Tuesday, April 28, 2015

CheapRunnerMike's 2015 Forest City Road Races Half Marathon Recap

Posted by CheapRunnerMike

Well that title's a mouthful…now on to the recap.  You heard all about Michelle's race yesterday and she did so well and I am very proud of her.  Way to go Michelle and Mum as well!

The Forest City Road Race is probably the biggest running race on the calendar here in London and it is certainly one of the best organized races in these parts as well.  I always look forward to running it and this would be the third year in a row for me to take on the half marathon.  I have had some success here in the past and even took home the age group win last year.  I was fresh off a PB a couple weeks ago at the Run for Retina and wasn't really sure what to expect from myself this time out.  I had just run a 1:23:20 and would love to go a bit faster, but just wasn't sure if I could.

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Race morning was cool but bright and sunny…really great weather for racing.  We all headed down to Victoria Park for the start of the race and I got a little warmup run and some stretching in while chatting with some fellow runners waiting for the horn to go off.  I don't usually go right to very front of the group but thought today I may as well…I was going to go for it.

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The race started right at 8am…there wasn't much of a countdown, I just heard someone say "10 seconds" and then about 3 seconds later the horn went off.  Jackson and my Dad were just around the first corner where they had a good spot that they could see everyone from and I had a plan…I was taking a page out of Derek Yorek's book and decided that I would bust it off the line in the hopes that I could come around that corner in the lead so that Jackson could see his daddy "winning" the race.  It's a good thing they were standing in that spot and not another 100m down the road, because they were able to see my short-lived lead.

Zoomphoto Inc Event Photography

The leaders swallowed me up well before the 1km mark despite going way faster than I ever should…first kilometre was 3:32.  As I waved the top 4 runners goodbye I briefly ran with another guy until the 2K point. I was going good but his pace was just a little too rich for me and I didn't want to try and hang with him either.  Just after he left I was joined by one more guy and our paces matched up well and we took in the third, fourth and fifth kilometres together before we hit a hill heading into the University of Western Ontario and I broke him.  I then ran solo for the next 8K.

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After a quick sprint through the university I turned into the park system and headed towards the course's big hill.  As you exit Gibbons Park you have to tackle a solid climb up St James Street, a 20m incline (65 feet) over 800m.  This was my slowest kilometre split of the race at 4:03.  I finished the hill and continued with the long uphill climb through the beautiful Old North subdivisions to Adelaide St and hit the halfway point.  I had been running all by myself for a while now and the only energy I had to feed off of were the great volunteers that were lining the course and cheering like crazy.  Their encouragement really helped me push on!

Photo: Twitter @InsomniacRunnerY

It was around 13K that I noticed the runner ahead of me was getting a bit closer…as he made the turn onto Windermere Road I checked the gap…he was 250m ahead of me.  There was another decent climb coming up on Windermere and I figured I would do what I could to try and chip away at the gap.  I was keeping the pace quick at 3:53/km (about 6:15/mile) and just tried to keep it there knowing I was making up time on him.  I had a couple of surges along the way as we came back to the university again and I was able to use some short downhill stretches to speed up my legs and by the time we were back into the park system at 18K I had closed the gap to just 50m.

Zoomphoto Inc Event Photography

I guess that was the point that he realized I was going to overtake him because he decided to pick up the pace.  I tried to answer as best I could, but chasing for 5K had taken it's toll on my burst.  I did pick it up a bit but not enough…I finished strong with my last kilometre clocking 3:35 (a 5:44/mile pace) which was proper fast and left me feeling appropriately gassed as I crossed the finish line.

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It was great coming down the finishing chute and hearing cheers from my Dad and Jackson, as well as Chris and Strava buddy Abe.  I crossed the line with a new PB of 1:22:15 (3:54/km, 6:14/mile) which I had figured was good for 6th overall.  All the runner-geek details can be found here.  This is the face of someone that has left it all on the course…

Zoomphoto Inc Event Photography

Once I crossed my Dad said he thought I was 4th place…I was almost positive I was 6th but was happy no matter what.  We waited around for a bit and went to cheer on Michelle and my Mum, then headed over to check out the awards ceremony.  I had been checking for results for a while, but none had been posted yet.  The ceremony started with the overall winners and then moved to the Age Group awards.  When they called up the top 3 in my age group and I wasn't among them I knew that something was wrong…at 6th overall there might have been another old guy like me, but I knew that the top guys were Western University runners.  I went to the results board and there was finally something posted…but my name wasn't listed ANYWHERE.  I ran into Abe and Spencer and Abe mentioned that he heard a couple of the leaders took a wrong turn out of the park and went off course, so maybe the 4th place my Dad thought I had was accurate.  I set off for the timing trailer to try and get things straightened out.

