My Tour du Ontario

By June 4, 2014Featured

The news today is that I’ll be racing at the Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon (SVHM) on June 22. I’m excited to race here in Vancouver again. Check out this article by Paul Gains. More on that later, as I also wanted to look back at the Lowertown Brewery (Ottawa) 10k and some other events that have kept me busy the past few weeks.

My training following the Sun Run 10k at the end of April went quite well. Rob Watson and I did some good workouts together as he was preparing for the Ottawa marathon. Things actually worked out quite well; as he was tapering I was ramping up and we were able to do some of the same workouts. Some went better than others for me, but I went in to the Ottawa 10k confident I could run fast.

That didn’t actually materialize for me on the day. The lead group included 2:03 marathoner Geoffrey Mutai and Kenyan Olympic Trials 10,000m Champ Wilson Kiprop. I didn’t have the confidence to go with the leaders from the gun. Instead I found myself running solo the entire way. That wasn’t much fun and my motivation waned. I got to halfway in 14:30 and pretty much just hung on for dear life from there. I tried to reel in a few of the stragglers from the lead pack, but in the end I just had nothing. I finished 9th overall in 29:40. Check out results here. The consolation prize was that I was the top Canadian in the race. I was disappointed with how things went, but my spirits were raised by some good drinks and good eats at the Manx (my favourite Ottawa establishment).

On Sunday Eric Gillis and Rhiannon Johns took home the crowns as Canadian marathon champs. My man Rob got himself a nice shiny silver medal, running a gutsy race and hanging on well. Congrats to all of them for getting  it done over 42.2km!

The week following the race we bounced around between Toronto, Kingston, and Westport. It was a bit of a crazy week to be honest, but I’m only back in Ontario every so often so I had to get in as much visiting as possible with family and friends.

On Monday I spent a day at Mizuno Canada headquarters in Mississauga, doing some filming for promo of some of their great new products. Larry Abbott is a natural in front of the camera, hopefully I held my own as his sidekick. We had some fun and I’m looking forward to seeing how things pan out. After the long day in front of the camera I did a long progression run up and down the Don Valley. The humidity got the best of me and I ended up staggering down East Dundas street for about a mile before I found our hotel!

While in Toronto I also did a talk with Rejean Chiassons’ new running group – Pace and Mind. It was fun to meet some members of the group and I am excited to see how the group grows under the tutelage of coach Chiasson! The MaRs innovation centre is a cool place and a great concept that I wasn’t aware of until this week. I also for the first time found my way to the Belt Line path in Toronto. I’d heard many battle stories from my former coach – Steve Boyd – of gruelling workouts in the heat and humidity dodging the trophy wife’s and handbag dogs of Mt. Pleasant. I was surprised how nice the path was – running in TO ain’t half bad I guess, but it sure sucks compared to Vancouver!

After that it was off to Kingston for a few events on Thursday. First I went to Frontenac Public School as a guest at the Reading & Running program. The kids were awesome; they challenged me to a few running races and showed off their own running and reading skills. Hats off to all the volunteers that make this program happen. It’s a great opportunity for kids to learn and learn to love running. The fact that the program culminates with them receiving new running shoes and busing up to a Toronto for a 5km race is really exciting.

Following the Reading & Running it was off to Runners Choice for a Mizuno wear test night. We had a good turnout of folks from the local running community who got to test out some Mizuno sneakers. With our Mizuno’s strapped on we did a preview of the course for the Beat Beethoven run. Are you tired yet? Cause I sure was! You can check out some more photos from my visit here.

Oh and did I mention through much of the week I had the guys from Crimson Fish films following me around? They filmed some of workouts and got a taste for what my day to day life of training was like. It was weird to have a camera in my face for the better part of a few days. They also talked to some people who knew me as a young buck and have watched me grow a few inches over the years. We even paid a visit to my elementary school – R. G. Sinclair! Not much has changed, but they do have this wild new thing called a Smart Board. That was fascinating. I would’ve been a genius had that been at my disposal all my life! Anyways, hopefully the guys got some good footage and can put together something interesting of my rather uninteresting life.

The last event on my Tour du Ontario was the Beat Beethoven run in Kingston. This event is an annual 8km race on the KRRA racing schedule. The challenge is to run the 8km course before the Kingston Symphony finishes playing Beethoven’s 3rd Symphony, which is 50 minutes long. 8km in 50min isn’t much of a challenge for me, but my coach decided 16km (2x the 8km course) would be. It ended up being a fun event that the race organizers really got behind and the crowds were great. I did the first lap of the course in 24:28 and then did a 180 turn and headed back out for another lap, which I completed in 24:48 (I blame all the high-fives towards the end, see pic below, for the positive split). All in all it was a good workout and  it was great to get out and be part of the Running community in Kingston again. I got to catch up with some old friends and make some new ones.

I’m back in Vancouver now and definitely in need of some RnR. Even though it was a whirlwind of a week I still managed to get in some great training and am excited to tie the line at SVHM on June 22. This race runs through my neighbourhood  which is both a good thing and a bad thing. I know the course well and hopefully that gives me some sort of advantage. But, it also goes right near my place at about 15km. That could be a bad thing if I’m in the hurt locker…which I plan to be at that point.


Well thanks for reading.