Monday, 5 May 2008

32K Sunday Run (not race) Report

This was a gathering of all the Running Room marathon clinic participants in Ottawa. We assembled at the Kanata store at 08:30 on Sunday morning, our destination was 32K away at the Ottawa Bank Street store. The school bus arrived at 08:15 and excited runners emerged out into the cloudy, overcast, drizzle, but the weather didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits. All in all there were more than 200 excited runners.

We assembled into groups representing our pace times. The pace runners were holding up the signs denoting the finish time for the marathon run.

Our 5-hour group was there and ready, since we have all collectively paced the group, we continued with that format and even had a few runners such as Catherine and Rita, join us from other Running Room locations.

Before the run, the organisers gave out * prizes and wished us we went.
* Donation: $10.00 (All proceeds going to the Ottawa Hospital Foundation).

At this point I would just like to say how well organised this run was! There were water / gator aid stations manned by volunteers. We also had spotter cyclists keeping track of the various pace groups.

They supplied water, moral support, Advil and even called in the van that was circling around when a runner could not complete the run. Right down to the motivational signage, I have nothing but great things to say about the whole day! Well, other than THANK YOU!!!

We headed off from the store to the Cattail trail, along one of the main roads to an underpass that took us to a trail running adjacent to Highway 417 and followed that trail over to our first 10K water station.

As we were topping up our water bottles, we were able to watch the tail end of the Tour Nortel which is an 80K bike race. They also have shorter distances for the less competitive and for families.

This is where we split off and headed towards downtown along the trail behind the National Capital Equestrian Centre.

Ottawa is the capital of Canada and we have a Nation Capital Commission that keeps quite a bit of our area as "natural" parklands with running / biking trails from west to east. The majority of our Sunday run was done on these trails.

We did have a pit stop that was a little too long. We got to the port-a-potties that already had a bit of a "female" lineup....not sure what was going on, don’t want to get too graphic, but I know that when I’m running, you either hit a port-a-pottie or head behind a bush.....and as quickly as possible.

Nope, we waited more than 15 minutes while these women reapplied their freeking was cold and windy and we all really cooled down way too much while these glamour queens were freshening up....Girls, get over it....if you run with makeup on, carry your own mirror, don’t take up precious time in the loo!!!

We continued on until we reached the trail that runs along the side of the Ottawa River, called, yes the Ottawa River Parkway. The trails are beautifully maintained, and the flower beds were teeming with daffodils and tulips, wondrous colours and sights.

The river was brimming almost to overflowing its banks due to our unnaturally high snowfall this winter, geese, ducks and other waterfowl were bobbing along in the swift current as if following us to see what these crazy humans were doing.

Once we got onto this pathway it was smooth sailing and straight ahead to downtown Ottawa and Parliament Hill.

As a group, from the very beginning, we always said if one person needs to stop, we all stop, just keeps us all together for moral support, but once race day hits, we may start together (if we can find one another) but you run your own race.

Rick, Shirley and Jen are just going to Rock the Marathon...woooo hoooo! You guys are going to fly!!

We finally made it to Parliament Hill and ran up the huge hill to then head down the Rideau Canal built by Colonel By in 1826. Underneath Wellington Street bridge. I turned to view Chateau Laurier Hotel, a truly stunning landmark.

This is a man made waterway connecting the Ottawa River to the Rideau River which then eventually connects to Lake Ontario.

A major water system, which Ottawa was built upon. (History Lesson some other time!!!).

Jen and Shirley kept pretty much to the pace time, I was a little slower due to taking pictures, talking with other runners who were having a little bit of difficulty and truthfully, the last two K I had no idea where we were and I was starting to get a little anxious that we’d miss a turn to the Running Room.

Luckily the others know downtown way better than I do, so they lead the way! Rick our gentleman and gentle soul, ran with a fellow who was starting to lag, he stayed with him almost to the end of the run....that’s what running is all about, spirit, thoughtfulness and looking out for one another.

Once we got to the store we were greeted by one of the run organiser's with having to hit the "Easy" button and then we were lead to a table laden with fresh fruit, bagels and beverage (juice). Wow, I had a great time!!