It turns out that there were some issues with the bibs and timing, especially in regards to people with the same last name.  Michelle mentioned that when she crossed the line they called her Mike, and apparently when I crossed the line I registered in the system as Michelle.  Once they figured everything out it turned out that I had placed 3rd overall!  I asked them if they were sure because I thought there were a few guys in front of me and they said that there were issues with a couple of the leaders getting DQ'd (perhaps validating what Abe had heard?), and yes, I was indeed 3rd overall.  ell that had me pretty excited!  I took the good news and let the family know and Michelle decided to get a picture of me on the podium since the awards ceremony was already finished.


Well there was a little bit more to the timing issues apparently as the final results posted online showed me in 4th place…I chatted briefly with the Race Director and he said that the timing company spent the night going over the finish line video to make sure they got everything right.  So I guess after some confusion it was settled…4th overall out of nearly 500 runners!

Congrats to all my buddies who ran as well, with PB's for Michelle and my Mum, a new PB as well for Boyd, and Albano, who put up a 1:25 in his first ever half marathon!

Thanks for reading folks…

Monday, April 27, 2015

1st 1/2 Marathon of 2015

Posted by CheapRunnerMichelle

Hi friends! Well yesterday marked my 4th consecutive year running the Forest City Road Race. The 2012 FCRR was my 1st race ever, and I did the 5km distance....and it SUCKED big time....but none the less I was hooked - I caught the running bug.

You may (or not) remember that I ran the 1/2 marathon at this race last year. I had a lot of knee issues last year, and coming back to this race my only goal was to finish feeling good! (Something that I hadn't ever experienced at the end of a 1/2). After being at the RunDisney marathon back in January, and then doing some research, and ordering Jeff Galloway's book on the #runwalkrun method, that's how I've been training this year. Other then a little knee issue I had about 6 weeks ago, training this way has been going awesome!!

I was running this race with my MIL (her 2nd 1/2 marathon ever), and she had asked me earlier in the week what my goal was for this race...and in all honesty...I was really just looking at this race as a training run for my upcoming 1/2 that we are doing in Niagara Falls the 1st weekend in June. This distance fit in nicely with our training plan right now, so I had decided that although it would be great to PR...that's not what I had my sights set on for this race...I just wanted to DO, and more then anything FEEL, better finishing this year than I did last year (which ended up being 2:58:57)

Mike and I were up bright and early, and after a 1/2 a bagel, Mike taped my knee up for me


we were off to the races (literally)


We met up with my in-laws once we arrived at the park and chatted with a few fellow runners that we always tend to run into at local races. After our pre-race photo we headed to the start line


And we were off...we started all of our gadgets (gym boss, watch and iPod) and then right away we settled into a comfortable pace, ensuring we weren't too quick out of the gate only to lose momentum later. It was nice to have someone to chit chat with along the course, allowing me to not stress about pace or how far I still had to go etc. Before we knew it we had passed the 2km mark, and I spotted a friend up ahead that had come out to cheer us on...this was especially a nice treat 'cause I knew we wouldn't see another cheering squad for us until the 20km mark


I knew that at the end of this race, we would be asked to vote for our favourite "water" station, so I really made sure to pay attention to each and every one of them...my fav was the London Pacers station. They had music pumping, great race signs that made me really chuckle both times we passed their table, and were just super encouraging to each runner as they came through! With doing our run/walk/run (3/1/3) it just so happened that our walk breaks for the most part always corresponded to the water stations - which worked out really well!
It was my MIL's first time running this race, so she got to run in a lot of places/paths that she had never been on before, and couldn't believe how many really nice running paths our city has to offer. You know it's funny how we can get "stuck" running the same thing over and over again (ahem...cough...all of my training has been on the treadmill), so it was so nice to be out enjoying ourselves!

