Saturday, June 29, 2013


Hello again. 

I just signed up for the 50km Creemore ultra which takes place at Creemore which is South of Collingwood and South West of Barrie. I'll do another 2:00 am or 3:00 am drive up, crash for a few hours and hopefully be ready for my 5th race of the season and the 5th on the OUS calendar. The races are coming along thick and fast these days but all the REALLY hard ones are after this one. I've almost decided I"m going to do the 48 hour Dirty Girls run. I was going to do 24 hour but for an extra $60 I can double the agony! How could I resist. 

I've never done the Creemore course before which is 2 loops of 25km but by all accounts it sounds like it's going to be bloody tough. It's a mix of technical single track and long country road. It's hilly, hilly and then hilly. I believe each loop goes up the Niagara Escarpment twice. It's not mountains but for Ontario it's the hilliest thing we have. And it's always hot and sunny (well, mostly) and as you know by now I hate the heat/humidity. I am enjoying getting to know the different races and testing myself in different conditions.

I got a call from the doctor with my X-ray and MRI results and the news is mostly good thankfully. The foot X-ray didn't show a fracture which I'm happy about. The bruising/intense pain I got on the foot during Kingston I have no idea how it came about. I told the doctor I didn't want to follow up with an MRI on the foot. I'll continue to ice it and hope it was a one-off thing. Very strange. The MRI on the hip area didn't show a stress fracture either. It did show mild arthritis however and also fluid in the abdomen. I said, huh? What kind of fluid. He said it's likely blood plasma (blood without the red blood cells). I said, OK, and? He started asking me all sorts of questions and he wants to do another collection of bloodwork and an ultrasound. He poked and prodded me but I've got no problems with pain on the abdomen. So that was that. Nothing that is going to stop me running in the next few weeks at least.

I went for a 9.5 mile run on Thursday which was 5 days after the Niagara ultra. I was stiff/sore for 4 of those days and the run was not pretty. I really felt winded/knackered and walked allot but at least I got out there. I'll probably do 2 more runs before Creemore, one a gentle 6 miler and then a 12-13 miler early in the week.

That's about it for now. I hope all of you are getting out there and that you are remaining injury free. I've learned quite a few things so far this season with the running and no doubt will learn many more things (the hard way) before the season is over. Still to come is this crazy 48 hour Dirty Girls - how the hell do you prepare for something like that? After that is the 100 mile Haliburton run - my first 'proper' 100 miler. And then the second last race of the season will be a 24 hour indoor track race. By the end of the season I'll have really gotten a flavor of many different terrains and distances. Well, I'll sign off on this report for now. Oh wait! I can't leave yet without a pre-race prediction.

At Niagara I was 11 minutes behind my prediction and was disappointed not to crack 5 hours - the cramps just wouldn't leave me. This Creemore looks like a really tough cookie so I'm going to say 5 hours 45 minutes
Take care everybody.


I did my usual race prep, getting all my gels and creams. I applied duct tape to the balls of each foot as I have a few deep blisters and I'm hopeful the tape stays where I put it and gives protection.

I had an early night and intended to get up and leave by 3:45am. I didn't sleep well at all which is a shame since my Thursday night was restful. It wasn't that Creemore and an unknown race was on my mind and was causing anxiety, just many thoughts about a woman who was in my life until recently. Be that as it may, the alarm went off and I got up, had my cereal, had my morning constitutional and out the door I went with my directions.


The drive up was very uneventful - I do like to leave in the middle of the night. It took about 2 hours and as I headed up Highway 410 and then Highway 10 the rolling hills started and as I got further up into Hockley Valley and Mansfield (the site of the 48 Dirty Girls I signed up for happening in August) it was apparent why they call this the Vertical Challenge! Holy crap. I was now starting to worry! I had no problems finding the parking lot and some cars were there with people in the back. I couldn't see any tents but found them later - there is a big open area with trees at the finishing line.

I lay in the back of the car with the back windows open and there was a nice little breeze coming through and while I didn't sleep, I just relaxed and felt comfortable knowing I was now settled.  A short while later I heard another car and the vehicle after that was a mini-van with Richard Takata. I've run into him over the last few races. A really nice man. He loves his ultra running and has an arsenal of creams/balms/gels/tape at the ready. Here is a photo of him and I after the race.

Richard Takata and I after the race
I eventually got up to pick up my race number and bib. No timing chip. They call out the numbers as you go through the laps. Our race, being the longest of course started before the others, at 8am. With the race bib we also got a lovely bright T-shirt which was technical material. It was lime-green. I love funky bright colors so this one will stay in the collection longer than some. I had a clean out of T-shirts a few weeks ago and said goodbye to of them.

Race Pick up - 25km or 0 km? ha ha. I'll register for that one!

Start/Finish line / clock

Race start on this driveway - everybody getting ready

Into the trees at the end of this driveway on the right side - all the country roads much like this one

My sleeping quarters for a few hours - looking ready for the challenge
I visited the port-a-pottie again and headed back to the car, chatted to Richard and then began to see familiar faces and said hellos or waved. People were milling around, getting organised, saying hello to friends. I saw Elise McGuire and gave her a hug of congratulations on her excellent showing at the Canadian Death Race in Alberta. It was a staged 5 day event and was extremely tough. I followed her progress each day and here she was 2 weeks later.

Elise McGuire 2 weeks after her Dessert Rats 5 Day Stage Race - beat me by one position.

I saw Ron Gerhl handing out straws to 'his' girls. It's funny. I'll have to find out more about what it all means. I ran into Kim and her husband again and her bright smile is infectious. I got to have a few words with Pierre, the race director. I've seen his face often at the races but didn't know who he was until recently. He often runs with Helen Malmburg who is race director of Haliburton Forest. She's not been at the last two events but looks like she has entered the Limberlost race next weekend. It is really close to her (I think she has a cottage up in Haliburton) although she lives in Toronto.

With all the chatting I realized I only had 15 minutes before the start so headed back to the car and sorted out my kit, bib, took a few photos with my lucky hair charm. Well, not lucky, but sentimental to me although I wish she was in my life and I didn't need a lock of hair to remember her by. But I digress. You want race information!

Coming along for the ride - and what a LONG ride it was


Loop 1 of 2 (25km each)

There was very little fan-fare. Pierre made a few quick announcements and the 50km runners lined up. I was with the first 30 I guess with many more behind. People were looking about for familiar faces to wish each other luck, or keen to get this thing under way. It was warm but not horrible yet but I thought when the sun got up and the morning got burned away things were going to get positively toasty. We started with a bang - literally - with a shot-gun blast.

