From the time I first heard about it, the Labour Day 10K in Oakville was not high on my list of races that I wanted to do. First of all, it is an expensive race – $35 if you registered in June and $60 if you registered in August. Secondly, the organizers didn’t seem to have any swag until sometime in August when the website announced they would have long-sleeved technical shirts for the first 1000 registered; initially, then, the cost of the event seemed to give you only a bib number and a finisher’s medal. Finally, the date of the event just didn’t fit into my goals for this year.
However, the race is in my town – Oakville – and we only have 3 races a year. I felt I had to do it simply to support the town. Besides, I coach my school’s cross-country team and someone would be sure to ask me if I ran it. How could I look at a 10 year old who has complete faith in what I coach them to do and answer “No”? He (or she) just wouldn’t get it. So, I registered.
Last week, though, I almost backed out. After an awesome 14K race in Port Dalhousie last Sunday, I stupidly decided to run 10 miles on Thursday after school. Number 1 was with me on his bike and when he was pulling up beside me, I moved over onto the edge of the sidewalk and felt a twinge in the back of my left thigh. Did I continue to run? Stupidly, again, yes.
After seeing my chiropractor on Saturday morning and an easy run on Saturday night, I decided that I would be fine running the 10K on Monday morning. But, I did not want to push myself; I have bigger goals in the next few weeks and this race really didn’t matter to me, other than it being in my town. Easier said than done.
On Race Day, we ( my three muskateers are getting so good at early race mornings) got to the start 30 minutes early and I did many, many jogs up and down the road to warm up my muscles. When the race started, I stayed focussed and paced myself for an easier run. At 6K, though, I decided that I did feel fine after all and could push myself. So, I chased down this gal in pink whom I had been watching for the entire race, passed her at 8.5 kilometres and refused to give my spot back to her. In the end, we finished 3rd and 4th female overall, with her being 5 seconds behind me.
Now here is where it got interesting. After I collected my award, the woman I passed approached me to see what I won. It turned out that she received a gift card worth more than mine. That didn’t make sense to either one of us. Even my non-running, non-athletic friends can’t understand the logic in this. Shouldn’t the overall winners trump all other awards? A similar thing happened to the half-marathon winners: the overall winner won a gift card but an age group winner got almost the same amount and a bag full of goodies. It seems that race directors are trying to balance out the award distribution so that fastest is not always best. So much for fighting to get ahead. Next time, I want to finish 4th!