At about the 14km mark, we needed a port-a-potty stop...but they were both occupied, luckily though, just up behind them there were public bathrooms...which happened to be open! After a 2min pit stop, we were on our way. While on our pit stop, I was calculating our pace etc. and knew that we were going to have a great race if we could stay on track. With the Jeff Galloway training plan the goal is for race day, that you should be feeling good still at the end of your race that you can run through the last number of km's. We had decided at the beginning of the race that we would talk about it at km marker 17, and decide how we felt at that point. My MIL was having a toe issue, so we decided "hey today's a training run" and we want to finish feeling as good as possible, so why mess with what was working for us...so we kept on with our 3/1/3.

We high-fived each other at each km marker (one of the best marked courses I've ever run, with each race's km markers in different colours to easily distinguish your race), and I was thrilled when we reached the 20km mark, we rounded the corner into the home stretch, and I immediately started looking for my FIL, Michael and Jackson...to be honest, I knew that we were running faster then Mike would expect us to, so I wondered if they would even be there yet...but lo and behold they were and we were able to get a few high-fives in with them


Now we were in the final block, turned a couple corners, and I asked my MIL if she knew what we were at, and she said she hadn't been looking on purpose...well we headed down the final stretch and the announcers announced Sue and Michael (yes you just read that right...Mike will have more on that story this week), and we crossed the finish line 2:27:36....what?!?!? That was a 31:20 improvement for me over the same race last year, and a 12:28 PR for both my MIL and I!!!!! Wowzers...I wasn't sure that I would ever break 2:30:00, and here we did...and more importantly I felt great!!! I am thrilled and so happy to have finally found a plan that seems to work for my body.


It was a GREAT race, great weather, a great day to be out there running!

Thanks again to the organizers and volunteers of the 2015 Forest City Road Race!!!

What's your go-to meal/treat after a race?
Ours is always pizza

Friday, April 24, 2015

Another Race Weekend!

Posted by CheapRunnerMike

Time for another race!  This weekend brings us to the biggest race on the London scene, the Forest City Road Races.  The longest distance offered is the half marathon and I will be running it along with both Michelle and my Mum.


I'm not really sure what I am looking for going into the race…I had been hoping to break 1:25 a couple of weeks ago at the Run for Retina and finished in just over 1:23.  I have raced both Retina and FCRR the last few years and have always fared better at FCRR, but it will be tough bettering my Retina time.  I'm just going to go out and run as hard as I can and see where that gets me…hopefully we have a nice day for it and everything clicks!  Once the race is done I am officially into triathlon season, so I'd like to give all I've got for this one.

Speaking of the weather, it's been crazy as always around here.  Last weekend was absolutely gorgeous and I managed to get out for my first outdoor ride of the year.  It felt so good to be out there and breathe real air while riding and actually move instead of just spinning my wheels on the trainer.  On the other hand, I forgot how much hills, wind and traffic suck.

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After I finished up my ride, it was time for biking round two.  Michelle, Jackson and I set off for the park on our bikes and I tricked Jackson into going to a new park a bit further away.  We had a pretty decent hill to climb along the way but he handled it like a champ.  After a bit of play time at the park we turned back home, but I managed to get a Starbucks pit stop in on the way.

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The weather wasn't meant to last though, and we were back to freezing temperatures and even had some snow by midweek.  I almost even put my tights back on for my run yesterday!  I decided against it though as I was going to do one last tempo before my race and figured I warm up enough by going fast…in the end it wasn't so bad.

The wind has been pretty wicked here lately too.  I felt sorry for all my pals running Boston on Monday as that wind and rain and cold combo is one that does me in every time.  Congrats to all you Boston runners; I plan on joining your ranks in 2016!

We'll be heading up to the cottage tonight after Michelle finishes work so that we can just have some nice quiet time before coming back to town for FCRR.  Hopefully it isn't too cold tonight so that we can get out and sit around the campfire.

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Maybe if it is too cold I convince my Dad to find us some burniture to heat things up a bit Winking smile

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Either way, some nice relaxing time up at the cottage sounds like just the thing I need right now…all I need to do is make it through the work day!

Hope everyone has a great weekend in store…I'll be back next week to let you know how the race went!  Cheers friends…

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

CheapRunnerMike's 2015 Run for Retina Recap

Posted by CheapRunnerMike

Hi folks, hope you all had a great weekend…if the weather was as nice in your parts as it was in ours you have no excuse to not have gotten outside!  Sunday was absolutely gorgeous and I was lucky enough to have a race on my schedule, the Run for Retina half marathon.

