Good morning and happy Monday!
I hope my lovely American friends enjoyed their Fourth of July weekend.
I’ve been out-of-town for the past few days (still am) but wanted to pop in a recap my amazing Canada Day race for you all.
Now, the day didn’t get off to the smoothest start for me, but thankfully everything worked out in the end 🙂
Around 3am on Wednesday morning/Tuesday night I woke up to a crazy storm passing through the city. It was raining so hard it sounded like someone had turned on a tap and there was a ton of sheet lightning. I hopped out of bed to close my window and check to make sure nothing would blow off my balcony and crawled back into bed. Right then the fire alarm in my building started going off. So out of bed I crawled, found clothes and stumbled down 21 flights of stairs into my building lobby.
We hung out there until around 4am when I was able to get back to bed. I think I managed about 90 minutes of sleep before my alarm went off and it was time for me to get ready to head down to Spruce Meadows for the Heroes Behind the Heroes event.
I took my coffee and waffle to go and arrived at the location around 7:15. I wasn’t able to pick up my race package before the race, so opted to pick up on race day…..as did quite a few other people. The line was a bit long, but moved quickly and in about 10 minutes I had my bib and swag and was ready to go.
Since the parking is super close to the event, it was easy for me to pop back to my car to stash my goodies during the race. I love races where I can use my car as my bag check!
There was a group warm-up led by Dance with Maya and I made my way to the race start.
The 5k obstacle course was assisted by the Lord Strathcona’s Horse Regiment, which you can also see if you head to Spruce Meadows during one of their tournaments (I recommend the Masters in September! You can also enter to win a trip to the Masters through the Telus Name the Foal contest. When I was in high school my friend Leona and I would enter every year in the hopes of getting a trip to Calgary and now I live here! Ahhh!!!!!).
(Note: a good blogger would have remembered to take a picture with the men from the Armed Forces. This blogger was functioning on very little sleep so it didn’t happen).
While we were lined up Ian Allison (Sr Vice President, Media) said a few words (most of which I missed because I was talking with someone about my amazing skirt and how we are both running Dopey in January, sorry Ian!) and we all got ready to run.
The 10k started right on time at 8am and we were off!
I wasn’t too sure how I was going to tackle the run, given lack of sleep, and that the only run since my marathon was the 5k Pawsitively Fun Run just 10 days earlier, but I decided to just see how I felt.
The course started out on pavement, but we were warned all courses were to be considered “all terrain”. While there were some areas that were a bit damp, I was extremely impressed with how well the grounds held up to the rain.
Around 3k we made our way to the pasture turnouts and ran in a snaking pattern around the turnouts. The horses were obvious enjoying themselves by roaring back and forth and one little stinker even decided he wanted to get in on the run and hopped out of the pasture. (It didn’t take long before I saw someone coming down the road in a golf cart to catch the stinker).
By the time we finished the grass section of the course I was pretty tired and the packed gravel was a welcome change on the legs. Then we crossed the street and heading back onto the Spruce Meadows main property to finish the course.
I grabbed a water right before 7k (I didn’t count, but I’m pretty sure there were 5 or 6 water stations on course, which is amazing) and took a quick walk break before making my way to the finish. Right around 8k I was super glad I had opted for trail shoes because the trail we were on was quite muddy from the rain and they gave me excellent traction – it was also super fun to go screaming down a trail in the mud 🙂
Not long after I made my way to the finish in 1:01/1:02 waaaaay better than I expected given that the course was challenging, I didn’t get much sleep and I haven’t been training at all.
I was presented with my amazing medal and then made my way to the pancake breakfast. (Note: a good blogger also would have remembered to take a picture of the food, but, yeah…..)
I enjoyed my pancakes and bratwurst (you guys, they have the best freaking bratwurst there! I can’t wait to enjoy one with a beer at the Oktoberfest event!!) with some other runners from the race and then it was time to head back home and catch up on some sleep.
If you weren’t sure about the running event at Spruce Meadows, I highly recommend signing up for a race. So many of our Calgary races are on the river pathways and these races truly give you something new to look at and the added challenge of different terrain.
I spoke with one of the organizers and all of the 3 remaining courses will be different – there may be some similar elements, but you won’t be stuck running the same 10k course three more times this year.
Upcoming Events (don’t forget you can use RunSM75 for 10% off your entry fee)
- Run Through the Meadows on August 16. Guys, there will be firefighters at this one. Firefighters. I’ll be in Vancouver so I won’t be able to attend, but you should!!
- Summer’s Gone, Run On! on September 6
- Oktoberfest Run on October 4 <– this one has beer! And I’ll be running this with my mom and sister 🙂
I did mention in my last post that $10 for parking seems slightly on the expensive side; however, if you attended Colour Me Rad and paid $11 for the disaster that was parking, $10 for super organized parking isn’t awful. I also learned that Spruce Meadows charges $10 for parking at the Christmas Market, so this is on-par with the parking charges at other events held at this location as well.
I’m blown away by how receptive Spruce Meadows (specifically, any one of the organizers I’ve spoken with) is to feedback. This is the first year they’ve held running events on the property and I have to say, they are so organized. There’s not one moment where I would have described anything as being disorganized in any way. The parking is seamless, package pick up is quick and easy, the races start on time, the courses are well-marked and the volunteers are amazing.
The medals are pretty amazing, too!
I’m sad I’ll be missing out on the August event (cough firefighters cough) but can’t wait to return in September!
[Tweet “The first @Spruce_Meadows 40km for 40 years was an absolutely WONDERFUL event. Check out my recap! #sprucemeadows #runsm”]
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