Fitness Swellness: Run for Women Oakville race report

June 8, 2015

With Anya and Simone before the Run for Women

“It’s up to us!” is the motto of the Run for Women and there was a great sisterhood ambiance at the race eight days ago that made the day cheerful and full of hope despite the  rainy weather.

That Sunday’s grey skies and cool temperature (it was 8C but felt like 4C) was welcome, though, considering the Saturday was very warm and it would’ve been a very sticky, uncomfortable race with that heat. My fellow runners, Anya and Simone, trekked to Oakville reminding ourselves of this as we shivered in our running gear waiting for the race to start. I started my 10k race at 10 am. and Anya and Simone ended up switching to the 5k race (both weren’t feeling 100 percent) and they started at 10:15 (which meant they would finish before me). I didn’t anticipate it being a great race for me; having been in Squamish just a few days earlier, my legs had been sore for days after a 3.5 hour hike of the Chief and I was still tired from my traveling.

So I ran at about 75 percent capacity (which I describe as feel slightly painful but not extremely painful and out of breath), and even at this somewhat comfortable pace, I could tell that I was towards the front of the pack. I didn’t realize I hadn’t started my Nike+ app when I started the race so it wasn’t telling me an accurate pace, but I could tell I wasn’t going at my strongest, but I knew that going in (given how I was still tired from my hike, and generally tired and worn out since the Goodlife Toronto Marathon) and I’d accepted it was not going to be a PB.

The race was on a gravelly road, which was a bit muddy and wet in spots, and the 10k race is two loops of the 5k route. I normally am not fond of loops but it didn’t make much of a difference this race since we were in Bronte Creek Provincial Park and the scenery to me looked the same (pretty and green). The only not so great aspect of the loops is I eventually started passing the 5k walkers, who would walk spread out across the entire path.

There’s something charming about smaller races such as this one. I’ve mostly run larger races, and while the crowd support can be great (but not a given, there are many bigger races with very little crowd support) there’s definitely more of a close-knit feeling at this Run for Women that all three of us noticed.

Another plus of a small race? It turns out you can place pretty well in the standings. I finished in 54:02 (which is slow for me), but that still makes me the 12th woman to finish (and the 5th in my division out of 59 women), so I’m pretty pleased with that. And it was so nice that Anya and Simone were able to stand right at the finish line to cheer me! They both crossed the finish line smiling, and we immediately went back to Toronto and indulged in a post-race brunch to celebrate.

post-race with the lovely Simone and Anya!

I’d definitely run this race again (despite it being a decent distance from Toronto). It’s for a great cause (women’s mental health) and I loved the happy, positive atmosphere. There’s still one more Run for Women this season — in Montreal, this Sunday, June 14th, if you’re looking for a race!

Much thanks to Shoppers Drug Mart for the opportunity to run this race (and for supporting women’s mental health!), and to Brooks Running for our running shoes (from the Running Room) and our running outfits for the race!

Now, onto my final spring race: the Nike Women’s 15k Toronto! Who else is running this race??

 

 

 

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