finishing about a minute after me. Imagine my surprise when I realized that I actually improved on last year’s time. Not that 2008 was such a great race for me, either, but I suppose I can take some small comfort from the slight improvement.
Next month, we’ll be running the Sporting Life 10K again, and I hope to do much better. My goal is to run sub-54:00. That’s not very fast, but it will be a (hopefully) reasonable challenge for me.
Gun Time: 48:20.3
Chip Time: 47:29.3
Overall Place: 1060/2016
Gender Place: 703/1043
Age Group (M40-44) Place: 100/140
2008 Chip Time: 47:43.6
2007 Chip Time: 45:23.7
2006 Chip Time: 44:16.8
2005 Chip Time: 42:38.3
2004 Chip Time: 43:26.5
Full results from 2009
Another week, another race. Today it was the Bread and Honey 5K and 15K Race in Streetsville, which is a neighbourhood in Mississauga, just west of Toronto. Again, we were up early (5:30am!) but with the added annoyance of very muggy weather that made it hard to sleep. To make it worse, some partying girls in the apartment next to us were chattering drunkenly on their balcony (right next to our bedroom window) until at least 4am. So, I didn’t sleep much at all.
By the time the race started at 8:00am, the temperature was 25°C and the humidity was stifling. Brooke was running the 15K race, which started at the same time, but by the time she finished the temperature was over 30°C. Needless to say, her time wasn’t as good as the last time she ran this race, in 2004. On the other hand, even running without a watch, I managed to pace myself well even though I had no idea what my finishing time would be. I thought it would be between 27:00 and 28:00, so was very pleasantly surprised.
The race itself was really well supported, with lots of families and several groups of schoolchildren running in teams. I even got to see long-serving Mississauga mayor Hazel McCallion, still going strong into her 80s. Though she wasn’t running, she did have her running shoes on!
That’s all the racing for me for a while. It figures that my Garmin Forerunner 405 shipped last Thursday and will arrive this Tuesday. Though it would have been nice to have it today, at least it will motivate me to go outside as we enter the hottest part of the year. At least, I hope it does.
Gun Time: 26:16.3
Chip Time: 25:43.2
Overall Place: 161/665
Gender Place: 122/286
Age Group (M40-44) Place: 15/41
Full results from 2008 (5K race)
Alfie Shrubb was a world champion runner in the early years of the 20th century. For the past six years, there has been a race in his honour in the town of Bowmanville, east of Toronto. Brooke signed us up for this one for the first time this year, and though I was annoyed I had to get up at 5:30am to get out to Bowmanville in time, it was a nice race. After driving almost an hour east of home, we arrived in plenty of time to pick up our race kits and prepare for the race. The weather was a cool 13° and it looked ready to rain at any minute, but thankfully it held off. The course was a turnaround, on a relatively straight stretch of country road with a few gentle hills thrown in.
Since I’m still without a watch, I ran with Brooke for the first 3.5km or so. I wanted us to stick to a 5:30/km pace, and we actually were slightly ahead of that pace when I took off. While I was satisfied with my time, I’m still pretty far from my best performances. Brooke, however, set a personal best at the distance (44:45) so we went home happy.
Gun Time: 43:38
Chip Time: 43:25
Overall Place: 122/272
Gender Place: 92/137
Age Group (M40-49) Place: 33/50
Full results from 2008