Second, it was a chance to pay back. Late in 2005, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Since then, I’ve had very good care from the good folks at Toronto’s Princess Margaret Hospital. For this year’s Spring Run Off, I raised just over C$1,500 to support PMH’s research and treatment programs. It’s only a drop in the bucket, given the prevalence of prostate cancer these days, but it’s something.
As if that weren’t enough, I managed to set a new personal best time for the 8K. My chip time was 44:12.8. That’s a 6 minute improvement over my finishing time in 2008. I placed 6/21 in my age category, 649/1173 in my gender group, and 917/2244 overall. It’s a good result, and one I’m very pleased with.
Just before the race start, I had the pleasure of meeting with some fellow dailymilers. It was a very pleasant way to start race day. The weather was good, though a touch on the cold side to start: 2C, sunny, 11 km/h wind, and 55% humidity.
The Spring Run Off course is interesting, and a tough one if you’re trying to do it quickly. As you can see from the map below, it’s a double loop, with a smaller one within the larger. The roadways are narrow, which can make mid-pack running somewhat crowded, especially as many runners optimistically start well ahead of where they should. The route includes two rather steep descents and two comparable climbs. The second climb, a short but brutal 400m, occurs just before the finish line. This is where elite runners make their final strong kick – for the rest of us, it’s a bit of a slog. In either case, it’s a great location for spectators, and makes for a very exciting finish line atmosphere.
A confident finish, for all the toughness of that last climb, and all that was left was to bask in some spring sunshine.
A heartfelt thank you goes to everyone who supported me to raise funds for this event. That’s the real cause for the great feelings and the celebration!