Friday, May 29, 2009

2009 Race Schedule

At one point, early in the year, I was considering entering an event nearly every weekend if available. After running a couple, I’ve changed my mind. I’ve realized that position and time don’t mean much to me anymore. The event, location and/or distance have to be unique for me to be interested. I can run an unexciting 21.1km from my front door at any time without having to pay $50-$100 and drive an hour or more to some urban jungle at ridiculously early hours of the morning.

In planning the rest of my season, I’ve picked just one event per month. The events are the most interesting I could find. They needed to be in locations that I would find interesting and could hang around and do some extra sight-seeing or hiking after the main event ended. Distance was a factor as well. I need the runs to be more than 10km and less than the evil 42.2km. I’m certainly no longer a sprinter, so 10km or less hardly gets me warmed up. Anything more than 30km leaves me unable to do any sightseeing after the event. The Pearson Runway Run is obviously an exception because when else do you get to run beside an active runway?

Due to expenses evolving around and the vacation time dedicated to the wedding in November, it was necessary to keep things close to home this year. Hopefully, next year, I’ll get to do something like the NYC Marathon (yes, it is a marathon, but NYC is definitely an exception to my rules), or any of the European races.

For now, here’s my schedule for the rest of 2009:

Toronto Pearson Runway Run – Saturday, June 13, 2009
Distance: 5km
A very rare 5km for me. This event really isn’t about the running so much is it’s about being on a runway at Canada’s busiest airport while aircraft take off and land on the runway next to you. This will be my second year running this race. However, I’m thinking a modern day PR of under 25 minutes is my goal for this one (long gone are the days of the sub-20 for me...). If the hamstring and calf muscles co-operate this shouldn’t be a problem considering how flat and wide open the course is.

Rattlesnake Point Trail Run – 5 Peaks – Saturday, July 11, 2009
Distance: 12.7km
This will be my 2nd race in the 5 Peaks series. I ran Mono Cliffs last summer and was registered for the Albion Hills half-marathon but opted out with a strained hamstring. Rattlesnake is full of hills, located on the Niagara Escarpment. I have no specific time goals for this one since it is a trail run and I don’t know the course at all. This one is all about the scenery and fresh air!

Midsummer’s Night Run – Saturday, August 22, 2009
Distance: 30km
I’ve wanted to participate in this one for a few years. I believe it used to be midweek and shorter. The run takes place on the Toronto Waterfront and the Leslie Street Spit. There is a 15km option but I’m going to attempt to be a man and do the 30km pain free. I always liked the idea of a summertime evening run, especially on a Saturday night in Toronto – the atmosphere should be electric. This is my chance at redemption at the 30km distance. I fell apart in the last 7 or 8 km of the Around the Bay 30k in March and missed out on the 3 hour mark by more than 9 minutes. Considering the flatness of the course, I should easily be able to crack 3 hours on this one.

Marathon Oasis de Montreal – Sunday, September 13, 2009
Distance: 21.1km
I can’t go to Europe to run this year, so Montreal is the next best thing. I thought briefly about doing the full marathon but quickly decided against it. There is so much else to do in Montreal and a full marathon would leave me pretty much useless. Plus, I’ve personally outlawed the distance anyway. Can I beat my PR 1:45:00 at this one? Not likely! I set that mark several years ago on the relatively flat Toronto International course. I do want to crack 2 hours, something I wasn’t able to do at Mississauga in May. This race is about the culture and atmosphere – it should be a blast!

Vulture Bait Trail Race – Saturday, October 17, 2009
Distance: 25km
This run will act as a homecoming of sorts. I always love to run in London, there’s a warm bed to sleep in at my parents house and I know the running routes inside and out. This run will be especially fun for me since I used to work at Fanshawe Park where this run takes place. Oddly enough, my job for that summer so long ago, was maintaining and constructing trails. There is a 50km option, consisting of 2 loops around the lake instead of just one. The course is quite flat and should be a lot of fun. Having never run the 25km distance specifically in a race before, this should be a PR! Under 2:30:00 will make me happy as of right now but it’s still several months away…

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