Friday, May 23, 2008

Philly's Fools

March 30, when I rolled out of bed, slightly anxious, not really knowing what to expect, the day looked okay, sunny, maybe slightly breezy.

My first race ever, since school picnics in elementary school days! I had entered with some others from my running clinic to run the 5 km race. There was also a 10 km run, as well as walkers doing both distances.

Philly's Fools is put on by a dedicated group of runners and raises money for different charities each year. This year's beneficiaries were the Sea Cadets. Sea Cadets were on hand with music to start off the festivities with a bang. Hosted by the Running Room, the headquarters on race day was the Whitby Marina Club House and it turned out to be a wonderful place to get out of the freezing wind!

Anyhow, nerves and all, I thought the sun would be warmer than it was, so I left off some of my usual wintry layers. Hah! What a mistake. As soon as we arrived by the lake, I realized I'd made a huge mistake! The wind from the east was icy!

Well, the festivities pre-race seemed interminable, but finally we were outside at the finish line, after adjustments were made to the course due to dangerous patches of ice across the path in places.

Not too bad, I thought, not too bad. It's taking me a while to get warmed up. I'm freezing my ass off, but this is not too bad. Maybe I'll run it under 30 min. That was my goal. The course made a U-turn at the half-way mark and that's when the laces on my right shoe came untied. I had been running more or less with Kelly until then. I kept her in sight after I re-tied the laces (lesson learned about knots for the next race).

Not too bad. Not too bad. I'm getting into a nice rhythm now. Maybe on the turn across the bottom of the bay I'll push my speed up a bit to be sure I get in under 30 min, I'm thinking. Pass Chris. Kelly is way ahead of me. Turn into the stretch across the bottom of the bay. AND get HIT in the face with a huge, bitterly cold easterly wind that nearly takes my breath away! Humph! Keep running. Just keep running.

Zip! A long-legged blond-haired youngster with pink cheeks flies past me. I cross the finish line at 34 min 49 sec for my 5 km, short of my goal, but not bad, I think.

The blond gazelle won the 10 km, coming across the finish line ahead of me at something like 32 min. Geez!!

(more photos of organizers, etc. can be seen at )

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