Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Race Day Humour Therapy

Yesterday's Muay Thai post featuring my friend and national champion Mel Shields, has by far been the most popular one to date, since this blog began three weeks ago. So glad people are enjoying it. I look forward to posting more "people profiles" and photographs. Many people have given me excellent suggestions - thank you.

In the meantime, as I write this post, I am finding it hard to focus. The 30K Around the Bay race is this Sunday and I am so excited to the point of dizziness. Got an email last night from the race organizers, the last one, they note, as they turn their attention to setting up the venue. They seem to be a highly organized lot, and rightly so, this being the 119th year for North America's oldest road race ("Older than Boston" is their slogan that is proudly displayed on the gorgeous tech t-shirts participants get in their race kit each year. I can't wait to get mine. That's why I signed up after all. Ha ha. Only partially true.)

Pictured: Finishing medals from events that don't need maps to the start line.

The biggest race I have ever run, in terms of participants, has had about 1000 runners. So I am reading this email last night, and notice a link for a map to the start line. A map to the start line? I need a MAP to find the start line? Whaaaa? I knew this was a huge race when I signed up, that attracted a few thousand runners, from your every day garden variety types (me) to the (I am bowing, nose to floor, right now) elites. People come from all over the world to run Around the Bay. But I never thought about the exact number of participants. So when I scrolled down past the map link to read on, I almost dropped my ipad when I read the words "over 12,000 participants." Holy &!##!

Immediately, several comic situations came to mind. (That's the way my mind works when I get a little anxious. I try to find the humour in the situation. My own custom therapy session as it were. I recommend trying this yourself if you are about to embark on your first big adventure. Maybe even 30K Around the Bay! Think about it. We might even run past each other. Or park next to each other. Or squat in the same woods....if there are woods. Or be in that big crash (see #6 below) ). Anyway...

Random Thoughts & Questions 5 Days Before
My First BIG Race:

  1. What if I need to pee when I am in the middle of a pack of 12,000 runners? (Can you run with a Poise pad? Ha! No you can't - at least I can't. Believe it or not, I actually tried this once on a training run a few years ago. Can't pee and run.)
  2. Note to Self: Arrive, like, 5 hours before race starts to find good parking spot close to start line.
  3. How much time should I devote to shopping the vendor booths? (This is important.Yes it is.)
  4. How do I find my friends after the race? (Is there a lost and found for adults? I can hear the loudspeaker at Copps Coliseum now: "Will the friends of racer #0000 please report to the lost and found...")
  5. Can I take a picture of an elite runner while they're running? (Ha ha. As if.Think again.)
  6. What if someone crashes down and everyone falls over them? (I asked my 10 year old what he would wonder about if he was in a race with 12,000 people, and that was what he came up with.)
  7. They give you 4 hours to complete the race. What happens if you take longer? (I don't imagine I will, but I can picture a hilarious, slightly surreal cartoon forming in my mind:...a stark coliseum, banners littering the ground, a lone caretaker pausing to clap for me as he says, "Your friend told me to let you know she took the bus home...")
  8. How do I drive home afterwards if my legs are seized up like the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz? (Note to Self: Book a massage.)
  9. How do I get out of my car after driving home when my legs are seized up...(see #8 above and arrange for massage therapist to be there to help you out of your car. Failing that, husband will do. Failing that, just stay in the car and wait for help to arrive.)
  10. What if I throw up? (I don't imagine I will - never have yet - but sometimes when I'm excited...)
  11. What if someone beside me throws up? (Run away! Run away!)
  12. What if I'm last? (Doesn't matter. You did it! Refer to #7 above.)
  13. Note to Self: Make donation to St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton. (They say if every participant gave $20.00 St. Joe's would instantly reach its fundraising goal of $300,000. Wouldn't that be fantastic? And you never know, if you donate, they might just tend to your sprained ankle before the other guy's...kidding of course.)

I feel better already! It's amazing what a little humour can do to calm the nerves before a big event.


  1. Love it!
    I've run this race 3 times, 3 different ways...half, three man and full.
    To answer some of your questions:
    1. Yell "I have to pee". People will move.
    2. Good idea
    3. Several hours! Stop, say hi to John Stanton at the Running Room booth, buy something punny at One More Mile.
    4. Pick a number between one and 60. That is the section number at Copps where you will meet your friends. The numbers are at the top of each set of stairs.
    5. Yes, as they pass at the relay exchange point, I've done it.
    6. Don't follow too close, keep your head up. Jump over.
    7. The police follow behind you in a squad car as you run down York Blvd. I've done THAT too.
    8. They won't seize up till later. Keep walking.
    9. Fall out...crawl into house.
    10. Aim away from other people.
    11. You answered that perfectly!
    12. So what? Its YOUR race, your furthest distance, your personal best! Own it!
    13. Yep, I already donated and I'm volunteering at the expo on saturday. Say hi if you see me, I'll be in the silver glitter running skirt!

    Have a great race! Conquer the Bay!

    1. Loved reading your responses! Thanks for the tips and now, being a shopper, I want to know wear you got the silver glitter running skirt!

  2. Wife and I are doing ATB Sunday and are also giddy with excitement. Here's to a pee free race!

  3. Great post! Have a great race.

  4. There are Johnny's every few kms, usually with a few folks waiting patiently outside...there are massive lineups at both the men's and ladie's restrooms at Copps starting a couple hours before the race. You can do some relaxed shopping when you pick up your race packet on Fri. night or Saturday.

  5. Love this! I am only running the 5K this year (first timer!) but the 30K is on my radar for next year. I am going to follow your blog so I can read your post race wrap up! GOOD LUCK!!!!!

  6. Thanks Jenn! Good luck with your 5K! You will do awesome (awesomely?)I know this because you are already thinking about the 30K. Those are the words of a running addict in the making! I am new to "blogging." Really appreciate hearing from people like yourself - it motivates me to keep on blogging!