Thanks Jen, Shirley, Rick and a special thanks to one of my running Woooo Hoooo girlfriends Anne who ran with us too!!! Anne's husband Dean supported us along the way while riding his bike and meeting us at different locations so we could toss off coats, refuel or just get a "you're doing great everyone". All of you are the VERY BEST!!!

There is of course so much more to describe, but then your eyes would glaze over and you’d fall asleep at your computer....can’t have can we???

Oh, one finally thing, check out the huge honking stone I picked up and couldn't dislodge from the heel of my shoe for the last Princess and the Pea here!!! LMAO!!!

Thanks for reading all the way through, yes there will be questions later!!! Oh, we ended up running 32K in 4:29....oh, yes, 32K = 19.88'll have to figure out the rest of the math!!!

Life’s fun if you don’t weaken,



Anonymous said...

Runners Rock!!!

Chad in the Arizona Desert said...

Wow, sounds like an amazing running clinic to have that much support for something that isn't a race. Beautiful photos...looks like a great place to train.

Lily on the Road said...

Runner's DO Rock!!!

hahahah, thanks my friend!!

Nat said...

Woohoo! Congrats! Sounds like a wonderful group of runners.

That is really cool. May consider doing my long runs with them if I ever lose my mind and decide to run NCM again.

Sounds like you ran a large chunk of my loops. I start at home to Dow's Lake, along the Canal. Down the hill past War museum back up the hill at Parkdale home. :) Had I known I'd have stood there waving a banner.

teacherwoman said...


The rock in the shoe is rediculous! :)

Chris said...

That sounds like a great event! I can't believe that women were fixing their make-up in the portajohn on a run. Unreal!

Ottawa looks fantastic. I have never been there, but want to visit someday.

Anonymous said...

well done Lily! Great photos. Tell me you're NOT going to be doing this on Marathon Sunday?

I'll have to be looking for you as you run past mty church though. We have to have our liturgy earlier than usual to avoid the runners. As they go by they don't let cars in or out of the church property. Hordes of people going through.

Talk soon

Lisa - Slow & Steady said...

Congratulations!! Sounds like a fun run.

I love all the smiling faces in the photos.

babooshka said...

I like the fact that the running club work together for the a greater cause. It is a concept some people (ok a whole island at times ) should adopt too.

TNTcoach Ken said...

That’s how you should enjoy a long run. Great photos and yes I did the math!

Vickie said...

Lily, fantastic run! You are very lucky to have all that support even in training! I think you will rock the marathon too! Can't help be excited for you!

Marcy said...

OMG how awesome!! I am soooo LMAO at the ladies that need to reapply makeup?!?!? What tha?!?!

Great pics chica!! Looks like you guys are getting some green on those leaves, huh? LOL

Bob Gentile said...

Life’s fun if you don’t weaken
Love it!

Great Re-Cap & Photos...what an awesome place to run, ummm when it's not 10 below--LOL

Congrats on ur long run weekend !! You guys are so ready for ur Marathon!!

triguyjt said... one bothers me when I put on makeup during a porta-pot stop....JK.

Nice 32 K report and wow, the history in Ottawa!!!

nice, very nice

Nitmos said...

Way to go. Marathon, here you come...hopefully less one rock. Didn't you feel lopsided the last 5k?

Mendy said...

When you first started talking about the bathroom wait and the ladies applying make-up, I about spit my sweet tea out when I read they were on a run. What tha???? Who does that?

You are such an inspiration and I love the group run dynamics you all have going on. I tell ya, I wish I had something like that here around me. Most of my friends are too competitive to even ask me to run with them or train. But, that's okay... You got a good group there!

Chief Wahoo said...

Congrats on the long run! You are lucky tohave such great support and friends to run with!

bluecolnago said...

sounds great! the make up thingy though.... unreal! lol.

Amy said...

Lily, that is such a cool way to do your last big run before the marathon - great report, I felt like I was there!

I still don't get the makeup thing - not only did they reapply it, but they had to carry it around too...

Kim said...

Thanks for the conversion! LOL!!
Great pictures!
That had the feel of a race-that is very cool they do that.

KC Stine said...

Great run Lily, looks like you're ready for the big one in a few more weeks.