Monday, October 16, 2006

So, in the event, the course at the Zoo was too wild to run a fast time. I got everything I wanted: cold 5-degree weather, stiff winds and a hilly, maze-like course. As a result, I didn't get what I really wanted, a 37-minute 10k, but I did go out and run the first 4 km right on pace (15:12) on gently rolling and winding roads. When the tough sections of the course came, winding hills that really weren't much different from running up a narrow, meandering staircase, I had nothing to spare. Not that they knew or cared, but I finished 38th in 39:07, way behind some really good runners, including a teenaged winner (running 29:56 to win his 15-19 age group by five minutes) and local Congolese stars Giitah Macharia and Danny Kassap. Maybe because they saw that I wore a Reebok sweatshirt and track pants to the race, the race sponsors at RBK were kind enough to give me an award for being the third-fastest male between the ages of 20 and 24 with an odd number of vowels in his first name. I didn't stick around to find out what it was though, so that mystery will linger for a day or two.

I was hardly the most impressive runner on the weekend, having spent time at the Zoo Run as well as the Toronto Marathon today. I spoke to Macharia for a little bit after the race. If you run in Toronto and don't know who he is, it's a real shame because all he does is win. If you organize a race and offer some money anywhere in southern Ontario, odds are that he will come and win your race. Macharia, who finished an uncharacteristic third in a race he won the last two years, won the Canada Running Series for the third straight year, a points-based series of road races across Canada. He has also won the Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon three years in a row, which at least I think is reasonably impressive, though maybe he'd receive more credit with some freak appeal.

Also impressive was Chelle, who ran a stellar 2:58 marathon in Columbus today, crushing me in our race equivalency challenge. Her performance goes to prove that you can do anything if you put your mind to it and then go out and run 80 miles a week.

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