Runners are tough and will not back down from a challenge. Who willingly goes out for a run in -11 C with a windchill that feels like -21? On Sunday March 2nd, 500 runners did exactly that, not going for a little 5km jaunt, but rather facing a Half Marathon Challenge at the Chilly Half Marathon in Burlington. The wind along Lakeshore Road was fierce and the footing a challenge, with slush and ice from the fresh snow fall the night before. This winter has been a difficult one and the Chilly Half Marathon was a definite challenge for me this year.
I am impressed at the runners who did not seem to be slowed by the adverse weather conditions – the top finishers had great times with the top male, Matt Leduc finishing in 1:09:56 and the top female, Jennifer Faraone with a time of 1:20:57. For complete results check here.
The cold affects me in much more extreme and adverse ways apparently. I have been cold this entire winter! I began the race with a quick pace that if I could have maintained would have been excellent, however, by 6km, my legs were seizing up and by 14km, the ball of my left foot had frozen. I kept going; I just kept putting that frozen block in front of the other one and tried to keep the pace from slowing any more. I like to look on the bright side of life, so the fact that I finished this race is a victory. The fact that it was my slowest half marathon ever and the 1:30 pace bunny passed me near the end of the race is of course a disappointment.
The race in Burlington is a finely tuned event, well organized and with a fun atmosphere. Chilli and Beer are served to all the runners at local restaurants after the finish. All runners receive a technical running jacket with their entry and a finishing medal. Great value for your race entry. The post race awards are held in the Burlington Performing Arts Centre, with plenty of space for runners to warm up before and after the event. I huddled in that lovely warm building to thaw out after the race. My lips turned back to a normal colour about an hour after I finished the race according to my family! My ego is still recovering from my poor performance, but my drive has increased to keep training and to face my next challenges. Congratulations to all the runners who survived and even excelled at the Chilly Half Marathon this weekend!