The start was just down the driveway and then little flag markers had us turning a sharp right into the trees. At the time there were no cars parked on that side of the road and I was not tired and was simply following others which hopefully explains why I lost 5 minutes on the second loop after coming through the start. All the racers doing the shorter distances had arrived and turned things into a car park and I missed the turn-off into the trees and found myself on the road. I had to throw up at that point and a few cyclists asked if I was OK and asked if I was in the race. I said yes and he told me I was going the wrong way. Damn. . . he had done the race a number of years ago and was really thoughtful, offering me water from his supply but I told him I was OK just a bit tired. He walked back up the road with me and pointed out where I needed to go. I was a bit pissed that two ladies sitting in the shade right next to the turn-off hadn't yelled out for me to turn but am grateful to the guy that helped me.

The first 1km or so follows the little river and was fairly twisty but a nice way to start things. Definitely going too fast considering what was coming but trying to enjoy it while that feel-good factor is with you. We then popped out on a main road and took a right, following it for about 1/4km before taking a sharp right onto a gravel country road and there before us was a first hill - probably not even one of the nasty hills which is mentioned in the Creemore ultra website but damn, it looked steep. Like so many of the country roads up in that part of the world they are cheeky, with a little rise, then a BIG rise, then another little rise and sometimes another big rise just to demoralize you a little more.

I didn't mind too much. Yes, they are pigs but most people walk them unless you are extremely well-trained for hills which I was not. All the speed-demons were up there and I was following along in the next grouping. We were spread out and you could look up and see the people walking and so I got to a point and began to walk also. At the top I remember another sharp right and after this my report is going to be slightly fuzzy. I can remember main things on the trail but not all the twists and turns so bare with me.

I remember heading back into the woods and there was a lovely little section through pine trees with the needles on the woodland floor. We then came out in an open field and followed that. You could feel the heat already rising from the tall grasses. Boy it was getting hot. . . This woodland and grass section you did on the way back but there must have been a part that you didn't do because on the way back you had 2 VERY steep gullies with water at the bottom and one of them you needed to pull yourself up 2 ropes. This was hard when you were knackered and bloody hard when you're carrying a hand-held and wearing dark glasses and everything is muddy.

After coming out of the open fields you take a sharp left and that takes you on the country roads again and this road was bloody never ending! It was steep steep steep. There was an aid station right at the top of it thankfully and the aid station had the usual fares but these also had a big rectangular bucket with water, ice and sponges as well. You have no idea (maybe you do!) how welcome those stops were. It was enough to perk me up for another 1km at least. The volunteers are wonderful at every race but I did feel they made a great effort to help us at Creemore. They were running out to meet you before you got to them asking what you needed and sometimes they don't do that at other races and simply stay in their marquees and hand you things. When you are tired and they will take your handheld and fill it while you are still getting to the aid station, that is extra service and it was greatly appreciated.

Then I can't remember the course in detail but there were more times in the trails which were single track. I do remember one horrible section which came at around 15-18km and was in the woods. You had to climb and it was all rocks and sometimes mud and clay and again, it just went up and up. The second loop I had to stop 4 times just to get my breath back.

Now don't get me wrong. There were some downhills and they were a welcome relief although they could pound the hell out of your legs - gravity can be a bitch! There was a short(ish) woman that every time there was a downhill came flying by me on her little legs and I marveled  I really should lengthen my stride on the downhills and I am normally a sprinter downhills but in ultras I am very conservative, not wanting to create hotspots or blisters but they are a good way to make up lost time if you have the energy. On the first loop I did have some energy but near the end of the second loop I was having to walk downhills also sometimes. I'd use the evenly spaced electrical poles my incentive, walking one, running one or two and back to walking again. It worked quite well to motivate me.

I was at about the 17km mark which had taken us to the top of the escarpment and you take a right turn onto yet another gravel road, this one completely exposed to the sun. At that point Kimberly van Delst was with me. This worked out well for both of us I think. She had headphones and I kept ahead of her and would indicate when a vehicle was approaching and she helped me from going too quickly. I like people who have a good sense of pace and she is chipper and enthusiastic.

We passed by a silo and got a good whiff of manure - ahhhhhh. After being fairly flat for about 1km we go down a relatively steep hill and a 20km sign greets us - yeah, only 5 more to go. At this point we take a sharp right into a big field of something and then came out to a road with the last aid station and you have an awesome view down and across all the escarpment. The last hill is the one we initially climbed and damn it's steep either way.

Kimberly and I cruised down that last steep hill and then you are back in the grass fields. Kimberly went ahead to start but then wanted me to take the lead so I did but I was really beginning to flag. We got to a grassy downhill after than and she left me for dust. Shortly after that you get those two bastard steep gullies and then you are flat and pass by a rubbish dumb with some appliances and some bikes and then a little more downhill and you are out at the finish area. First you have to cross a wooden bridge which at the top bounces up and down with your steps making you feel like rubber. I believe you can run across the stream but I choose the dry option. On the other side of the bridge you pass by where the people were camping and then you are at the finish/start. Ahhh.

Time 2:43

Well, how was I feeling? Pretty shattered truth be told. I Had set out my chair and empty powder bottles with fresh water by my car so I ran to it and spent about 2 minutes refilling.

Lap 2

After filling my bottles I shuffled down the road and that's where I made my wrong turn, threw up, and found my way back onto the trail with some help. I was now walking allot along the river and by the time I got to the road I was pretty sure allot of the route was going to be walking. Just as I got to the road Ron came past me and he looked allot more chipper than me. He was helpful in suggesting I get those salt tablets in me which I had been doing pretty faithfully but at that point I didn't think much would stay down so I nibbled some ginger. I wished him well and watched him carry on.

Most of the second lap for me was a slug-fest, with some running when I could but with allot of walking sections up all the hills with some spurts down the hills. By now people were well and truly spread out. On a number of the road sections people were running/walking downhill and they were the 25km runners I believe. I'm sure based on the course and the heat many of them were looking at our sorry asses thinking, thank jeez I don't have to go out and do another lap! Poor bastards. But despite feeling sorry for myself I was always positive and upbeat to anybody coming past me in either direction and most people gave it back. It does perk you up to cheer someone else on and have their encouragement.

I was playing over in my head the tough sections to come and was groaning internally. The really steep rocky section in the trees I was definitely dreading and the steep road sections at least I knew I could walk - but some I could just feel the sun beating down on me and wondering if my thick application of sun screen would do the job. I'm as white as they come. At one point I ended up running with a man who was the race course director at Sulphur Springs for 4 years before Joe Hewitt took the job over. He was a nice guy and I think I passed him after a bit. People come and go. Some you play tag with once everybody is wrecked, others you never see again. Kim was long gone as was Ron and I was hoping their race was going well.

