Signing up for this race was a bit of a last minute decision. Luckily I managed to do so before it sold out. This popular local race is a fun jaunt along the public trails and boardwalk around Ashbridges Bay with money, food and toy donations collected to benefit Centre 55. I have a spring half marathon planned so I thought a 10k would help me determine where my running is at. What better way to do that than with a run for charity.
Naturally with an early December race in Canada you expect the unexpected weather wise. Past years have seen the full gamut from balmy fall like temperatures to full on blizzards. The forecast this year was a mixed blessing. Although temperatures were to be relatively mild, high winds and heavy rains were also forecasted. Sure enough that was exactly what greeted me. In fact, the radio that morning said we were experiencing a “weather bomb”. Ha! How appropriate yet dismaying for the Tannenbaum 10k! A little rain never hurt anybody but sustained winds of 35 km/hr with gusts up to 60 had me a little bummed. Trying to look on the bright side, at least the course was flat and I knew there would be hot Starbucks coffee waiting at the finish line.
Despite the weather, everyone at the start was jovial and eager to run. This isn’t a chip timed run, so gun start counts for everybody. Off we went, an already soaked motley crew with various Christmas accoutrements amongst us.
The first third of the race was with the wind at our backs and I figured I should make up as much time here as possible, knowing I would slow down considerably once we turned around. This tactic served me well and I held my own with only a few people passing me. One was a gentleman wearing socks with thong style flip flops. I thought he was slightly nutty but not nearly as crazy as the barefooted guy I saw later on!
Already drenched to the bone, the whitecaps off of Lake Ontario were so large that there were a few points on the course we were getting sprayed as they crashed on the rocks. Since I really couldn’t get any wetter, I actually thought it was just kind of funny.
At around the 4 km point, we started heading back east, directly into the wind. The course then continues for about the next 4 km on this bearing. Once I was running into the wind I realized two errors in judgement regarding my attire. If I wanted to see, I should have worn my contacts, not glasses, and a soaking wet running shell makes a pretty good sail. Off came the glasses and I kept my head down to watch my footing. I trudged along into the wind, trying to minimize the effect of my flapping jacket and even though I slowed down considerably, I was still technically running.
I think I was happier to reach the final turn around and have the wind at my back again than I was at the finish. I gave out a woo hoo and picked up the pace considerably with the last 2 km still to go. I passed a handful of people, energized by the extra boost but perhaps was a little too keen as I couldn’t keep it up and was passed back by most of them in the final kilometre.
Reached the finish line in 58:59, well off what I was aiming for but good enough for 26/101 female and 70/172 overall. Had my Starbucks and a cookie, thanked a few volunteers (they were troupers!) and headed home for a hot shower and dry clothes. Sure it was wet and windy and it may have been a weather bomb but the race wasn’t. Well organized and fun, the Tannenbaum 10k is a great event.