Submitted by Christina Boulard @ChristinaBWho
Oddly, it took me until the night before the race to get excited about it. You see, I'm not where I'd hoped to be in my running journey. I mean, it's been almost a year since I started! So because of that, I was really just very 'meh' about this—my second—race. I'd decided to start again at the beginning and go back to walking exclusively. My calf pain just got to be too much when I tried to run, so to strengthen them slowly and safely, walking seemed best. The night before my race, I realized that that meant no pressure on me, and that's when I started to get excited!
I woke early the next morning. It takes me FOREVER to wake up and I wanted to be bright-eyed and busy-tailed for the start line. My boyfriend drove and my 5 year old was singing in the back seat as we tried to find a parking spot. It took AGES to find one! Who knew that 13000 runners and 12000 spectators would need so much parking?!
You see, this was a HUGE race. The Around the Bay Road Race is a 30k, and it's the oldest race in North America. I was only doing the Bay and Back 5K—with 2500 others. One day I hope to do the 30K! How amazing would that be, right?!
I said goodbye to my family and they went to find a seat to watch me finish. Oh, did I forget to mention that the finish line is INSIDE a huge arena? So not ony would I be running with thousands of others, I'd be crossing the finish line in front of thousands of spectators! Yeah, NO pressure at all! Haha!
The 30Kers started 15 minuted before my race, and it was AMAZING to watch wave after wave—thousands and thousands of runners—go by!
Soon is was our turn, and I found a spot way back with the walkers. I didn't even hear the gun go off, I was back so far. I just walked along with the crowd and started to run as I came up to the start line.
I ran for the first 200m or slow, then slowed to a fast walk.
It was starting to warm up—finally!—so I took off my mitts and undid my jacket a bit, and just enjoyed the scenery! The race went through residential areas, right to the waterfront and back. It had been awhile since I was in those neighbourhoods, I'd forgotten how pretty they are! There were quite a few spectators with signs and right at the 4K mark, a Scottish band was playing in full kilts! That was pretty awesome!
I could see the arena in the distance and sped up a bit. The course was REALLY hilly, so I knew my time wasn't great--but I was okay with that! I reached the last 300m and started to run. I wanted to RUN across that finish line, and I did!
To run into a huge arena full of people was truly amazing and inspiring! I came in just under 50:00, and I was proud. Proud to be a part of such a huge race, proud to be a part of #run3rd and proud to have finished my second race ever!