The only person still to see was Elise. Normally she would have passed me by earlier but she had done that stage race 2 weeks prior and after speaking with her told me this was going to be a training run (turns out she placed 2nd female in her age group :) So we're going up a steep hill and I have just passed another young man - barely. I had to stop and put my hands on my knees a few times going up. Then I hear a yell - 'GO ALEX'. :) I look back and there is Elise in her bright neon green running outfit. She's still quite a way down the hill but I yell back Hey Elise! I know it's just a matter of time before she catches me up and eventually she catches me at the point where you are on the pretty flat road that goes by the manure smell. She tells me not to give up and I tell her she's looking good and she runs about 100 yards more, walks and then I loose her over one of the rises.

I know it's on the home stretch now and this is where I'm running between hyro poles, using them as markers of when to stop and start running. I am still not at the mental toughness where I can push my body with my mind when things get tough but I'm working on it. Even a shuffle is faster than a walk and I do loose places because I just can't force myself along at a shuffle. At this point I think the finishing positions were pretty much decided. I knew I'd only pass one or 2 more or get passed by one or two more. I got down the moderate hill to the turn-off into the fields and saw the 5km sign. It was through there to the aid station at 3km. We were at the top of a HUGE hill which we'd come up earlier and after a lovely cooling sponge bath and a top up of water with ice and even some ice in my hat (ahhhh - brain freeze) it was time to go.

Running down was painful but the view was magnificent  I could see Elise for a short while and then lost sight of her. I saw another man who was walking and slowly reeled him in. I remembered him and his friend passing me by earlier looking really strong. He looked like I felt. His name was Sebou and we spoke after his finish and I met his friend. He had lovely skin and was from Niger. He was a marathon runner and this was his first ultra - he picked a hell of an intro to ultras. By this point he was just someone to try to pass if I could although to be honest I didn't really give a rats ass by that point and just wanted to see the finish line. I wanted to immerse myself in that stream.

We get to the grass fiends and my new 'target' is still ahead of me but now I get up to him and stay behind him for a little. He is struggling and it turns out he was have leg cramping issues – I remember those from two weeks ago in Niagara. Not pleasant. I didn't have allot of heart left but when we got to the top of the section I managed to pass by and offer some encouragement. We then headed down into the woods on our way to those steep gullies. This time I tucked my glasses inside my shirt so I could see what was coming. Down the first gully allot of people had made the mud slick and I tried to skirt to the left and managed to catch my shorts on a thick branch which wedged my shorts up, jamming my testicles sharply. Oh thank you for that moment Gods of running. This time I held my handheld in my mouth and had slightly more success using the rope on the other side. At the top I had to stop for breath but now I didn't want to be passed and was waiting for sounds of pursuit. None reached me and off I went, determined now I knew how close the finish line I was.

Along came the rubbish tip again and then the open field. I knew the finish line was almost upon me. I got to the wood bridge which this time around wobbled me around even more. A few spectators clapped and then I was up through the tree cover and past the finish line and was rewarded with my hand-made ceramic medal. Job done!

Actual Finish 6:20.
Predicted Finish – 5:45

How do I feel about it? I feel really proud I finished this course. The results were not published in time for me to see where I placed but I don’t care. Anybody finishing this course on that day deserves a medal. I expect there will be quite a high DNF rate. Pierre extended the finishing time to 8:30. I stood for about 4 minutes with my hands on my knees just getting my breath back. I spotted some comfy looking chairs in the shade and sat down, chatting with a guy I’d played tag with in the final stages. A first aid medic asked me if I’d like a cold bottle of water and I jumped at that. Thank you! He wanted to take my pulse and it was 113 so my heart was starting to recover. I must have looked a bit rough.

I wanted to get to the pizza and walked down a short path and there was a nice open marquee with a few picnic tables put together and a lovely spread of HOT pizza in several flavors along with grapes, pineapple slices, cherries and other things but I grabbed pizza and sat on the bench and between that and the cold water in my hand – I was overjoyed. I never found the beer and to be honest I didn’t care. I had what I wanted. All the people I’d met over the series to date were there and we hugged, shook hands, shared stories, congratulated each other and asked about finish times. It was hard to see others finishing their races on this particular course. I finally met Jack Kilisian who I recognized from many of the other races. He is shortish with a cheeky grin and generally runs without a shirt. He is going to place well in the overall standings and I am keeping my eye on him. Ha ha. Let’s just say if he does more races he’ll beat me overall. He’s a fast runner.

Pierre then announced it was time for the awards presentation and we sat there and cheered while the winners picked up their honey, syrup, home made ceramic bowls and coffee I think. I’ll have to try to win some time to find out! Ha ha. I knew a number of the winners and that felt good. The overall male winner broke the course record and it was his first ultra! Holy crap. . . we’ll be seeing him again.

Since I've now done 6 of the OUS series races (5 this year to date) I’d like to give you MY placings from hardest to easiest race courses.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->1)    <!--[endif]-->Creemore50% trail, 50% country road – 2x up and down escarpment – very hilly and usually hot
<!--[if !supportLists]-->2)   LimberlostAlmost all tree covered, beautiful course – most pretty for me to date – spongy underfoot, boardwalks, many ups and downs but nothing crazy, hard to get into a rhythm, many roots, lovely lake scenery, woods. May be longer than 56km.
<!--[if !supportLists]-->3)  Pick Your PoisonI found it tough. There are a number of flat sections but also this course is all within the ski hills so you know it is hilly. Some technical sections with trees/logs to clamber over. A few places of tight single track with switchbacks.
<!--[if !supportLists]-->4)    <!--[endif]-->Sulphur Springs
The course is undulating but only 2 quite tough hills which are nowhere the scale of Creemore. Well groomed and wide with no scrambling over logs or real worries about foot placement. Great course to attempt 100 miles.
<!--[if !supportLists]-->5)    Niagara
My home. There are some hills going in and out of
Niagara Falls which hurt more on the way back but besides that there is only one nasty hill going up the escarpment. It is all paved and is flat in many places - a good place for a fast time - can be hot.
<!--[if !supportLists]-->6)    Kingston
6 hours around a 1km paved path around a Fort, along the water and back through the Fort. It may sound like a total drag to run round and round such a short loop but you get far more close to your competitors and I enjoyed the experience. It is completely flat except for a tiny rise as you get inside the Fort. You get a personalized lap counter and the aid station is never far away. No need for handhelds.