The race was originally supposed to take place at Harris Park in downtown London, but we had a bit of rain and the Thames River swelled just a wee bit…


The race organizers notified everyone on Saturday that the race venue would be changed and we were now starting at Springbank Gardens instead, meaning I wouldn't be taking part in my first triathlon of the season Smile

I showed up on Sunday morning with Michelle and Kennedy, who were both running the 5K.  My race started first at 9:15 and we got to the park with a good half hour to spare.  We knew parking was a bit tricky so showing up a bit earlier ensured we would get a spot.  It was looking like a perfect day for racing as the sun was shining and there was hardly a cloud in the sky…temperatures were a little cool but were warming up and it was around 6°C when we started.

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I knew that Boyd was running the half as well so I made sure to hook up with him near the start line and have a quick chat to wish each other luck…I have to say I'm a fan of his race shirt!

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I also got to meet one of Boyd's friends, Ary.  Ary is a blind runner and he would be running the race with a guide…this is a pretty congested course in some spots, so quite a tall order!  I saw him out on the course a couple of times and it is pretty inspiring to see someone overcome the obstacles in their life to and achieve their goals…really helps you push on as well.

The race went off right at 9:15 and I was at the front instantly.  There were two guys just ahead of me and I ran for the first kilometre with the woman that eventually won, Lucy Kortchaguina.  Lucy is no ordinary woman, she just happens to be a five-time Canadian marathon champion, as well as the second fastest female Canadian marathoner of all time.  She continues to run (and dominate) at the Masters level, breaking Canadian records and winning National championships.  So ya…she "chicked" me.  Big time.

I cruised along pretty good, coming through the first 5K in 19:29…I had wanted to run around a 4:05-4:10/km pace (6:30-6:40/mile), but I was running a bit faster than that at 3:54/km (6:14/mile).  despite the rich pace I was feeling good…I knew that I was going faster than I had planned and I had a history of going out too fast in this race, but I also wanted to make sure I was back past the start area in under 30 minutes so that I would be ahead of the 5K runners that were starting at 9:45 (and get sent off right in front of the returning half marathoners!).


I made the first turnaround and headed out on my second loop and saw the 5K runners approaching in the other lane…I kept my eyes peeled for Kennedy and Michelle and managed to get a high five.  A local newspaper even caught us in the act (that's Michelle in the camo top).

I was still clipping along at 3:54/km and my 10K split was 39:04.  I had one more loop of the park to go and I was still running solo.  I was able to check the gap at the turnaround and I was about 300m back of 3rd place and had an even bigger lead on 5th, probably closer to 800m.  I always find that this is the hardest point to push in a race, when you are in those middle miles and especially when you are on your own with no one pushing you and no one to reel in.  I just kept pushing as best as I could and tried my best to shout encouragement to the runners going the opposite direction…cheering and being cheered is such a big boost!


One of the runners I saw and cheered was Ary, who looked to be doing well with his guide riding along with him.  I also ran past Boyd a couple of times and got a high five.

As the race wore on my pace began to wane a bit…I was starting to see some 4:00 kilometres and knew I had to keep it right there if I wanted to have a shot at breaking 1:25…1:25 is about a 4:01/km pace.  I popped my second and final chew at 14K and settled in for the last third of the race, still solo.  I knocked out a few more sub-4:00 kilometres and kept the pace where it needed to be as 1:25 was all that was keeping me motivated at that point.  There was no one spurring me on and pushing me and even racing for position wasn't doing it as I knew I would be 4th overall and 3rd male unless I blew up.  I told Michelle going into the race that I wanted to place and that was right where I was.  I turned it up a notch and told my legs to give it all they had left as I made my final kick, and got a great boost from my Mum and Jackson, as well as Kennedy and Michelle who had just finished their race.

