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A Midsummer Night’s 30km

Race:  A Midsummer Night’s 30km

Date:  August 21st, 2010

Location:  Toronto


I had been looking for a race to do in August anything from a 10km to a half marathon would have sufficed so when  my friend Linnea sent me the link for this, I thought perfect, a 30km is even better!  I took a look at my training schedule and I was scheduled to do a 32km run that weekend so I figured this would be a good time to do a race paced run.   It was 5 weeks out from Scotia so it would give me a good idea as to where I was at at this point in my training. The only thing I wasn’t too keen on was the 5:30 pm start time.  I run much better in the morning but I have been training a bit at night so I figured I’d probably be ok.

I had a pretty big week of mileage scheduled but ended up missing a run and cutting another run short, which is just as well as I wanted to go into this race with relatively fresh legs.  I was hoping to maintain a 5:20/km pace as that is my goal pace for Scotia.   My “virtual” training partner, Kim, was also going to be running this so it would give us a chance to run together.  She was aiming to run 5:22’s but I figured I could push her a bit.

Linnea and I had decided to dress up as this seems to be the norm for this race.  Our version of dress up was a lot more tame than some of the other folks we saw but 3okm is a long way to go wearing a toga or wings on top of your running gear.  That and it was also supposed to rain.  The last thing I wanted was to run 30km in a soaking wet toga with make-up streaming down my face.   So we opted for some kids sized tutus and some sparkly headgear.  It looked awesome with my compression socks and Team Running Free singlet. (HA!).  I have to say, it made the atmosphere of the race very laid back and light-hearted.

After a quick warm up run we lined up at the start line, ready to go.  The gun went off and Kim and I started on our way.  Linnea was quickly becoming a speck in the distance (she ran a 2:25!). Kim helped keep me in check for the first few km as I tend to start off really quickly.   We ran really strong through the first 11km.  I couldn’t believe that 11km had passed so quickly.  I guess that’s what happens when you spend the first third of a race chatting away with a friend.  By that point we had made it into Tommy Thompson Park.  The clouds had started to roll in and the wind had picked up.  The park offered some shelter going in but on the way out we were running in and out of some nicely gusting wind.  It was also quite muggy so I was quite pleased when it started to rain.  It was a light rain which made it almost like running through one of those misting machines they have at races when it’s really hot out.  I just hoped it didn’t rain harder.   Kim started to struggle a bit through 18-21 km and we ran in silence for a while. We hit 21.1 km in 1:51:51. We were a bit faster than our goal pace – woohoo!  The goal was to see if we could maintain that same pace for the next 8.9km.  The next few kms were run in relative silence, punctuated by some complaining about how much our legs hurt.  By 24 km I had run out of fluids and was dying to take the last half of my GU Roctane.  All I could think about was getting to the aid station just past 27 km.   I had obviously picked up the pace a bit because I totally lost Kim.  I made it to the aid station, Roctane ready to go.  Gulped down some water and the last of my gel.  By this point my legs were killing me.  I just kept telling myself to run through the pain.  I hit 28 km and thought, only 2 more km, 11 minutes max.  I had been watching the time creep up and I thought I might actually have a chance at making under 2:40:00.  I pushed a bit more.  At 29km I thought ok, this it, I’m going to give it everything I’ve got left.  My legs were throbbing they hurt so much but all I could think about was getting to the finish line.  I saw Gary with about 200 m to go and waved.  As I rounded the bend I checked my watch – 2:39:20 something.  I had one last kick of adrenaline and surged to the finish line.  I crossed in 2:39:43.  Made it by 18 seconds.  AWESOME.  Good thing I didn’t have to run another 12.2 km because truthfully I don’t know if I could have maintained that pace for much longer.  Good thing I’ve got another 5 weeks to work on that.

All in all it was a really well organized race, great volunteers and a nice, flat, relatively traffic free course.  The medals were amazing as was the race ‘schwag”.  The race is sponsored by New Balance and this year, participants received zip up dri-fit type hoodies and a stainless steel water bottle at the finish line.  Much nicer than a t-shirt and a plain old bottle of water!  I’ll be back again for sure!

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