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35th Annual Robbie Burns 8k

Race: Robbie Burns 8k
Date: January 27, 2014
Result: 29:25, 3rd age (45-49).


Award 3rd age

Award 3rd age

A good nights’ sleep starts with actually not remembering how you fell asleep. Because if you can remember that, then sleep was not forthcoming. Hello to another season of racing. Hello again to another night of pre-race nerves. And the 35th annual Robbie Burns race is a great start to the season!

Fortunately, I was asleep almost as soon as my head hit the pillow just after midnight. Unfortunately, I was up at 5:00 am. I had to pee. The cats were rustling about, breaking into a bag of treats they had stolen from the cupboard. The wind was whistling through the eaves. Minus 17C was the forecast for race time. I couldn’t let go of the adrenaline jolt that stole my slumber. I tossed around in bed. By 7 am I thought I should pass on this race and pulled up the covers. I didn’t feel quite right and I could use the rest.

But this race fits into my Boston marathon plan. The training had to be done, so up I got. I convinced myself to keep it to training pace (3:40/k) and not race it. I had set up my schedule to take a crack at 28:00 flat (3:30/k). That juggling now seems a bit of a waste. But, I have found mildly disappointing results can deliver you healthier and in better shape toward the race that really counts.

I took the first km easy, starting a few extra rows back from my usual position, about 5 seconds off the line. All the usual suspects from the Black Lungs were present. This year top master’s runners Predrag Mladenovic and Jose Fuentes had joined the fray, making for even tougher competition than last year. It was easy to let them all go. Initially.

As we turned east on to Fairview we said good-bye to a slight climb and a light headwind. Mother nature had sent us a reprieve: sunny skies, a light wind (not a big factor) and -12C. This could have been so much more painful. Aside from the last km, the roads were wet but clear of snow. So many black singlets bobbed ahead of me, so many Black Lungs to be hunted down. What fine sport to be had!

By the 5k marker, I had passed my fill and fell into pace with the men I had caught up to. I was pleased with all the low 3:30’s I had done and was well below planned tempo pace. I loafed it through a trio of 3:46 splits and the race was in the books, but not before kicking down to reel in one more black singlet at the line. A respectable result, for a training run!

Last year I ran to my limits, a 28:59 good enough for a 1st age prize. This year Predrag took top masters and Jose topped my age category, pushing my result down to third. Thanks guys! But they are simply a higher calibre of athlete. I can only dream of joining them one day.


Born and raised in Hamilton & Stoney Creek. Ran X-Country in high school, but not really special at it - a middle of the pack finisher. But then again, really didn't know how to train. Didn't run after Gr 12 due to nasty shin splints. Really never ran in proper shoes back then. Didn't try to run again until age 30. Then tried. And tried. And tried. Shin splints every time. Finally got it going for good at 38 in proper shoes and I have vowed never, ever, to stop running again.

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