My favourite race of the year by far is the Sporting Life 10k.
I love the course, the downhill grade, the energy, and supporting Camp Ooch, a camp for kids with cancer. So awesome.
My goal this year was to run a sub 40 time. In previous years I have run the race in 42 and 41 minutes so it was a lofty reach goal but if I trained properly it could have been well within reach. I ran about 1-3x a week leading up to the event. I knew going into race morning that my preparation was nowhere near where it needed to be. It's not that I don't like running, I just find it a little lonely and I'd rather do a super fun workout class than go for a run. I knew that getting under 40 minutes on race day would be a miracle! My new goal was to run and have fun and maybe walk out of there with a personal best.
I started the race with Eddie, my sister's boyfriend and a great running buddy of mine. We went out at a blistering pace finishing our first km in 3:36 - way too fast! It is hard not to get caught up in the energy of the start! Usually I struggle around the 8 km marker in a 10k but this year I started to DIE around the 3 km. I kept running but I just wanted to roll over and jump out of the race. The feeling of 100s of runners swallowing you up is never pleasant! I pushed through and managed to find my stride around the 1/2 way 5 km marker. Last year I went through the 5 in 19:40, this year I was 22:20. I knew then and there that my chances of doing anything of huge significance for me were gone. But it was kind of nice to relax and enjoy a bit of the race. I knew that a few of my friends were trying to run around the 45-50 marker so maybe I'd see them.
Sure enough at the 6 km marker I ran into my friend Emily. She told me that her goal was to PB and get anywhere around 46 minutes. It was go time, I gave her a few pointers to focus on but mainly I just steadied the pace and ran right beside her. We crossed the line in 45:36 - it was awesome. She is one tough cookie and I was so proud of her! Emily was completely spent at the finish line and ran a great race! It was nice to know that out of my bad came her great. A nice reminder that it is often better to give than it is to achieve.
At the end of the race we are all winners supporting kids with cancer at camp. I love this race, it's always a great Toronto highlight for me. Congratulations to all the runners at yesterday's race - especially the moms! Looking forward to next year already!