Wednesday, 25 April 2012

The Run for the Jedi!

Well Inty, last weekend ole’ JJ ran another one of them “races” he is so fond of running.  His first “ten miler”.  Now, the ten miler is kind of a funny distance.  I would describe it as the “brunch” of runs.  It’s longer than a 10k (which would be representative of breakfast, in my brilliant analogy), but shorter than a half-marathon (lunch).  But like brunch, it’s delicious! If a run can be delicious?  Which it probably can’t because you don’t eat it?
Anyways.  My first one.  Now, you may be wondering “why is this post called “the run for the Jedi”?  Well, I will tell you. The way I figure it, if the Jedi ever had a running race, it would be a lot like the Angus Glen 10 Miler.  It was just so…civilized.  You know, like the Jedi.  With their “lightsabers” instead of laser type guns.  And robes!  Plus, the Jedi lived a long time ago, so they probably used the imperial system instead of metric. 
But why was it civilized?  Well, first it’s at a golf club. This one:
Markham-20120415-00204 Fore! Get it?  Because it’s a golf club!

You go in, get your race kit and they give you, not your t-shirt, but your…jacket!  This one!

And in the race kit? Aveeno products!.  Then they tell you that you can go get a locker in the change room.  And that’s what I do!  The Angus Glen hosted the Canadian Open some year and they named each locker after the pro who used it?  I guess? Anyways, this was mine!:

IMG-20120415-00206 IMG-20120415-00205

I have no idea who Wes Heffernan is.  But he is probably better at golf than I am.  And who cares!  Look at that locker!  The last time I ran a race I waited in the cold for 45 minutes trying to get my bag.  This time, I get my own locker.  With showers!:

IMG-20120415-00213 Are those shampoo and conditioner dispensers?  You bet your booties!  I think the third one dispenses Bryl-Cream.

Then it’s time to line up for the start.  Here’s the start line!  It’s inflatable!:

Markham-20120415-00199“ I once ran a race…this long!!!!”  Or… “Behold!!!…the Starting Line!!!!”  I really am not quite sure what I was thinking here.

I am hustling up to the front when the gun goes off!  I miss the first wave of runners.  But that’s ok, I will go in the next wave starting in 2 minutes.  I get to the front of the group and wait.  And we are off!  And I am in the lead of of the second wave!  Awesome!  Exhilarating!  Cannot see anyone in front of me! Until I start to panic because I can’t see anyone in front of me and what if I am going the wrong way?  And worse, what if people are following me off the right track!!!??  And I become the pariah of the race!!?? “Thanks a lot, loser!!!!”  “You suck, jerk!” Ahhh! Too much pressure!!! Where are some volunteers!?  Or pylons!? Or something!?  But then I see the pylons! and the volunteers!  I was on the right track! Huzzah!
Almost 1km down, look at my super-duper awesome GPS watch, which tells me I am running at a 4:09/km pace.  Yikes! Too fast! Whoa boy, let’s take ‘er down a notch! Now, don’t get me wrong, I like to start out races fast, but I have learned the hard way about moderation.

Now on a good pace!  A beautiful course.  Just basically running along the golf cart paths.  The only issue?  As it’s a golf course, there are lots of ups and lots of downs.  None too big, but constant.  Up…down…up…down, with a few plateaus and valleys in between.  And I’ll tell you something I have not really noticed before:  A lot of people are not too good at running hills.  I mean, they can go up ‘em ok, but on the down?  Nope.  At least in my opinion.  Who knows, I could be doing it wrong.  But I saw tons of people slowing themselves down and keeping themselves completely under control on every down slope.  Man, how much energy does it take to do that?  Makes no sense! Just let gravity do the work!  Running lesson over!  You’re welcome!

Ok, maybe just one more.  Any of you kids out there, when you run your first race, the race organizers are probably going to urge you to put your hands up in celebration when you cross the finish line.  Now, there is nothing wrong with this whatsoever, and there are many pictures of people doing it that warm the cockles of my heart.  But me?  Just not my personality.  My first few runs I did do it, and I look less celebratory and more like someone has run out on the course and stuck a gun in my back.  So my piece of advice?  Either commit to it, or don't do it at all.  Just run across the line like you've been there before and will be again.  Ok, now I am REALLY done.

Anyways, keep running, keep running.  Nothing much else to report.  Except the last km.  I pass this guy.  I pass by a spectator who I guess is the significant other of this guy who yells some words of encouragement.  “Go, So and So, go!”  I can hear him behind me speeding up, energized by his cheering section.  Trying to pass me.  I get it.  I would have done the same thing.  And, I am all for cheering and it was very touching and all, but there was no way I was going  to let this guy pass me, if I could help it.  So I kicked it up a notch and ran away from the dude.  So, sorry for that, man.  Nothing personal. And, whatever,  I am sure he had a good finish time nonetheless. 

Finish the race and right to the shower.  Civilized!  And had a beer! Civilized! And then they have a buffet lunch!  Civilized!  With hot dogs and hamburgers! Kinda civilized!

And how did I do?  Well, keep in mind that the average age of the runners was 46 years old.  But ole’ JJ finished 23 out of about 400.  I’ll take that.  I will absolutely take that.  And I think I might just be back next year!

Toronto-20120415-00223After the symbolic “Hanging of the Medal Off the Curtain Rod”!  Sorry you missed the ceremony! It was quite something!

JJ out!

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