Around the Bay 30km road race is a classic. It is a unique distance, the oldest road race in North America and a gathering of runners from around the province and country. It is a celebration of having survived the winter and a great early season race to gauge where one’s fitness is currently at. It is a challenging course—simply completing the hilly 30km is an excellent accomplishment. For me personally, it is a place where I run into runners and friends from my current life and from years past.
This year I was able to celebrate many personal bests with my training friends. I send shout-outs to Karen Natho who beat her last time by 5min with a personal best time of 2:17. She is ready for Boston in three weeks’ time. Congratulations to Kirsten Tamburrino with an amazing time of 2:03, another personal best. Tim Collins broke the elusive 2 hour mark, with a time of 1:56, yet another personal best. Congrats to Mike Kelly for posting a 2:13 and then for cheering on his wife Kim who ran her first ever 30km in a time of 3:08. My friend from high school, Brian Barclay, achieved an 8 min personal best with a time of 2:22. So many wonderful performances.
I myself did not post a personal best, finishing in 2:11. I did a solid first 15km and then struggled to maintain my pace during the second hilly, windy half. I loved the race, however, and I was not surprised by my performance. Although it is always disappointing to post a slower time than last year, I am very glad I raced today and I am pleased with my effort. I knew that I had not put in quite enough fast paced training runs. The many long runs that I have done this winter made the distance manageable, but maintaining a 4:15km pace after the first 15km was not going to happen. I simply had not worked enough on my speed.
Racing is a sharpening experience. This 30km race shows me my strengths and weaknesses and is useful in determining what aspects of training I need to focus on in the coming weeks. It is motivating to push oneself and to see the incredible caliber of runners that are out there. I am impressed with the front runners and I am impressed with the runners at the rear. It takes such courage to try something new and complete such a long race for the first time. Koodos to everyone who ran yesterday in the Around the Bay race. I love experiencing this event in such a supportive community.
Finally, thank you to my family who met me at the finish and only had positive things to say. They don’t say, “you were slower than last year!” James and my three amazing kids made me feel like a superstar!