Once I've finished the season I’ll expand on my rankings and give marks based on toughness, beauty, organization and anything else I can think of.

Well, after the presentations they had spot prizes of shirts and there must have been about 80 handed out and I got one of the last ones. Thank you. I was desperate to experience that stream and asked the way, hobbled down to the bank and there were about 5 others already there soaking. I believe earlier there had been about 30 in the water. I couldn’t be bothered to go back to the car to get my camera so you’ll just have to take my word how lovely it was sitting in the stream after the intense sun and heat and exertion. It was fast enough flowing and cold enough to be delicious. It had a rocky bottom so I left my stuff at the side and waded in, sitting on a rock and initially washing the muck from my shoes, then began to immerse myself slowly until the current was washing over my entire body. Ahhhhh, wash away that deep sweat.

Very happy to have earned this medal
Elise and Richard Takata came to join me and for about 20 minutes we just relaxed and then I started to feel a little chilled and decided it was time to head home. I got out and went to the car, first stopping by to see Chris McPeake and his wife Kim. I got to the car and changed and Richard was there, kindly took a photo of my finishing medal and then we said we’d catch up soon. My feet, when I took off my shoes were in fairly good shape I thought to start. No black toes and the duct tape had done the job well, protecting my foot pads, but unfortunately I got very bad blistering on each of my heels and 2 days later they are still very painful. I tried popping but blood was squirting out so I’ve decided to let some of the fluids absorb before attempting to prick them again. Ah, the life of ultra running. . .

After Creemore I was absolutely sure I would not do Limberlost because I’m shattered and because it’s a long drive. But then there was a guy from Ottawa soaking his feet and his drive was closer to 6 hours so why am I whining. Sitting at work now on Monday I am really stiff, hobbling around and the blisters are causing me concern. Fortunately the limit has not been reached at Limberlost and I’m going to see how the next few days go. I really do want to crack this course after failing really badly at it last year (dropped after 3 laps in 6 hours!). We’ll see.

Thank you as always for reading my very wordy race report. Stay well and if you have the time and inclination you should definitely do Limberlost. It’s tough but beautiful.

Oh, I just looked at the results posted 3 days later and I placed 41st of 98 - 13 of those DNF'd. I seem to be slipping fast. Oh well. 

I'd like to do Limberlost but it is now almost Wednesday and my legs are still sore and my blisters kinda smart. VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED. 

Mmmmm, I love ultra running. Anybody hungry? Not anymore! Wait until after the 48 hour Dirty Girls!

See you soon.

Thursday, June 13, 2013


Hello again. It's only been a week since my last posting but my next race - again, assuming I get to the start line - is only a week and 2 days away. I just checked the OUS standings and I'm first in my age group and 3rd male overall. Whippee. Can we say it's over yet? ha ha. I'm not the best runner of everybody that has done the events, but I happen to have done all 3 of the races in the season so far so I want to put that in perspective.

Respect to all those past years winners. It must be hard as heck to get through the whole season in one piece and come out on top. There is allot of travelling and time commitment and allot of variation in the races and it's pretty punishing on the body. I have no idea how it would be to run a 100 miler and then come back two weeks later and run another major race and do well. So far a 50 miler with a two week break has been my record but I'm feeling pretty beat up after 3 of the 12 races.

If you read my Kingston 6 hour race report you heard about my foot injury which at this point I believe is a fracture caused during the Sulphur Springs 50 miler. I'm really trying to figure out the best strategy with the Niagara race coming up. Do I go out and try hard until the pain flares up and then do a walk/run strategy, or give it a miss. Do I go out for my standard 2 runs leading up to it - a 10 km run after the last race followed by a slow 1/2 marathon to keep the legs turning over on Monday so I'm ready for the Saturday race - or do I just stay off it until race day. . .decisions, decisions. I don't want to be a wuss but I don't want to make things worse. All I can be sure of is that a 4:09 is out of the question this time around. I really wanted to crack 4 hours but it will have to wait for another year.

Having an MRI

I had my first MRI yesterday and just in case any of you have to get one at a future date I thought I'd tell you about my experiences. First off, it is not painful in any way whatsoever. There are two kinds of machine, one you get put into, the other which is a ring which moves over you. Mine was the one they put you in. They put the part of your body in the machine which needs imaging so for me it was the hip/pelvis. They put something over me at that point - a mat or something plastic which wasn't too heavy. The bed moved up and then into the machine and for me I was looking at the top of the machine with just a little sight of the ceiling but most of my body was inside.

The technician was good. She asked me questions before we went in, asked if I needed to use the bathroom (the procedure took about 25-30 minutes). You don't wear anything metal during the scan so that means wearing a tracksuit or something similar. They had a locker you could put your wallet, keys, purse, etc. into. I came into the room with my key for the locker and my glasses and removed both along with my shoes. She lay me down and then strapped my feet together - I think it's so you don't move but it's not uncomfortable. You don't need to wear a hospital gown and stay dressed. She supplied me with ear plugs and then headphones which played classical music while the procedure was going on. There was a 'control room' behind a big glass window which I guess is where she makes sure everything is going correctly. I don't think she was the doctor though.

You have to remain as still as possible and the only problem might be for some people that are claustrophobic  If you are getting your head scanned I guess you get put in head first so that might feel more intimidating but there is nothing to worry about. The machine seems to make 3 types of noises. The one I initially heard was as if I was standing somewhere close to a ships engine room, maybe with a wall or two between. There was a fast baa baa baa baa baa baa noise, maybe 200 beats a minute. It was not too loud.

Then she said the procedure would start (cutting off the music and speaking remotely into my headphones) and then the machine got quite a bit louder and the baa baa baa became more like a boom boom boom boom. I thought I could 'feel' the sound on my body but I could be wrong and at some points I thought I felt the area around my waist become 'warmer' but it could just have been the plastic thing she lay over me making my skin feel warmer there. I think that thing they put over your private bits to protect you - they did the same for the X-ray. The final sound I can't remember but it was similar. You need the headphones because it is loud and inside the machine it might even sound louder.

The 'bed' moved slightly at different times to adjust the scanning area and then before I knew it she said we were done and the bed slid out of the machine. She removed my headphones and I spoke to her for a minute and then got my stuff and left. Easy peazy lemon squeezy.  I'll let you know what they find. I'd had an X-ray done on the area a few weeks ago and the doctor said there was wear and tear but no other anomalies which is great, but X-rays don't always show off fractures so an MRI will definitively show if there is a problem or not.

