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The 86th Annual Harold Webster Memorial Boxing Day 10 miler.

Warning:  This race is marked in miles, not kilometers so be prepared to run it accordingly!
As usual a group of crazy runners got together and went to do a race.  I guess all you need to say are the words “Road Trip” and people jump at the chance.
It all started with a quick stop at Tim Horton’s.  We then piled into our respective cars and left from Pickering just before 9 am to make the trek to Hamilton.  The hour drive flew by as most of us were still waking up from our Christmas Turkey comas.  With no traffic we were able to navigate well and find parking right beside the YMCA.  Heading in, we registered quickly, found lockers and changed into our race clothes and bibs.
The race started at 11 am on the street just behind the Y.  It seemed like there were more runners this year as the street filled up pretty quick.  The weather had cleared so it turned out to be perfect weather for the race.  I think that I would have been comfortable in shorts and a long sleeve shirt.  There were times on the route that I rolled up my sleeves because of how warm it was.
The race started with almost no warning and we were off and running.  With many, many experienced runners in the field, the pace of the first kilometer was quite steady and even.  It didn’t really seem like the usual push and burnout that usually happens.  At the first mile marker I was reminded about what I had forgotten to do: bring a watch.  So I used this as an excuse to race ahead to whoever was in front of me and ask them the time as we passed each mile marker.  There were quite a few familiar faces on the course and a few “merry Christmas’..”.  The route was dry and open.  The police on Point duty kept traffic under control.
If you have ever run this race before you know that there are two major hills on the route.  The first one is around the mid point of the race as you are coming out of the lakeside park/path system.  It is quite deadly and long because you can’t see the top until you are halfway up it.  The Second hill is equally as brutal because it is a little bigger and steeper.  What’s worse is that you can see it from a long ways away.  It is just after the 7 mile mark and climbs to the clubhouse of the golf course and the start of the Rails to Trails section of the route.  Experience will also tell you that this marks the end of the hills on the course, it is all downhill from here!  Two very long downhills take you back into the city.  One slight rise at the 9.5 mile mark will then take you to the last downhill charge to the finish line. 
The hot soup and showers after the race were very welcome to warm the feet back up.  The organizers had some great draw prizes and awards for 3 deep in every age category.  I even got to touch one of the medals as one of our group won third in her age!  Way to go Lynne! 
The race was a highpoint for me this year.  I took over 4 minutes off my PB from last year and I will definitely be gunning for it again next year.  It seemed that most of our group had good or at least Fun runs this Boxing day.  Happy New Year!

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