It was such a joy to be part of the ambassador team for the RBC Race for the Kids this year! In 2015 I saw some of the ambassadors running and was too awkward to introduce myself to them even though I followed them on social media. This year I got to be part of that group and had such a great time getting to know everyone a little better!
I had originally planned to run the 5k for this race. Last year I did the 15k and hated the course. It was so hilly and I just didn’t love the route, so I said I was gonna stick to the 5k this year and enjoy it. Two weeks before the race I realized that I needed to do a long run that same day, so I decided to run before the race and then change my distance to the 15k to finish out my kilometres! I knew I wasn’t going to be thrilled with the hills but whatever!
On Saturday morning my alarm went off at 4am. I reset it for 4:05. When that went off, I reset it for 4:10. I finally crawled out of bed, changed my clothes, brushed my teeth and grabbed the running backpack I had borrowed from Lisa and strapped it on.
I hit the road at about 4:40 with an empty stomach. I couldn’t force myself to eat that early so I stuffed a Honey Stinger Waffle in my pocket to eat on the way. I headed out in the darkness in the direction of Cathy’s house. I had to change sides of the road twice–once for a skunk and the second time for a raccoon family of four that nearly scared me to death!
As I ran it started pouring, but I quickly realized the rain actually made me pick up my pace and for the first time in what seems like forever I was clocking paces that started with a 5! Cathy and Carmy eventually picked me up from the side of the road and we headed for the race. I looked like a drowned rat but had 13k done for the day!
After we parked, I changed out of my soaking wet clothes before we headed to the volunteer tent. We received our awesome yellow ambassador race shirts and took a few pictures before heading to the start line.
We had a slight start delay so we all chatted and took selfies while attracting lots of attention. I’m sure it was our bright yellow shirts and not our loudness!
The confetti cannon shot out and we headed for the start line. I was glad I was just making the race part of my long run and I didn’t feel any pressure to go fast! I felt pretty tired right away but I had an hour lapse between my 13k and now this run so I assumed that was why! Carmy and Cathy stuck with me from the very beginning and while I didn’t love the actual race course anymore than I did last year, I loved the run with my friends.
Nicole joined our group about 6k in and the four of us kept on trucking along. We started getting really excited for each water station because it was incredibly humid! Our shirts were soaked and I was so thirsty! I was taking two cups at each station–one of Gatorade and one of water. I kept getting a stitch in my side which I’m 99.9% sure was because of my too fast guzzling of so much liquid!
We entered a park at 8k and it felt like we were stuck in that park forever!
We did get to meet the best race volunteer ever in this endless park tho. She was singing and cheering and smiling from ear to ear as she passed out water. Whoever you are–you were amazing!
When we hit the 13k mark I told the girls that this marked the longest I had ever run in my life, so Cathy quickly took her phone out for a picture! 26k done and 2k to go!
As we headed down Yonge Street Carmy turned on “coach mode” as she told us to pick it up and keep moving cuz we were almost done! It was actually pretty awesome and I so wish I had a video.
We held hands and crossed the finish together! I captured a personal worst for a 15k but I didn’t care at all. I had a great time chatting with the girls, finished 28k, and got more time on my feet for Scotiabank. This race is about so much more than time to me so I think it’s an awesome one for me to do with zero goals.
I was exhausted after the race and have made a mental note to bring flip flops next time!
The course for the 15k isn’t my favourite but the race is at the top of my list (does that even make sense?!). The Family Navigation Project at Sunnybrook is such an amazing organization and I am so proud I got to be part of this special day. Thanks to Sarah, Deborah and Caroline for all of their work with the ambassadors and for this race. I know they hardly got any sleep last week and they probably wanted to lay down on race day, but they didn’t! They greeted us with smiles, took photos and dealt with probably a million questions. You guys were fantastic and all of your work did not go unnoticed! Thank you!