Unfortunately they couldn't scan my foot at the same time which is a drag but I'll go for an X-ray on Monday rather than waiting another 3 weeks to get an MRI scheduled again.

Well, that is it for now. I'll come back a few days before the race and give you my predictions if there is to be a race. Otherwise that is it for now. Take care of yourselves wherever you are and happy running.


Pre-Race Prediction

I went for a 10 mile run along the Niagara course after my foot X-ray on Monday. It was hot out but there was a hint of a breeze. It looks like the weather forecast for Saturday is 27 degrees and sunny with cloudy periods - so hotter than I like. I shouldn't complain though because Elise, another ultra runner I know, is doing a 5 or 6 day stage race in Utah right now (Desert Rats) and it is over 100 degrees in the desert with huge elevation changes.

My run was a total drag. It was weird. I felt heavy, no energy and although the foot didn't hurt or twinge, I just wasn't feeling it. I should easily have done the 1/2 marathon course in a reasonable time and maybe stopped once at the half way to recover but I was walking after 3 km only and many times thereafter. I imagine there is going to be allot of walking on Saturday!

I won't do another run. I want to keep icing the foot and at this point no running I can do will make any difference to Saturday. So, based on my Monday run, the weather predictions and how I feel overall I will be satisfied with anything under 5 hours. I would be delighted to be under 4:30 hours but I'm not going to stress so I'll say I'll come in at 4 hours 50 minutes.

I'll try to give my post-race summary as quickly as possible. Good luck to the rest of you and look forward to seeing familiar faces and new ones. 

The Night Before

I drove down the night before to pick up my race number. They have gone back to a chip timing system which you attach to your shoe but it was disposable. There was yet another hooded fleece which was really bright. I don't mind it. They are really good quality and show off nicely. This year they had different colored ribbons on the medals stating your race distance - a nice feature I thought.

I parked a car at the course so I wouldn't have to worry about scrambling for a parking spot in the morning and got a drive home. The guy that gave me my fleece looked familiar and his name is Bill Lovett. I see his name allot in the race series and we seem to finish close to each other. I didn't know him at the time when I picked up my fleece but we played tag with each other for much of the last 15 km. Nice guy. His wife is an ultra runner also.

Friday night picking up race packs and fleeces

I took my time during the day packing stuff and was glad the race was on home turf. The weather forecast called for hot and humid which I loath but we all had to deal with it. I didn't sleep well that night, not because I was nervous but I just couldn't get to sleep even with the A/C on and feeling comfortable. I tried my alphabet game. Choose a random letter and then try to think of every word containing that letter. I like it more than counting sheep and sometimes I even fall asleep. Then again, other times, I am too fixated and can't sleep. ha ha

The Morning of the Race

I woke at 5 am to have a small bowl of cereal and toast and at 6:15 am got a drive 10 minutes to the start.  I took a lawn chair so I could cheer for other competitors after my race. It was hot already and you knew when the sun came up properly it was going to be stifling. My pre-race plan was to just take it easy - take it easy - take it easy. Of course I went out like a cannon with the leaders! Really dumb.

Before the start I got a chance to see familiar faces from Kingston race two weeks prior and other races. I saw Patrick and Cameron and Gino who have been in the top for a number of the races this year and in previous years. I was glad to run into Richard Takata again after meeting him after the Kingston 6 hour. He seems a really nice guy and unfortunately he told me his feet were still beat up from Sulphur 100 and has not recovered. His feet were majorly taped up at Kingston but sometimes these deep blisters on the pads take allot of time to clear and sometimes taping can bring you additional blisters if you get it wrong. 

I saw Kimberly van Delst. I met her husband the previous night and he was going to do the 1/2. She always looks happy and enthusiastic and ready to have a good race. I like her spirit. I saw Chris McPeake and his wife Kim also. It turns out it was Chris' birthday. Happy birthday Chris! She was going to help today rather than racing and was getting over a cold. And finally I saw Ron Gehl. He does every race there is and is a character. You can't miss his brightly colored hat, big glasses and straws! We sat on the steps for a few minutes and exchanged gossip and stories.

I sorted out my final things at the car - filling my Perpetuem bottle with water, taking a few bites of a banana, applying liberal amounts of sun screen, making sure I had my good luck hair from Wanda - miss you :( . . . and lubricating all the parts that needed lubricating with BodyGlide (don't leave home without it kids!) Instead of taking Hammer Gel packs in my bum bag I put the gel (you can buy bigger bottles which makes it less expensive - it is slightly less gooey) directly in my plastic bottle and used the other bottle for the water/powder mix. That left the main compartment free for my Advil's, salt tablets and ginger slice. I knew the hand-held with water wouldn't keep me going until the 1/2 way point and intended to fill it up regularly at aid stations.

Sorting out my gear 10 minutes before the start

My good luck charm

The set-up was really good at the start and they had a commentator telling us all the pertinent information about the course. Today there was a big Laura Secord walk taking place which was happening at around the 11 km mark. While I saw lots of cars and a few buses and some people, mostly I think everybody was already past our location by the time we got there. Chris and I were chatting away amongst all the runners and before you knew it the commentator was telling us to line up. A core group of about 15 toed the line at the front and then there was a gap and then others were all milling around. I saw Ron up with the front people and decided to make my way up and then it was time to go. 7:00 am

Start/finish line. This is a shorter race. We'd already been out for 1 hour 28 minutes.

The Race

I really was not feeling the love today. I am still awaiting my foot X-ray and MRI results and I was just kind of feeling 'so what' today. I knew I was going to be nowhere near my 4:09 time from last year, that it was going to be hot, and I didn't feel fit and ready. Off we went and at the Fort George parking lot my Mom had got up early to wave to me which was lovely. I didn't stop for a hug but blew a kiss and then we were all running beside Fort George and then quickly turned along the Niagara River. There was a core group of about 5 of us. There were about 4 ahead of them but I stuck with our group going about 4:45 km splits - far too quickly and I knew it but wanted them to drag me along for awhile. The talk was mostly from the two guys at the front of our group, talking about past races, other racers, how the season was going, etc.

I was already feeling pretty whacked by 8 km and by the time we got to the 11 km section and started going up the escarpment I started to walk the first part of the hill. I ran the flat and then we started up the long steady climb and I walked/ran it and got to the 13 km mark by around 2:09. Not fast by last years time but too fast for this year. It was starting to get really warm. The lead group were now in eye-shot but pulling away quickly. I saw the last of them along the flat stretch by the Hydro station. I believe I walked at a few places to get my breathing under control and by the 20 km mark was really not a happy bunny. After 15 km I was walking a few hundred yards and then looking out for the next km marking. I don't remember much about the run/walk into Niagara Falls but I was always positive to the runners who were returning from the 1/2 way point and gave a thumbs up or nodded in encouragement  It was baking hot now and I got to the 25 km mark in 2 hours 17 minutes I believe it was.

