Saturday, May 03, 2008

When I went out and ran 10k on a sunny November afternoon to start training for Boston, I certainly couldn't have predicted that it would have all come to a head two weeks later in The Big Soap Bubble aka The Big Sud aka The City That Buddy Built aka Sudbury, Ontario. I've always had a revulsion for Sudbury, which is the largest, southernmost city in northern Ontario. Northern Ontario is a vast, beautiful area more than twice the size of Germany that makes up the upper nine-tenths of the province but has less than a million people. Anyway, Sudbury is a mining town that was once so barren and so hideous that, according to urban legend, moon-bound astronauts went there to acclimate themselves to terra luna.

Of course, those of you who know me well know that my first-year roommate was a 23-year-old recovering heroin addict (known as Buddy in this space since that was the only pronoun he knew) and snuff porn connoisseur from Sudbury. Needless to say, we didn't get along very well, given his penchant for watching horror movies in our shared hotel rooms and his fondness for playing loud drum and bass music at about 140 dB. You will also know that I slept in a car in Sudbury once, braced the entire time for marauding gangs of white supremacists to come and set the car on fire (interesting fact: that car, not mine, was later stolen in a ghetto of Toronto).

So, my fears of Sudbury are somewhat unfounded, though I think i have something to fear from running 42 km and change anywhere in the world. I don't think I have any idea how I'll do. My real goal is to capture the $100 prize for a tenth-place finish in this handicap race, where participants start at different times based on age and gender (I start last). That's do-able considering that I was the 57th participant when I signed up last night, and that 10th-place last year ran a 3:13.

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