Celebrate the Love of RUNNING at the Valentine’s 5k.
In the ice, falling snow and cold, our bodies quickly warmed up as we ran the streets in Port Dalhousie. The St. Catharines Road Runners organized an excellent 5km Race this past Sunday February 9th. The runners were many and in great spirits, despite the -10°C weather and the snowy road conditions.
It was a celebration of fitness, family and friends. I ran with my training friends, Karen Natho and the crew from the Aktiv Racing Team. I ran with my family–James, Caleb and I all ran this race–a first for all three of us to run the same race. I ran with friends from various circles of my life. There are many excellent stories to share.
The Race Highlights:
Amanda McLeod won the first female position with much time to spare. She ran a great race, looking strong the entire way and finishing in a time of 18:58. Amanda and I challenge each other and have a friendly competition ongoing between us. I appreciate her encouraging smile, and her hard work on race day. I started off too slowly and never caught her. I was able to pick up the pace in the middle of the race where the roads were more cleared, but could not gain on her. Congrats to Amanda.
I came in second place overall female, first in my age category of Female 30-39, with a time of 20:21. The best part was having Karen finish right behind me in third overall and second in the same age category, with a time of 20:59. Barb Guembel, another training buddy came third in our age category with a time of 22:02.
Caleb, my 12 year old son, ran the first 5km race of his life. I had the joy of running back, after I finished my race, to cheer him on. I ran alongside him for the last km of his race. He ran well and got just under the 30min mark, in a time of 29:50. I was very proud of him and so pleased to share the love of this sport with my son. Caleb came second in his age category (there were only two of them), behind Karen’s son, Ben, who had an excellent race as well, finishing in 24:01.
James is the hero of this race in my estimation. He ran 5km in the wind and snow – he does not love running like I do, but he gave it his all, and ran the full 5km, without walking breaks. If he can run 5km in the dead of winter, he will get ‘Fit by Forty’. James had worried that he would come in last place, but no, he was not even close…and he finished in 38:48. Caleb and I both ran the last km with James, all three of us finishing again together!
Kristin Oblak is our miracle story. One year ago, on the day of the 2013 Valentine’s Day Race, which Kristin had planned to run, she was instead admitted to the hospital with numbness in her lower extremities. Kristin was hospitalized for three months with Transverse Myelitis, having paralysis in her legs for several months. She underwent extensive physiotherapy, progressing from a wheelchair, to a walker, to a cane and finally to learning to walk independently again. Kristin ran her first 5km race on Sunday – a true celebration of healing and health. I am so proud of her.
I must mention the winning Male runners: Jose Fuentes, a regular runner in the St. Catharines Races, won the overall race in a time of 17:38. Jose has won this race several times and had a great race. Close at his heals in a time of 17:41, was Wolfgang Guembel, another regular race winner and accomplished triathlete.
Post Race Party:
Runners know how to eat and celebrate after a hard effort. Pizza, Chili, Beer, Hot Apple Cider were plentiful and quickly consumed as we warmed up together post race. Chocolate Awards are a unique feature of the race and are much tastier than the metal awards that many of us runners have piled up in our closets. Bottles of wine went to the overall Female and Male Winners to continue the theme of love and romance. Dave Smith, my training buddy did a great job putting on a fun race in the dead of winter. I hope to see many more of you at next year’s Valentine’s 5k Race with a story of Love to Share!
My talented daughter, Zara, took all the race photos. She captured images of all the runners (click here to see more photos!) coming into the finish line. This was truly a family affair for the Moffett gang.