Tag Archives: race kit

Shoppers Run for Women 5km Race Recap

12 May

The Shoppers Drugmart Run for Women was this Sunday, May 11th. It was an event I really wanted to be a part of but for the past few months it didn’t look like one that I would actually be able to make…until this week. Some things changed and all of a sudden I found myself signing up at the last minute for the race!

run for women

I was thrilled to be a part of such a wonderful event. Funds collected went to support the Women’s Mental Health Program at the Royal Ottawa Hospital so it was definitely a worthwhile cause.

The race kit and victory bags were also pretty impressive – full of goodies and samples. Shoppers Drugmart did great filling up the bags for all the runners.


With this race being a spur of the moment thing, I really wasn’t sure how things would go. I haven’t raced since October 2013 and have not really run a whole lot since then.

Nonetheless, I carefully planned my race day outfit. The weather being forecast looked like it was going to be a perfect day for a run..


When I woke up on race day I went for my usual pre-race favorite foods…


The race took place on the Aviation Parkway in Ottawa and started at the Aviation & Space Museum. I have run several races in this location and always enjoyed them.

As forecast, the weather looked fantastic…except for the wind. There was certainly more wind that I would have liked, and when I realized I would be running into the wind during the final 2.5km of the race, I was slightly worried about it.

Race organizers were very enthusiastic and had everyone warm up and get moving together before directing everyone to the start line.


With that they also announced a few special guests present – local politicians, Shoppers Drugmart representatives, the Royal Ottawa Hospital representatives and perhaps the most exciting, a celebrity who was in town for Comicon – Sean Austin (from Goonies, Rudy and Lord of the Rings). 

Pre-race he spoke with passion about being at this event in support of women’s mental illness and talked about his mother’s struggle with bipolar disorder. He took part in all the race festivities and even ran the 5km with everyone!


Photo credit: @SeanAstin twitter

Fun to have a celebrity at the race, but I really had to contain myself to not start chanting “Rudy, Rudy, Rudy, Rudy….” every time I saw him!

At the beginning of the race, I lined myself up near the front because I had a feeling there would be a lot of walkers or slower paced runners and I wanted to get out ahead of that as much as possible.


I successfully got off the start line and was in about 6th place overall right off the bat. I knew there was at least one faster runner there today so I expected her to catch up to us fairly soon.

Within the first few hundred meters, I spotten my husband on the sideline with the camera so waved and said a quick hello.


From there, I set out on the out-and-back loop with the intention of placing well. I wasn’t sure what kind of pace I would be able to maintain as I had been out of training for a while, but I knew I had enough in me to place well today.

I ran with the same woman beside me for a while, then slowly pulled away from her at the same time as I passed someone else. By kilometer 2, I was in third place with the first and second place runners a good distance ahead of me.

I maintained my third position at the turn around point and then ran head first into the wind – serious WIND. I was telling my husband yesterday that I would rather run in anything else but wind. I have a slight build and the wind just slowed me right now. No chance of negative splits today and by that point I was just hoping to hold on to my third place position.

I started to really struggle with about 1.5km left but kept moving. As I rounded towards the finish line, my husband was there for another photo op but I was not as keen to wave at that point – very much hurting!


I ended up with a third place finish overall and am very pleased with it! Finish time was 23:27 – not a personal best time but still one to be proud of for sure. My last 5km race was exactly one year ago today – recap here – and today I finished 12 seconds faster than I did last year, so that’s good news!

I stuck around for a bit afterwards and I am glad I did because they actually announced the top 3 winners and called everyone on stage to receive a medal.


At the finish line, instead of a medal they provided a finisher’s bracelet, a piece of jewelry designed by Foxy Originals.


It was a fantastic idea for a women’s race and something unique that I really loved about today’s event.


So happy that I was able to take part in this run – hope to make it an annual tradition and I strongly encourage people to participate in the Shoppers Drugmart Run for Women if one is taking place in your city! Great race, great cause…and great race goodies!




MEC Ottawa 10km Race Recap

9 Sep

On a whim Friday I decided to sign up for the MEC Ottawa 10km Race that was held this Sunday, September 8th. I wanted to get a 10km race in in sufficient time before I run my half marathon in October (another post to come about what race that is!) and as I will be out of town for most of the weekends leading up to the half, I knew this was likely my last weekend to get a 10km race in.

I had missed the online registration deadline so had to go into the MEC store to sign up. It was a smooth sign up process as it was only a small race. I got an awesome drawstring bag, a magazine and 10% in store so I purchase a lovely little 4 pack of NUUN.

Mec Race 9135

Sunday morning I had to be up early so was fairly tired. I had a bad case of pre-race jitters but managed to eat half a bagel and a small pack of Welches before the race so I wasn’t running on empty.

It was a bit of a chilly morning but with the temperature above 10c I knew I could still pull off running in shorts and maintain my comfort and warmth. I was cold pre-race but once it got going, I was the perfect temperature with a long sleeve shirt on top.

The field for the 10km was really small, only 37 runners. There was also a 5km and a 15km race going on with a total of about 175 runners out that day.

Once the race started I immediately scoped out my competition. I had a race plan and I knew how I wanted to pace myself but I also knew if there was a chance I could place well I would push myself to get there. When we started I noticed right away there were only 3 women ahead of me, so I made it my mission to at minimum place in the top 3.

The first kilometer people always so go out too hard. I try to hold myself back and maintain my pace and it has typically paid off with negative splits on race day.

I started out by passing the first female almost right away and set my sights on the 2nd place female ahead of me. She wasn’t far and after about 2km I passed her. With that I only had one female ahead of me for the rest of the race – I timed that she was about 30 second ahead of me so I wasn’t sure I could actually reach her.

