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Chase the Tornade 10K ~ Grand Valley, Ontario

Chase the Tornado ~ 10K

Grand Valley Ontario. May 26th, 2013

  I’ve just had the chance to sit down and pen a review of this year’s  Chase the Tornado 10K.   My Running Free (Orangeville) supports this local event, and I, along with many of my running buddies cherish theopportunity to both volunteer and run this race.   There are not many local, and well organized events in the Headwaters region of Ontario, so to have the chance to get out and “test” my level of fitness in the early spring is always welcome. For specific race details look here:

This year, the race organizers decided to run the 10K distance in the opposite direction.  One can read about the actual race course by doing a search in the Team Running Free archives, but to provide a brief course synopsis, runners racing this event are faced with a range of technical challenges.  Tarmac, gravel, and trail surfaces are run on, moreover, there are an assortment of hills to traverse, all of various levels of difficulty. This said, this 10K, is not a PB friendly race. But, it is fun to run!  The course is well marked; there are aid stations, marshals, and accurate finish line timing is provided. 

For a race of this size, it’s amazing to see how much support it receives.  This race is hosted by local running group Run Dufferin, and it does a marvellous job of gaining sponsorship from a variety of local businesses and community organizations, including Running Free.  The food, and prizes are donated, and it never ceases to amaze me at the quality of both.  All runners receive a finishing medal, a “goodie” bag and a technical “T” ~ all at a reasonable cost.

I went into this year’s race feeling confident that my level of fitness had improved over the course of my winter training.  I looked forward to running in the country along the banks of the Grand River – what a nice change from previous urban runs, i.e.,Robbie Burn’s 8K , Chilly ½, Hamilton’s ATB.  The weather was cooperative, albeit the winds could have been weaker.  The start of the race was fantastic.  Most of the front running competitors took off setting a quick pace early.  It was a fast first ½.  I was compelled to hold back for fear of going out too hard, but emotions overruled logic, and I simply decided to stick with the front runners.  I told myself “heck, it’s a 10K, what do you have to lose?”  With this mindset, the K’s fell to the way side.  Retrospectively, I enjoyed running this year’s counter clock wise route more so than the previous clockwise direction as the one major uphill became a reasonable decline. Who doesn’t like a gentle down hill?  The back half was challenging. Between the transition from tarmac to trail, and a steady uphill section, runners ran into strong cross winds.  The cross wind made the final 5K quite the challenge. Regardless, I didn’t let the wind deter me. Seeing a legendary local running hero (fast, and knows his “stuff” – thanks John!) cheer us on helped motivate me to keep the legs turning over.  I crossed the line with a sub 40min time. That made me smile.

If you’re looking into a spring “check-up” 10K, I urge you to take a look at the race homepage.  It’s simply hard to describe the high level of organization, and dedication of the race organizers, volunteers and race sponsors. More over, it’s even harder to describe the beautiful environment one finds themselves surrounded by, while running the, side roads of Grand Valley Ontario.

See you next year!


Avid outdoorsman. Live in small rural community with many opportunities to get outside! Running is my passion, but do frequently get out on my bike, and while up north at the cottage, get my share of swimming in. Look forward to a great 2012 season, and am looking for interested individuals to compete in Adventure racing.

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