mickey mouse

mickey mouse

Monday, 22 April 2013

Boston Strong at the TYS10K

What a beautiful day to run 10K

This was my first race since the horrible events at the Boston Marathon, and I have to admit that I was feeling a bit uneasy. Not because I didn't have faith in the race organizers, not because I didn't have faith in the Toronto Police Department, not because I thought something would happen. I think it was because it had never occurred to me before April 15 that such a thing was even possible.  
I went through my usual pre-race ritual of eating pasta, drinking water, and lying out all the things I'd need for Sunday.  I even polished my nails Boston blue and yellow. The ribbon I wore on my jacket was an actual Boston Marathon medal ribbon, from the medal donated by Rick Hellard to Medals4Mettle. I thought I'd wear it as a small tribute, before I sent the medal back to it's home in Boston, to be donated to someone affected by the bombing.

As part of our race kits we were given special bibs to honour the runners, spectators, first responders, and the city of Boston. Since I already had two other memorial bibs, I thought that they all deserved pride of place, and I attached them all to the back of my jacket. Many sites invited runners to submit photos of themselves at races showing their Boston spirit.
Get Out There Magazine included me in their photos on Facebook in an album entitled Canadians Remember Boston. 

I've never run the TYS10K before, and this year I was invited to participate as a Digital Champion. It was a great experience, to promote the race as an Ambassador on social media. We ran awesome training runs in Toronto with other TYS10K folks, and it was wonderful to be a member of the group. For a very modest donation you could customize your race shirt. I chose my Twitter handle and the hashtag for our group.

The race was wonderfully organized, from reminders that the subway wasn't open, to offers for shuttle rides back to the start line. The bag check was flawless, organized and faster than any I've ever experienced. The corral placement, the volunteers directing us, the start. All went off perfectly.

The race course is a favourite of mine, having done it for the Goodlife 1/2 Marathon and the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. I love running down Yonge street, the memories of living in Toronto, of making great friends, meeting my husband, and working at some awesome companies make the miles fly by.

One of my fellow runners had recently fallen off a ladder, causing whiplash a small concussion and discs in her back to mess up. That meant she hadn't trained as much as she'd like, and despite the fact that she's way super faster than me, she was stuck limping along toughing it out. She never complained, only once admitting that she could use an Advil or two.
As we neared the finish, line, keeping a pretty good pace (but WAY slower than she normally runs) we started laughing about how we could finish with a big kick, but hey, why? This race was to remember, to celebrate, not really to PB. Would I have liked to smoke my prior fastest 10k? Sure. Will I when I run this race next year? BOO YEAH! Here's a link to the Garmin data for the race, we did 10:1s for the most part.

What's next for us? My first ever half marathon is back (and I seek revenge on the final stretch were I considered calling it a day). In a couple weeks we run down Yonge street AGAIN, in the Goodlife Toronto 1/2 Marathon


 This year we'll run together, as a team, with Boston in our hearts, our minds and on our bodies.  A group called Boston We Run With You has created shirts, with the monies going to the Boston Children's Hospital. As Mother Runners we all feel deeply the loss of young Martin Richard. I can't begin to imagine what the family is going through, and I'm overjoyed to be able to give back, even in some small way. Hopefully we will all be healthy and ready to go.

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