At the 25 km aid station all I did was refill my handheld and grab a slice of orange. Up until this point I'd had a few S-Caps and drunk some of the gel and gone through most of my Pepetueum. On the way back I was really hot and suffering and there was a big water tanker with an extendable hose watering the big flower baskets along the Falls with a lovely shower of water coming off them so I ran around the truck and stood under the cool water and enjoyed every second of it.

The tourists were not thick yet along the Falls but it was getting busier. I'm always glad to be out of here as quickly as I can. There was a huge cluster-f*** of mindless zombie tourists crossing at the lights further from the falls. There must have been about 40 of them and they didn't have a clue - totally oblivious to anything around them. I almost knocked 3 over running through their midst. Really pisses me off. Anyway. . .

I wanted to get back to the 20 km aid station but holy crap I forgot how long a journey that is and when you are walking by that point it seems even longer. There were twists and turns and allot of ups. I was seeing many of the runners on their way to the turn-around and it gave me an idea where I was placed and I was really worried many of those runners were going to catch me up on the return journey. Everybody was friendly and positive to each other and I like that allot.

I got to the marathon turnaround point and there were quite a few of those runners in little groups making their way to their return point. The different colored bibs makes it allot easier to see who you are up against until people begin to pass you. I hate being passed :) ha ha. But to be honest, by this point it was going to be a walk and run-when- you-can scenario. From 15 km to the finish only a few passed me but some would have been marathon people. I popped another S-Cap and took an Advil. My foot had not bothered me yet and there had only been a little hip complaint.

There were a number of runners who became 'constant companions' with a tag-like scenario going on as each of our energies ebbed or flowed. They were also good motivators to keep in your sights and run when they did or try to run when they stopped to gain up that lost ground. Often it was a case where I'd use up most of my energy to catch a particular person and after getting 25 feet ahead of them I'd have to stop - then they would pass by you a few minutes later.

Some time around the 15 km mark a guy pulled up next to me and it was Bill Lovett, the volunteer the night before who had given me my fleece. He looked familiar and we carried on together running and walking until the bottom of the escarpment when he had to have a pee. I expected to see him again but didn't and he finished only about 3 minutes behind me. We were at around 3 hours 34 minutes with 11 km to go.

somewhere in the last 10km

The last 10 km really was a death march with little running. I was hot and tired and wiped out but I did what I could. At the 5 km aid station the guy dropped some ice in my cap and gave me a cup of cold water to pour over my head which perked me up. At 3 km my Mom had pulled up in one of the parking lots to watch my return which really surprised me. She yelled out of her window and I yelled hi but I was pretty out of it. There were 2 ambulances there and they had this guy on a gurney over to my right. I hope he was OK. Probably the heat became too much with the running. I was checking my watch often at this point and trying to see how feasible a sub 5 hours was. It was going to be damn close.

It was around 4 km that I had my first experience with leg cramps. I've never had this happen in a race before. What a crappy feeling. I'd pick up the pace from shuffle to slow run and within 50 feet one of my legs would cramp and I'd immediately pull up to a walk. If I'd tried to carry on it would have become a full blown cramp and I'm sure I would have been rolling around on the ground. I must have fallen behind on my S-Caps but I knew with 3 km left there was no point taking another one. This continued all the way to the finish and I lost about 4 places because of it. It really pissed me off when I saw these people go by because they were so slowwwwwwww. But it didn't matter. They were still passing me. Dammit. Up until the last 1.5 km a sub 5 hours was still possible but then the cramps just would not let up and I knew I needed at least one good final run to do it.

This is a race but each time I tried to put in a surge and go by I'd get cramping in one leg or another and be back walking. Normally I try to run that last 1 km to the finish but I was walking the final long path until the grass section. I knew I was over 5 hours by this point and just wanted it to be over. Then I saw the finish and again tried to pick it up and for the last 100 meters it was a constant one leg cramping followed by the other with collapsing a distinct possibility. I heard the commentator encouraging me and the spectators cheering me and I was pissed I looked so fragile and useless. I got over the mat and Kim was there with my finish medal. I was sooooo happy to be done. I hobbled over to the car I'd parked under the shade and bent over the trunk of my car for about 10 minutes. I was done!

Major leg cramps - happy to be finished

 Total Time: 5 hours 1 minute 42 seconds. Good for 34th position of 154

I totally forgot to take a finishing picture with my medal. Oops. I walked into the Scout Hall and grabbed a few slices of cold pizza and a mixed salad and plonked myself down on a chair. The back door was open and I could see spectators and runners milling around. After about 15 minutes I headed out with a cold beer and went to the car, grabbed my chair and an apple and headed to the finishing chute. What a lovely feeling. 50 km finished, tired but sitting down in the shade having a beer, cheering on others. It felt good. I knew what they were going through and respected them all for their efforts.

I ran into some of the top racers, Gino, Cameron and Patrick. Well done guys. Gino told me his girlfriend had placed first female. As I was sitting down Cameron and a woman walked over to me and she asked if I was Alex. At that point I was worried she was going to serve me a summons or something! I said yes and she told me her name was Heather Lightfoot. Ahhhh, Heather. Heather and Chris Lightfoot. I've been enjoying their blog reports for some time and must have made some comments on some of them. I had never met them but was hoping I would and now I was. They enjoy themselves allot with the running and I think their reports are very human and entertaining and thoughtful and funny :) Her husband had just finished the 50 km and she had been pacing I think it was her mother in law in her first 1/2 marathon.

We chatted for a bit and after cheering others for about 45 minutes I got up and walked over to meet Heather's husband Chris who is from the UK originally. After our talk I headed over to see the results which were being taped to the side of the building. I looked my name up and found my finishing place and can't complain. I placed better than thought. After a short drive home I sorted my stuff, showered, ate and went to bed for 2 hours. Actually it was not a sleep. I often can't sleep after a big run. My legs were sore but only one blister and that was not a major one so got off relatively unscathed.

3 days later and I'm still stiff/sore but I entered my next race, Creemore 50 km, which will be another new race from me. By many accounts I've read it is going to challenge me - huge hills, traditionally baking hot, and long road climbs which seem never to end. Oh joy! 1.5 weeks to go before that one. But a river to soak yourself and a beer at the end. Well, that's reason enough to enter this race! 

