I am an athlete, I am a runner. For quite some time I didn’t see myself as these two things, but I have embraced them and I am proud to call myself both now. Back in elementary school, I was the starter on the relay team for Track and Field. I loved standing on the track, adrenaline rushing through my body while I waited for that gun to go off, and when it did I ran like I never ran before. Fast forward to 2008 when I signed up for my first marathon (the Scotiabank Waterfront Marathon) and I was completely naïve about running. At the time I was simply crossing something off my bucket list and I never thought for one second that I would be signing up for race after race, training hard and talking about things like PB’s (personal bests), Garmin watches, interval training, hill training etc. But here I am Toronto and I am here to stay.
On Sunday, April 21st I took part in the Toronto Yonge Street 10K. I have run it in the past, and I have enjoyed it every time. This year was different. Awhile back I was asked by Canada Running Series to be a Digital Champion for the run; basically all of us who were asked were ambassadors for the run via social media. Our job was to spread the love and inspire others to sign up, a job I took seriously. As a yoga teacher, I am always striving to inspire people to reach their goals, so it was a position that came naturally to me.
Then six days before the run, the heartbreaking, senseless tragedy took place at the finish line of the Boston Marathon (a run that is a personal goal of mine to run). I sat glued to the TV devastated, not only because of just how horrible it all was, but because I felt a special connection to the site of this disaster. As a runner, I have experienced the joy and jubilation that one experiences as they sprint towards that finish line, knowing that the goal has almost been attained. Plus, Boston is one of my favourite places to visit. I love everything about the city and have walked down Bolyston St. and passed that (now) infamous finish line numerous times. I knew that I wanted to pay tribute to Boston in some way. My husband – who is a runner himself – and I decked ourselves out in blue and yellow and wore T-shirts that said “TORONTO RUNS FOR BOSTON #TYS10K” (thanks to fellow digital champion Steve Layton for the design.) We were photographed by Craig Cassar of Get Out There Magazine at the finish line and we had fellow runners asking to take our photo, smiling, or giving us thumbs up. There was a general consensus on Sunday; we were all running for Boston.
For anyone looking for a 10K to break into the race scene with, this is definitely the run for you. It is also perfect for the seasoned runner looking for a PB (see, there’s that runner talk again). A course that is all downhill, apart from 2 slight inclines, will certainly help that. And hey, when else can you cruise down Yonge Street without getting stuck in traffic or weaving in and out of crowds of people?? Everything from the starting line, finish line and the 10K in between was smooth, organized and FUN. I got my medal at the end and noticed that it said “Live long and prosper” on it.
I’m no Star Trek nerd, but it made me smile and to the organizers – you can count on it.
I know what some of you are wondering, did she get her PB? I did, 45min. Not only that but the Digital Champion mixed team came third and I was the top female. AND in the all women’s team competition, the Digital Champions came second, and I was top female there as well.
Overall I am happy…..well maybe not totally, I know I can shave off 2-3 min at least! 😉
Once again, thank you Canada Running Series for an amazing run, I am still on a high, and thank you for having me as a Digital Champion, I look forward to doing it again.