Brent Kelly Memorial 5-Miler

I woke up Saturday groggy and exhausted. I fixed my baby some breakfast and thought, “What have I done?”

It was about 7 a.m., and I think I had clocked, oh, about four or five hours of broken sleep. Thing is, I had signed up for a 5-mile race. And it started at 9.

But I’m training for two 10-km races in May, and I knew I had to run anyway. So the time didn’t matter. I’d just go out and do it.

IMG_20150425_082724It was the 11th annual Brent Kelly Memorial run at the Irving Nature Park, one of my favourite places to run. I had never done this race before, so I wanted to give it a try. Why not?

The run is in memory of Brent, who died of Giant Cell Myocarditis (a rare heart disease) in 2004 at the age of 12. His aunt, Marta Kelly, and 76-year-old grandfather, Frank Kelly, put on the event. The Kellys ran the Boston Marathon this year and are a very inspiring athletes.

The route for this year’s 5-miler changed because of all the snow left in the Nature Park. The race started and finished at the newer children’s park off Sand Cove Road.

mapI felt so tired at the starting line that I felt like I could curl up and nap. But I started off with a light jog and got warmed up in no time. Although the route avoided running up a notorious hill before the beach, it was still fairly difficult and hilly.

hillsStill, the route – which included gravel, pavement and even a bit of trail – was gorgeous. Running along the ocean at Saints Rest Beach was breathtaking. The rain held off, and the cold, salty air felt good.

Before long, I realized I was keeping up a pretty good pace. Funny how races do that for you. I was running between 5:30 and 5:45 min/km, closer to 6 for the hills. For the last couple of kilometres, I decided to really push it. I stopped watching my Garmin and just ran as hard as I could. When I turned the last corner, I was delighed to see 45:30 on the race clock. It’s certainly not a personal best, but still great for a last-minute run on no sleep!

We love to run! Joy, April, Lily and Elizabeth
We love to run! Joy, April, Lily and Elizabeth

I finished the race by chatting with Frank Kelly about his Boston experience (his sixth, I believe). In the cold and wet weather, Frank wore four layers, and ended up wearing all for the first half of the marathon. He peeled off a big poncho and – afraid he would need it again – actually carried the bulky thing for the remainder of the marathon

“My time was abysmal,” he said. He ran it in 4:15:26 – far from abysmal. I can only hope to run a marathon one day.

For now, it’s back to my 10K training, with the YSJ 10K next weekend, followed by the Halifax Bluenose on May 17.

But first, some sleep.


Published by

April C

Writer, editor and mom in Saint John, NB.

2 thoughts on “Brent Kelly Memorial 5-Miler”

  1. Nailed it! 🙂 You ran a race on no sleep, Graham and I ran a race hungover, and guess what? Our pace was pretty much the same! Hah. I think there is an interesting scientific study in there somewhere: What is worse for running performance: lack of sleep or too much alcohol the nigh before!

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