It was a spontaneous decision to sign-up for the Canada Day 10-Miler in Grand Bay-Westfield.
I had thought about signing up before, since 10 miles, or about 16 km is exactly where I knew I should be in my half-marathon training at this point in time. But I didn’t bother because I had heard this is a hot race on July 1, out of the fog belt of Saint John.
But these early summer days have been anything but hot, so when my running pal, Jen, asked if I was interested in signing up last week, I quickly agreed.
The event, organized by Saint John running enthusiast and coach Alex Coffin, was simple and fun. There were no timing chips – funds were donated instead to the St. Thomas University track team and the Westfield Scouts, who volunteered on the course.
The course was out-and-back, meandering along the main drag, River Valley Drive/Nerepis Road, beside the St. John River. The weather was a little foggy and cool, perfect for a long run. A few spectators sat out on their front lawns waving Canadian flags as we passed.
Jen and I ran together for most of the race. We treated it as any regular Sunday long run, which made it feel pretty relaxed. Jen is an excellent pacer, running a little faster than my typical speed, so she pushed me onward.
There was a terrible hill at the halfway mark. It was down a dirt-road side street. But I managed to get up the hill without stopping (My legs are throbbing just thinking about it). The way back felt longer as fatigue set in and Jen and I parted ways. I stopped for brief walking breaks at the last two water stops and found it increasingly tough to get going again.
Still, I was happy with my time of 1:36:50 for 16.5 km (63rd out of 86 fast runners). If I can keep up at that pace for the notoriously hilly and challenging Marathon by the Sea, I’ll be laughing (or crying).
For full race results, check AlexCoffin.com