On Saturday morning all four of us headed out in our race gear to take part in Somersault’s Colonel By Races. The big events on this day are actually the various Early Bird triathlons and duathlons, what I believe are some of the first races of the multi sport summer season here in Ottawa. If you aren’t interested in swimming and biking though, there were the choices of a 3k or 8k run along the canal, starting at Carleton University.
The two running events started together, so Mike and I, running the 8k, and the boys, doing the 3k, were all at the start line. Once the horn blew though we all ran our own race, me knowing that everyone would be waiting for me as the last runner. I am slowly accepting the idea that despite the fact I started this whole running thing in this family, I am heading towards being the slowest runner of the group. I am hanging on to the fact though that I can still run farther than any of them!
The boys nailed their 3k races, both attaining substantial PB’s, with Evan coming in under 14 minutes and Luke just over the 15 minute mark. Mike finished in an impressive 38:02, a time I can still only dream of. Officially, I also had a PB, coming in at 41:32, although unofficially I have run that distance a few seconds faster. I was pleased with the average 5:11 pace and particularly pleased that my final km was my fastest at 5:01.
With only 67 runners in the 8k race there was certainly no issue with overcrowding. Of course the first km was a little more crowded with the 113 3k runners, particularly the teenage football team that was taking part, some of whom did not realize that throwing a football or stopping dead in a race is not a good idea. Once they had all done their turnaround the road was clear and I was often running on my own.
One slightly confusing incident made me wonder if I was witnessing my first example of out and out cheating. This was an out and back course, but the turnaround happened before the halfway mark. As a result you had to run about 500 m past the finish area, then turn around again to the finish line. On my way to the first turn around the only runners right in my area were two women. It was clear to me they were running together but one was faster and pulled away. For a while I was alongside the second woman and then I pulled away from her. I did my first turnaround and eventually noticed that the second woman was ahead of me, back with her friend. I can space out a little when I am running, so I was trying to figure out exactly when she had passed me. For the life of me I couldn’t remember seeing her go by, which would mean she didn’t run all the way to the turn around. I wasn’t quite sure what to make of that, thinking I really must have just missed her going by me. In a while I passed her again and didn’t think much of it. When I went around the second turn around I saw her turn well beforehand to join her friend again. At that point I figured she must just be pacing her friend, though I could see her ankle timing chip on.
When I crossed the finish line a little behind them I admit I went to take note of her bib number. But she immediately came to me and let me know that she wasn’t trying to cheat, she just couldn’t keep up with her friend. It was only after looking at the standings that I realized her friend was visually impaired, not to mention in need of a faster running guide! I am curious as to what will happen with the standings though. Because the guide had a chip on, her time is recorded in Sportstats. She is listed as the 6th female, right ahead of me as the 7th out of 28 women. Since the guide didn’t run the whole course, she technically shouldn’t be in the standings, so I am not really sure if she will be removed or not.
With such a small race our chances were good to place in our age categories. Like the Winterman Race we just missed all four of us getting lanyards. At that race Mike and the boys picked them up with me just missing out, this time Mike and I won our age groups, Evan came second in his and Luke just missed, coming in 4th. The running joke though is that maybe if he had talked a little less he could have shaved off a few seconds. Only when you are young can you run a 5 minute pace for three kms and at the same time make a new friend and know all about him (age, birthday, favourite activities…you name it) by the end of the race. At that speed I am just trying to keep my breakfast down, never mind have a 15 minute conversation with someone!
Congratulations go out to Amanda and Jerome in the 8k who also won their categories on Saturday. It was fun to be able to cheer for people I know at the awards ceremony 🙂
Next up – Ottawa Race Weekend. So NOT ready.