Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Around The Bay Recap From Boyd Dunleavey

Posted by CheapRunnerMike


Hi folks, long time no speak!  Still going crazy with life this year and there isn't really an end in sight, so our blog posting has (obviously) fallen off.  I'll get an update posted soon to let you know what I've been up to lately, but in the meantime here is a recap of the Around The Bay 30K Race from my buddy Boyd.  Boyd ran the race last year when I was there and he took part again this year.  He has an amazing story as a cancer survivor and a runner…I ran into him a few weeks ago at the Y and he offered to share his story and AtB recap with us, so here it is…thanks for stepping in Boyd!

My experience running The Around The Bay 30 K road race March 29, 2015.

Mike asked me if I would step in for him this year and write a blog for the 3 Cheap Runners website.

Having done the Around the Bay road race last year for the first time I was thrilled to be able to come back and do it again this year! There were 2 big differences between this year and last. First off, last year I was running for the first time, as a cancer survivor and wanted to highlight how the stem cell registry could save lives.

This year, I just came to race!


Secondly I did the race this year in a 2 man relay and ran the back half of the race. (Each person ran 15km). A friend named Rick from my run clinic had graciously agreed to run the front half of this race...He named our team "Faster then you think!"... He was right! But I'll get to that later!

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Having just ran my first full marathon in Disney in January, I had been training hard and was pretty excited about coming back to this race. 2014 was really hard and I felt like I had something to prove this year!

My day started out with waking up at 2:30 am, even though my alarm was set for 4:30... I was wide awake! I dozed off a few times and then got up to get ready. My wife wished me well for the day, she was there last year to cheer me on! My clinic instructor was kind enough to pick me up at my house for 5:30 am, and we went in his car to the New Balance store here in London. There we boarded a charter bus that was incredible and took us right to the stadium in Hamilton! Eventually 3 other busses from London run clubs showed up and we had a great representation of London runners!

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The 30km race started at 9:30am, but being in the back half of the relay myself and some other friends had to get on an orange school bus and we were driven to the 15km relay point.

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The weather was chilly that day, hovering around freezing, and with the wind felt even colder! I was the only one on our bus who was courageous enough to brave shorts!! Lol.

There was a lot of nervous energy on the bus as we had at least an hour to wait to even see the elite runners, never mind finding our race partner! The race started back in Hamilton at 9:30am. We had set a team goal of trying to finish in under 3 hours. In 2014 it took me nearly 4 hours, so it was an ambitious goal to improve our time so much! The back half of this race is notorious for all the hills of Burlington. It ate me up last year so I trained for months to improve my speed on the hills. I was looking for redemption!

At around an hour the elite runners started to come racing through and so we were cheering for them and shuffling around on and off the bus to stay warm! Stretching, bathroom breaks, snacks... Then the countdown began... When would our relay partner show up? All 4 of us were guessing that they would be getting to us in and around 90 minutes.

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I had this premonition that I needed to be there earlier. So we started to see the pace bunnies go by and knew it would be anytime soon. And then Boom! Rick came racing up to me at 1 hour 20 minutes! (We had nearly a full kilometre to to the hand off, and I was actually at about 14.4km). But Rick was flying! He told me later that he had in his mind he wanted to get done as quickly as possible, to give me a head start!

The hand off was really slow, we had to get the timing chip off of his shoe and put it on mine... We were just both so excited and had all this nervous energy. He popped his shoe off, took his laces off, gave me the chip, I tied it into my shoe, he gave me a quick bro hug, and I took off!

I shot out of there faster then I can remember in a long time! I was going so fast I was fumbling to get my headphones into my ears! I got my headphones in and had my super fast racing music blaring into my headphones. I went out super fast for me, and did my first 5km in about 26 minutes! I then had to readjust my breathing and try to not burn out! Going up and down the hills of Burlington I had to try and pace myself better and was trying to find someone who's pace I could follow. After a few tries, I fell instep behind this lady in a pink jacket who was running a perfect pace for me(around km 20). Around km 24 we did a quick informal hello and both had our headphones in, and were using hand signals to who would run in front of each other as there was a really strong head wind.

Each kilometre from there to the finish we gave each other hand signals, like at 27km, the #3... It was so cool... Racing past the "Grim Reaper" (the end is near!), and just going past what seemed to be hundreds of people the last few kilometres! I remember last year seeing myself and so many others finish those last 4 km's and here were were running through it all! I had fresh legs... This lady, I found out later her name was Darcy was doing the whole 30k!

She then asked me at 29 if I was still ok, I gave her the thumbs up and we raced home! I cranked out a 5:29 minute km, caught my breath and came racing into the stadium running the fastest 400 metres of my life! The camera caught a perfect picture of me flying, like Super Mario jumping in the air! We were well under 3 hours, the clock showed 2:56... I screamed for joy! The same city that gave me a new lease on life 3 years ago!!

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Our official time was 2:51:06! We were thrilled on so many levels... Rick getting done in an hour 20; me keeping my pace and getting done in under 90 minutes on the hills that gave me fits last year! We were 7th in our age category, Men's Masters, over 40...I've never placed in a race before in my life!!

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Lots of fun stories, photos and pictures were taken back at the bus after pretty much everyone I knew ran a super pace this year, in spite of the cold winter!

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Anyone that's never done Around the Bay should consider doing it... It is hard but one of my most favourite races! It is 2 years older then the Boston Marathon (121st year) and such an excellent tradition, right here in Canada!

Thanks again Mike for having me "pinch hit" for this one! It was a thrill!

Boyd Dunleavey

Thanks Boyd!  Great recap and congrats on an awesome race!

1 comment:

  1. congrats on a great event, and fantastic finish boyd!

    mike, looking forward to reading your posts again too big guy!