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Tearing Up the Lakeshore for the YMCA

Running isn’t always considered a team sport. In most cases when you’re out on the road it is only you, your sneakers and a lot of ashpalt. Once in a while however a team event comes along that changes the rules and turns the pounding you do for yourself, into a gallop you enjoy with the encouragement of your team. At the recent YMCA Corporate Team Challenge at Exhibition Place in Toronto, TEAM RUNNING FREE members slipped on the racing flats and took off to raise money to help send less fortunate kids to camp.

This was my first experience as part of a “team” at an event and I had a great time. Being a bit of a running rookie I was looking forward to the challenge of the 5k route around the CNE and Lakeshore Boulevard at a pace that was above my average. We arrived in plenty of time to overload on food and over-think our strategy (which turned out to be simply – run as fast as you can) and come together as a team. Eventually we made it to the start line to see some pretty serious teams take off. I joined Karen, Bob, JJ and special guest Esther as we worked together to raise some much needed funds for the Strong Kids Campaign at the Y, but we also did TEAM RUNNING FREE proud by taking First Place in the Co-Ed 35+ category adding yet more hardware to the TEAM RUNNING FREE trophy case. With over 550 teams participating TRF placed 20th overall with a time of 1:24:50, off the winning time by 13 minutes.

Being a part of TEAM RUNNING FREE certainly has advantages. Not only do you meet a lot of people at events who come up to say hi simply because you’re wearing team gear, but the team members are there to support each other at team races and at even at individual competitions. TRF certainly made a strong showing at this event and I want to thank the team and RUNNING FREE for their support.
Sincere thank you to Lisa and the entire YMCA team (including over 100 rather soggy volunteers) who made the race happen. Congratulations too to the Y for raising over $100,000 towards the Strong Kids Campaign.
Next year’s race will take place on Wednesday May 26th. Mark your calendar and start training now!

Thank you again to the team for supporting this important cause…see you at the start line next year.

Landon

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