Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The only artistic idea I have ever had in my life would be a series of photographs in Toronto that looked as though they were not from Toronto. Ranking very high on that list would be a picture of the south shore of the Toronto Islands, which is the absolute south end of Toronto. There is just nowhere else to go except Rochester, New York. I really can't say a lot about what there it to see, it's beautiful but nothing exceptional. What is exceptional is that if you turn around, you can see the CN Tower and a few skyscrapers looming nearby. The rest of the skyline is obscured by trees, in turn obscuring the fact that you're less than three kilometres from the mainland.

I spend a lot of time thinking about how far you can get from somewhere in just 15 minutes, be it by car or by foot. When living in Mississauga, I can run into Toronto and run to a stereotypical meadow surrounded by trees. It actually takes about 14 minutes and because the surrounding highrises aren't visible, it's okay to forget about the city. A couple of weeks ago, I ran from the heart of downtown, where I work, to Cherry Beach and back in 29 minutes. Try it sometime, even mentally, to see how different of a place you can find from the one where you started.

What prompts this is my time on the Toronto Islands yesterday, where I ran a first-rate 10k race, the Longboat Toronto Island Run. It was a lot like running in high school. I spent two hours before the race reading a newspaper, I warmed up with Riyaad, and the race did have an odd mix of road, grass and boardwalk. Just like in high school, I ran a slow first half (19:33) and picked it up (19:07) to finish in 38:40, my fastest ever. Just like in high school, I actually set a new personal best, having last achieved one for any distance 16 months ago. Just like in high school, there was good competition for a small race (I was 25th) and I left the winning to the real athletes. This is the best race I've run all year, though I held back in the middle, expecting the race to get tougher in the end, though it never did.

No comments: