Monday, August 5, 2013

Fun Runs under a Toronto Sun!

A lot of things have happened in the past month or so that I haven't had time to write about...the Alberta Floods devastated, and then united my city, I went to Jamaica, Stampede 101 went off with barely a hiccup, I went to Dallas for the first time, and I've been training like crazy for the Seawheeze next weekend. But before all that, I went to visit friends in Toronto and ran not once, not twice, but three times!

I left Calgary on June 21 in the pouring rain (it turns out I left just before the flooding got crazy) and overnighted at the YYZ Sheraton Gateway so I wouldn't have to take the red eye flight on Friday morning.  I had to get up bright and early because my training schedule called for a 15K run. May I say the Sheraton is GREAT because when I checked in I asked at the front desk if there were any running paths nearby and they gave me a fancy official Sheraton map with a 3K and a 5K loop right out the front door of the hotel and around the airport!
Gah! Why won't this rotate? Anyways, is neat, no?

Easy peasy, I crank out 3 loops of the 5K without getting lost at all. Not an official race, but I did have to get that done while I was there. I got texts throughout from YYC with updates on the was crazy!  The sun in Toronto was already blisteringly hot at 7am plus the geese in Toronto are kind of jerks because when I stopped to take a picture of some cute goslings, I got chased by angry hissing parents! harumph.
Jerk geese
Sweatin' like a hog on slaughter day.

Run completed, I went back to bed for an hour, showered and took the train downtown to meet my friend at the Color Me Rad expo to pick up our bibs. Pretty exciting stuff as we picked up our shirts and awesome sunglasses and debated over buying cool Color me Rad swag like socks or 70's gym shorts. We grabbed some Red Bull samples and then headed to PF Changs for my very first visit and to carb up before our run (mint margaritas have carbs too, yes?). We then stopped in Unionville on the way home to pick up our second set of bibs, shirts and swag. This one was the Run for Women in Unionville, which we had heard was awesome and had something different than a medal at the finish had a kid race too so Kendall could run too!


We had to get up at an ungodly hour (I had about 30 texts from YYC about flood, a bunch of my friends got evacuated) and all headed out to the race. The grownup race was first, so after snarfing some free snacks, listening to some motivating speeches from Olympians, and doing our group warmup, we were off!

Bibs on, now where's the lobster??

Unionville is an awesome wee Ontario "gem of a historic village" so the start of the race was right up Main Street which felt like we were running in the 50s with its brick fire station and City Hall and gazebos, sooo cute!  After that we veered off into a gorgeous park and looped around a shaded gravel path (it was close to raining but it was still HOT out so the shade was nice). It was actually a pretty great route, I would like to run it again sometime!  After the loop, we headed back and came back up along Main Street for a great finish with cheering fans waving cowbells and holding all kinds of fun signs! Then instead of a medal, we got these awesome bracelets from Foxy , just another reason why I love women's only runs...see how cute? 

Of course I love me some medals, but it sure is nice when you get something you can actually wear (and subtly let people know how awesome you are). 

After a few glasses of water and some more snacks, we went back to do the Kids run with, kids can MOVE, she went off like a shot and I could barely keep up with her! Good thing was only one kilometer, I could NOT have kept up that pace much longer. Super fun run though, watching all the little girls tear around the course.

I am at full tilt, and the kid is just cruising!
Success and triumph for everyone called for nonstop eating and drinking for the rest of the day (I had just discovered Glazed Donut Vodka existed and it needed to be tried in all its delicious forms) after we assembled our shirts for Color Me Rad...Team Betty White needed to have a shoutout to our favorite feisty senior celebrity!


Now, originally we had picked the Woman's run as a substitute for the Color me Rad run which wasn't being held in Toronto. Imagine our excitement when they announced TWO Toronto runs were being held, and THE SAME WEEKEND I WAS GOING TO BE THERE ANYWAYS! This is a lot of running in one weekend, but the Color me Rad is pretty low pressure (no timing chip) so we figured we could walk most of this one. So, we picked up Tracy and her daughter Paisley (at another ungodly hour) and headed out to the park where music was blaring and the energy was crazy!  We were in one of the first waves but there were already color bombed folks walking around showing off their new colors. After trying some Vitamin water samples and tatting up RAD-style, we headed into the corral and with a few color bombs to herald our start, we were OFF!!!

Team Betty White is ready to be RAD!

I was so excited to get color bombed I broke into a trot...which was not mirrored by the rest of my team (Tracy may have lit a cigarette at this point). I am ashamed to say when they told me to go ahead, I broke the rule of "no soldier gets left behind" and scampered off as fast as one could when it was already high 20Cs and about a trillion percent humidity and ended up doing 4.95K on my own.   I pirouetted through every color bomb station and when I finished I ran back to the parking lot to pick up camera (to amused cries from incoming new racers than I was going the wrong way or that I had already crossed the finish line)  I got back in time to take a few pics of them coming in and even joined them for another triumphant finish!
Hey, thanks Flo-Foto for not blocking your images?

Ain't nobody more RAD than us!

I've done races at Disneyland and World, in Vegas, in the snow, and one in Vancouver that had mermaids and drag queens cheering us on, but I think Color Me Rad is one of my favorites. It was low key and relaxed and totally fun and people were really getting into it. The white outfit before and afters looked so fun, and the energy before and after the race were pretty hard to beat!  I've read that this race is super popular because it isn't elitist and it brings out the kid in everyone and that was how I felt when we were there. I felt like it brought in a lot of people who wouldn't normally enter a 5K run of any kind, and I think it will help encourage people to have fun with running...because as much as I complain about how I hate running, I really don't...there isn't much that beats the excitement of race day :)

I feel bad that I didn't get to write about this sooner, I'm sure I've forgotten some things, but there was a lot on the go in the weeks following this trip. But I got to spend time with my dear friend and her family that I just don't get to see enough of, got to try 2 new (and very different) races, make some new friends and ate and drank from sunup to sundown. All in all, a great weekend, I hope I get invited back soon!

1 comment:

  1. And thanks for not purchasing our photos! >:(