I look forward to seeing you all and making new friends along the way. Stay well and happy running.

Monday, June 3, 2013


5 Days to Go

Hello and wellcome back. It has not been long since Sulphur Springs 50 mile - only 2 weeks ago. Now the OUS (Ontario Ultra Series) is in full swing that's about the extent of rest you can expect between ultra events if you want to complete allot of them.

This is going to be my first timed event. I'm actually looking forward to it except for the 5 hour drive. 6 hours around a paved footpath which loops around Fort Frederick in Kingston. Well, at least I won't get lost. There are far fewer runners entered than other evnts - only about 58 so far so I guess I'll be seeing the same faces and asses allot.

I've been reading as much as I can about the course, watching You-Tube videos - of which there is one excellent one on the Sri Chinmoy website which really gives you an excellent idea about the course, being only 880 meters long which is just over 1/2 mile or 1km. [VIDEO]

Sri Chinmoy is a religious group whose founding principles include learning about spirituality and yourself through endurance sporting events. Hence the name 'Self-Transcendence'. Who knows what I'll discover. I'm not very religious but after 6 hours I might have an epiphany. Another unique feature about this event is that you have personal lap 'counters' who are members of the religion. I've read that they have a good spread of goodies each time you come around the lap and after the race there is more food. 

The weather for me is always a factor and so far it looks like 21 degrees and raining on the day. That is better than 35 degrees and baking heat/humidity. Some runners love that but this is a very open looking course and I don't want to look like road-kill after 5 hours, even if I smell a bit like one.

After Sulphur Springs I was very stiff the next day but forced myself to go for a walk which I think really helped. I recovered far faster than after the PYP 50km race and hurt allot less over the following days. By Thursday I went out for a 10km run on the treadmill and on Friday I did a 10 miler on the streets at the hottest part of the day. I want my body to get used to hot days. I can't say I enjoyed that run. It was a real slog with allot of walking breaks after 5 miles. My intention is a final 1/2 marathon run tonight (Monday), slow and easy. My 2 blisters really healed quickly where the duct tape moved and I popped/drained them easily. The feet are good to go and the only remaining issues are a sore muscle on the front top of my leg (don't know the technical term) and my issue on the hip which if I keep it gelled with Voltaren seems to keep the discomfort at bay.

I am doing far less mileage than I would have expected and seem to use my 2 weeks between races as a taper. My first 4 days after each is a break, then a light 10km and a 1/2 marathon to get my body used to a longer run before the next race. I'm sure others approach things differently but that's been my strategy so far. I know my 10km times would be crap now but I feel ok about doing 6 hours on paved foot path after running SS two weeks ago in 9 hours. Hopefully I can walk less in this race though.

Race Predictions

Baring any problems, I hope to achieve 36-40 miles. I don't see many of the usual names on the confirmation list but hopefully I'll see some of you there. I hope all your races and training are going well. I'll update you soon with my race report - fingers crossed for Saturday.



Well, I wrote allot and then my computer crashed and lost it all so here I go again. . .

First, let's get the distance/pre race prediction out of the way so you don't have to read any more if you don't want to. I managed 60km or 37.2 miles so well within my prediction but honestly, I should have been able to crack 40 miles easily which is a shame. I'll tell you all about it if you stick with me :)

I did my final 1/2 marathon during the week leading up to the race, not on Monday, but Tuesday. It was a fairly OK run overall but when I got home the top of my left foot really hurt and I was icing it 3 times a day until Friday morning. At this point I was fairly sure it was a stress fracture but figured I would go to Kingston and do my best. I have an MRI scheduled for next Wednesday which was booked about 3 weeks ago because of the hip pain I was having - and I called up the doctors office to ask if they could scan my foot at the same time. He wanted to see me so I got in on Friday afternoon. He manipulated the foot but I was not feeling any pain when he did this. He said he would ask them to do it at the same time but no guarantee and just in case he wrote me out a form to get an X-ray.

The Night Before

I got all my stuff packed and didn't sleep great. I got up at 2:00am, had some toast and was out of the house by 2:30am. The drive was pretty uneventful. I was shocked how developed it was along the 401 east of Toronto. Huge modern high-rises. Traffic was not too bad and only a few little spatters of rain along the way. It took 3.5 hours to get there and I arrived in the Parade Square and there were lots of people, marquees, etc. It turns out there was a Cancer Run or walk going on in the central square from I believe 7:00pm the previous night. The track was a mud bath and there were still some people walking around the track. There was music playing but the event was almost over.

I drove from my spot there and found another car park immediately by the walled gate and it was right where I needed to be. I ate my cereal and curled up in the back seat with my sleeping bag but I could hear the constant 'thump-thump' of music and it was light out so really it was just relaxing. I did go for a little walk first to make sure I was in the right place and found all the trimmings for our race and looked out over the water and took a few photos of where we'd be running

Setting up marquee for counters - through gate on right is where the aid station was - start/finish was almost here

Walled fort with tower in middle - Military school is building behind wall - behind me is the embankment down to water

Loop we did around the flag pole, down to the counters and the start/finish and aid station and down to waterfront

We ran along this road - in distance is Kingston

The course is on this path - people arriving and setting up

More runners

Eventually I heard activity and the volunteers were arriving to put together the tables and food and marquees for the counters, etc. I picked up my personalised bib and T-shirt and set up my chair and bits/pieces infront of my car. The race went right by where I parked so it made it very easy in case you needed anything.

Other runners arrived and were setting up and I said hello to a few of the familiar faces in the crowd. Ron and Helen were there of course and I finally found out who Kimberly van Delst is. I kept seeing her name on EVERY single ultra event. She has short reddish hair and a lovely bright smile. There was a friendly duck who stopped by and was walking between all the runners accepting bread graciously! ha ha.

I finished applying my creams, popping my pills, taking some gel and finishing a banana, made sure I had my good luck lock of hair and then just watched the activity around me.

My good luck charm

Ready (somewhat) for race number 3 in the OUS calendar

With a few minutes before the start the race director ushered us to a convenient place for a group photo. We all got one after the race which was a really nice touch. Next time I'll have to get out from behind Ron's multi-coloured cap!

2013 Kingston 6 hour Transendence runners

The Race

After that we walked through the gates into the Fort. I introduced myself to my personal lap counter and thanked him (he was responsible for 4-6 runners) and we lined up on the footpath. Somewhat stupidly I lined up near the front. We had a minutes's silence when we were all lined up and then the Director was saying, OK, 5-4-3-2-1-GO! Off we went!

