This past weekend was Race Weekend here in Ottawa. Over the course of two days races from 2 k to marathon distances are run by thousands of runners. Whether participating as a runner or an enthusiastic onlooker, this weekend has a way of stirring up and surfacing all of the joyful feelings that running creates in me.
This year I headed down to the finish chute for the 5 k and 10 k, as well as watching a portion of the half and full marathon participants as I passed by the route on the Sunday morning. Being the sappy runner that I am, I felt multiple surges of warmth in my heart.
Here are some of my highlights
The look on the faces of those 5 k runners under the age of 12. I can only describe it as pure joy. Red in the face, limbs flying everywhere and pride in their accomplishment
Watching El Hassan El Abbassi, Adugna Bikila and Geoffrey Mutai running the last 200 m of the 10 k race. It seems insufficient to say that their speed, form and power were breathtakingly impressive.
Hearing and being a part of the increased cheers as a 13 year old girl crossed the finish line in a time of 39:39 for the 10k, placing 26th out of the 5565 women running.
The volume of parents running across the finish line, holding the hand of their child.
See the runners with mobility aid or physical disability cross the finish line. Their journey to the line serves as motivation to me that isequal or greater than watching the elite runners cross the line.
And with these, and many more highlights in my mind, I start my training week on a high note. I attempted a longest segment at the 3:45 pace, stopping short of a win at 1.2 k, having had some pacing challenges. Determined to get a win of some form, I then added on an additional 3.8 k in 5 segments at the 3:45 pace. This gives me a win of 5 k in 6 segments! One less segment than the 7 segments I completed in last week.