Nevertheless, I plugged on sticking fairly close to my race plan and passed a few guys through kilometers 3-5. The course was a 5km loop which we had to run twice. At the end of the first loop, I noticed that the female ahead of me was only about 20-25 seconds away, and I then realized I was gaining on her and might actually be able to catch her in the second half of the race.

As I began kilometer 6, she got closer and closer. I struggled with the thought of whether or not to pass her now or to hang back and pass her at the end thinking I would have the upper hand knowing exactly where she was ahead of me.

I then thought otherwise and decided I was there to run my own race regardless of what anyone else ran so I maintained my pace and zipped by her somewhere between kilometer 6 and 7. I didn’t see her again until she finished 1:25 behind me. I was glad I trusted my instincts and ran my own race at that point!

The final few kilometers of the race were my fastest of the entire 10km. I managed to pass 2 males and have a strong sprint to the finish line (which was around 300m of a track – making for a pretty cool finishing experience!) I finished in an official time 48:18.

It was a small race so not much fanfare or cheering at the finish. I didn’t have anyone there watching me so I just smiled to myself after a well-run race and wondered why I had such nerves in the first place!

This was the final race in the MEC race series this year, but I certainly hope to run more of them in 2014 – they were inexpensive to participate in, the parking was awesome because there was not a huge crowd, there were no bathroom lineups, the post-race food was great (cliff bars, bananas, oranges) and there were door prizes to be won!

Stayed tuned for an update on my fall running plans, which include a major half-marathon update!


Resolution Run Race Recap

5 Jan

On December 31st, 2012, I ran my 13th race of the year – a race that finally marked the completion of my “race a month” goal. To be fair, it was more of an “average one race a month” goal since I missed a January race (only having come up with this goal in February) and ran two races a month in both September and October.

I ran the Resolution Run 5km  in London, Ontario, an event put on my the Running Room in various locations across Canada.

Resolution Run

My husband and I were in that area visiting family during the Christmas holidays and I thought it would be a great way to ring in the New Year. I had encouraged a few other friends to sign up too and had my husband and mother-in-law come out to cheer me on, so it made for a fun race with lots of company (…lots compared to what I usually have at races!)



London usually doesn’t have much snow, but this year, five days before the race, they got a pretty good snowstorm and the snow was still sticking around by New Year’s Eve. I decided to prepare my race outfit accordingly and settled on all of this:


The blue jacket was part of the race kit – a Running Room jacket with lots of reflective properties. I typically don’t like to wear my race kit gear for races, but since this was much nicer and more appropriate for a night race than my actual winter running jacket, I decided to wear it for the race…along with 90% of the other runners there.

I had just purchased new winter running tights from the Running Room, and was eager to test them out in a race, along with my other favorite winter running pieces (New Balance touque with ponytail hole, Lululemon Brisk Run gloves, and thermal Nike long sleeve).


The day prior to the race, I went out for a quick 5km around my mother-in-law’s neighborhood in St. Thomas, Ontario (close to London) to loosen up my legs after not much exercise over the holidays.

Much to my dismay, the sidewalks had not been fully cleared of snow and I could not generate any speed. It felt like I was running in sand! My only consolation was that the race the next day would be much better…or so I thought.

The Race

My “crew” and I got to the race site in plenty of time to check everything out and get settled. When we got to the start line, the 10km racers had just taken off and we noticed that they appeared to be running in almost single file…and on the sidewalks.


We were certainly surprised to see this, especially as the sidewalks in London did not appear to have been cleared of the snow either. Cars were still driving down the roads we were racing on and there was no sign that any road closures had been made for this race.

We knew then we’d be in for a slow race.

As we approached the start line, we also learnt that there was no official start or timing, so we set out in almost single file as we  crossed the start line.

My friends and I had determined that we’d start together but each run at our own pace. As we crawled through the start line, I quickly wished my friends well and said I wanted to try to speed up…if I could get by anyone on the sidewalk in the snow.

This proved to be a HUGE feat; passing people on the snow covered sidewalks, correction – snow FILLED sidewalks, was nearly impossible.

I did somehow managed to dart past people when there were openings and when we crossed streets and all in all must have passed well over 100 over the course of the 5km.

Despite that however, there were just too many slow downs to generate any sort of steady, fast pace so I finished with a much slower time than I would have liked, but still got to enjoy a winter run with some friends and with the support of family.

AND the $80 Running Room jacket pretty much made up for everything….given that my race entry fee was only $50!



Resolution Run Sign Up

16 Nov

I’ve decided my last race of the year will be on the last day of the year! I just signed up for the 2012 Resolution Run 5km.

It will be held on December 31st at 5:15 pm and my options for where to run it were abundant. The race is organized through the Running Room and is held in over 50 cities across Canada on either December 31st or January 1st.

In deciding where to do this race, my husband and I planned out our Christmas holiday schedule and decided we would be visiting his family near London, Ontario after Christmas and through until New Years Day. I love to opportunity to run while traveling…and I REALLY love the opportunity to race while traveling.

With that decided, I registered for the London, Ontario Resolution Run and will be able to include a new city on my list of places that I have raced in come December 31st.

This race will mark my 13th race of 2012 and the completion of my 1 race per month goal, so I am looking forward to it. A 2012 Race Year in Review to come in January.

I am also looking forward to what hopes to me the best race kit I will have ever received as it comes with a technical running jacket.

I have been on the hunt for a new running jacket for a little while now, and I am hoping that this is my answer. Sizing for the jacket is unisex, and since I am on the small side, I am hoping the smallest size they have fits me well enough.

This will also be the first night race I do in the dark. I have run one other evening race, but it was in the month of May so was still light out by race time. This race will be starting shortly after sunset, so I may need to get some practice night runs in before race day.

All that’s left now is to hope for decent weather and running conditions for New Year’s Eve!