The weather was overcast but not raining, and it was a comfortable temperature. You got a little breeze off the water at one point and then it died as you went around the tip and came back into the fort. I felt it was perfect conditions. I passed a number of people on the first lap that had started ahead of me in the line and there were 2 runners ahead of me by the end of the first lap. I kept seeing them as we came back into the fort as you pass the flag-pole. It took a while but eventually you start passing the slower runners but it was very friendly/positive and the fast runners and slower runners we equally friendly. Those that had head-phones on it was hard to chat with but we all have our favourite methods of running. I prefer running without music and taking in the ambiance of the race.

This type of race is very bad for me for pacing because there is always someone ahead that I want to catch up to. I really HAVE to invest in one of these GPS watches so I can monitor my pace and ignore everybody around me. You would pass the slower runners and then it would get harder to catch the ones ahead because they were the faster runners. I knew I was going too quickly but my plan was to try to get to a marathon in a good time and then evaluate what I had left in the tank. Every time I would pass the covered marquee with the counters my guy would point and yell out 'GOTCHA ALEX'. Then within a few feet through the gate there were all the munchies at the aid station with my car immediately to the left. For awhile I had my hand-held and belt and after about 20 laps I dropped the belt pack.

It was going well and I was strong for the first 2-2.5 hours. Around this time they posted the top 7 men and women on a board which would change as positions changed. At that point I was in 2nd position overall. Ron asked me a few times as I passed him what position I was in and he hedged his bets saying I'd win it. Thanks Ron but I was not so confident. ha ha. Just after 2 hours the leader lapped me. I could hear footsteps behind me and he followed me through 1/2 a lap but I hate having someone on my tail so when I got to the car I decided to pick up some orange slices I'd prepared and let him sail by.

I was tired by this point and knew I was going far too quickly, probably close to 8mph and knew I didn't have the fitness to maintain that much longer so off I went and tried to slow it down. I got up beside Kimberly to stay with her. She had headphones on but took them out to say hi but I told her I just wanted to stick with her for awhile but not to mind me and carry on with her music. I hung out with her for awhile but I got the feeling she was slowing on purpose just to motivate me to carry on which is OK. Not everybody likes running with someone so I drew ahead. Then, at some point my foot started to have really bad shooting pains on the top every time I landed and I knew that I was in doo-doo.

I couldn't run on it anymore. I tried walking a few hundred feet and started running again but immediately there were stabbing pains and I knew it was likely a stress fracture. I was concerned about making things worse so spent a full hour walking. I popped my fourth Advil and did get to the car and take off the shoe and apply the gel to the top of the foot. I have no idea if this helped or not.

It was very frustrating being passed over and over again and watch my name slip from 2nd to off the leader board. Everybody must have thought I had bonked from going too quickly and chances are I would have had to slow down but not yet! I tried to keep calm about the whole thing and I was able to walk without pain so I just carried on. I walked for awhile with another woman who was also injured and walked the whole thing. She was not giving up. At 4 hours I tried running again and was able to pick it up again for a little while. I started to lap some of the people who had been doing it to me for the last hour but it was too little too late and I was soon back to walking but tried to run measured distances - running from the counters to the waterfront and then walking, then running to a discarded cup - then walking, etc.

During one of my running segments along the lake I felt sick and couldn't keep it back. I ran to the breakers and threw up about 4 times and then carried on. Sorry everybody that had to see that - at least in the woods there is more cover. I got pretty muddled up with my drinks/hydration/salt intake and was alternating with the belt pack, holding the handheld or holding a bottled water - so I probably got off my normal regime. Anyway, by this point I was suffering and wanted to be done with this race. The time was counting down and more people were walking and suffering for sure - the leaders all seemed to be doing well though and were cruising by. People were all very supportive and the volunteers were very helpful. I dropped my handheld with them a few times and asked them to fill it with water to pick up on my next circuit.

At one point, for abut 1/2 hour, a bag-piper stood on the top of the earth ramparts and played while we ran by which was very inspiring. I think because of the military school there it is standard but it was nice. Along the water we'd see lots of sailboats and ferries going by once in awhile. With the last few minutes to go as we came by the start/finish we were handed a ziplock bag with sand inside and our name on it which we carried on our final lap out and when the time ran out we dropped our bag where we finished when the horn sounded. I happened to be right by a woman and we hugged after our efforts and then high-fived all the guys that were walking back to the start. It was really nice to congratulate all the fellow runners who participated in the event. It's something you are not often able to do in a different type of run where people are all finishing at varying times.

The leader board after the finish

After the run I headed back to the car and shook more hands and got talking to a number of fellow runners - one did very well and was in the military and another guy I sat at the back of his van and we chatted about Sulphur Springs. We both started shivering badly and so I put on some layers and headed over to the buffet which was pasta with a tomato sauce, a nice wedge of bread, a salad and a juice. I sat down with everybody else in the chairs as we waited for the awards to be handed out and once I got some food inside me my shivering stopped.

Tired but happy I finished - 60km - 37.2 miles
Personalised certificate

The race Director got up and went through the winners and it was really nice and personal. Once they announced the top 3 men and women they handed out a certificate with your completed distance and one of the group photo shots from the start to every entrant. All the women competitors got a lovely rose also. Just as we got through the ceremony it started to rain just as they brought up a big cake which was for everybody but they said it was to cover all the birthdays taking place in June so those that had a June birthday got up. Most people by this point were heading off. I considered just crashing in the car for a few hours but didn't feel as stiff as normal and I wanted to drive home in the light although I was dreading the 401 going into Toronto on Saturday evening. It was not fun at all but I got home unscathed and got into the house, showered, unpacked food items and after a little pizza and TV headed up for an early night.

3rd place female

2nd place female

1st place female

3rd place Male - Gino de Carlo

2nd place Male - Patrick Campbell
1st place Male - Cameron Lutley

The following two days I'm stiff but really not as bad as other events - probably because of all the walking. The foot the next morning shows quite a bit of bruising so we'll see what the MRI or X-ray show. I have the Niagara 50km Ultra in less than 2 weeks and if it is fractured it would probably be a bad idea to run hard. Damn!

It was great to meet so many of you out there on the Kingston race. I look forward to meeting all of you again in future races.

For those of you considering this race it was very fun - small and intimate with allot of volunteer support. You are well taken care of and all levels of runners can do well here. The nice weather helped everybody. There is only one tiny incline with a corresponding downhill. It's all paved and there are only 2 sharp turns which might start bugging you 50 odd laps into the run. I personally enjoyed the run. Whatever you are training for, wherever in the world you are - carry on running :) Thank you for visiting. 

Bruising along the foot