I made the final turn into the finishing chute and saw 1:23:xx on the clock…I was pretty stoked!  My PR coming into the race was from my last half, the Springbank Road Race, and it was 1:29:18.  I crossed the line today at 1:23:21, nearly a full 6 minutes faster!  I took 3rd place male and 4th overall, which also netted me a cool $50 Thumbs up

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Not a bad result at all and SUPER happy with it!  If you want all the nerdy running data it is here on Strava.  I didn't know if 1:25 was really possible, but it turns out I was selling myself short with it.  Now I'm confused about what to set my goal at for the Forest City Road Races half on April 26…I have run both the Retina and FCRR half the last two years and have always followed up Retina with a better result at FCRR.  I like the FCRR course a lot more and it is a bigger race so you always have people to run with and push you.  1:20 maybe??  I doubt I have that in me, but you never know!

Thanks for reading!

Friday, April 10, 2015

CheapRunnerMike's 2015 Update (or, what I've been up to these last few months)

Posted by CheapRunnerMike

Hey guys...sorry I've been MIA for a while but life has been nutzo and I have had almost no time to think about blogging let alone put pen to paper, errr...fingers to keyboard.

I left you all hanging after my Disney Marathon recap and my 2:58 BQ...here's what has happened since.

With my marathon done and that mission accomplished it was time to set my sights on some 2015 goals. I knew triathlon would play a big role in my 2015 race season and I started scoping out which races I wanted to do. After last year's Musselman 70.3 I felt like I had some unfinished business with the Half-Iron distance. I had a great time and was pleased with the result, but I knew I had a lot more in me on a better day. So with that I set my goal race for the year as the Barrelman 70.3. It is another half iron race held in the Niagara Falls area on September 20.  You get to start out with a swim at the Welland International Flat Water Centre followed by a 90km bike from Welland to Niagara Falls and culminating with a two-loop half marathon through Niagara Falls.  Late September should be a beautiful time of year to race there, I can't wait!


I know September is a long ways off, but I started building up my swimming and biking base as soon as I finished Disney.  I started attending a bike class every Saturday morning with my London Triathlon Club teammates and it was a butt-kicker!  We would do a two hour workout on the bike trainer and then "cool down" with another hour of core and stretching.  I had pools of sweat around me when I finished up.One week Coach Sheri even put us through a 3 hour ride where I clocked over 100km!


When not riding with the group I have been working hard at home on the trainer.  I have struggled in past winters with indoor riding as it was really unfocused…I would just hop on the bike in front of the TV and spin away for an hour or so.  This year I heard about a program called TrainerRoad that gives you structured workouts and organizes them into specific plans based on what you are hoping to achieve.  They also use a feature called Virtual Power that converts your speed and cadence into watts (or virtual power) based on your trainer's individual power curve.


It has been a huge help in getting me focused and seeing improvements on the bike and I will be using it for years to come.  Jackson even decided that he would get in on it…

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Swimming has been going well too…I've been getting in a solid 2 (sometimes 3) sets per week and with time in the pool comes improvement.  My 100m times are dropping and I am feeling very comfortable in the water.  I am looking forward to getting out in some open water, but we're still a little ways away…here's the lake up at the cottage from  not too long ago.

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Michelle and I did sneak away for a week in Mexico though, where I did get to take advantage of some great swimming in the Caribbean Sea.  We both got to go running together a few times as well so we managed to work off a little bit of the food and drinks!

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I've been keeping steady with my running and getting out 3 to 4 times a week despite the winter weather.  I am in a much better place with my running this year than I was the same time last year.  I have built my mileage back up and I am looking forward to running my first race since Disney this weekend, the Run for Retina Half Marathon.  I'll follow that up in two weeks with the Forest City Road Races Half Marathon.  My goal for this weekend is to see how close I can get to 1:25 and then build on it with improved pacing for Forest City.  I've worked hard and proved what I can do, running 1:27:30 over the second half of Disney, so I should have a shot at 1:25.  If nothing else, my current PR of 1:29:16 should be broken…I have beaten that time regularly in training runs, most recently a few weeks ago in Chicago on the awesome Lakefront Trail.

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I have a couple of other races on my calendar, including a pair of Olympic Triathlons (Guelph Lakes I and the Blue Water Triathlon) as well as another long course tri in Kingston (up where my sister and her family moved last fall) so it looks to be a fun season in store.  Throw in the weekly Splash n Dash along with a Triathlon Camp that I'll be going to the end of May and I should have plenty of swimbikerun miles in by the time my 'A' race rolls around in September.

Well there you go folks, a little bit of an update to let you know what's been going on, at least in the athletic part of my life!  Hope all is well with you guys…cheers!

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!