Race Report: Casablanca Classic 8K

I’ve done my share of complaining this fall about needing more time to get things done. On Saturday morning, I could have done with a little less time.

Thinking it was a good idea two weeks ago, I registered for the Casablanca 8K in Grimsby, Ontario. However, I wasn’t clearly thinking because I also had The Road2Hope Half-Marathon in the books just 6 days earlier. Yes, the math teacher didn’t realize that there were only 6 days in between the quad-busting, downhill half-marathon course and the faster 8k route.

When I registered, my plan was to push myself more, to dig deep and bring my time below the 34:56 that I ran in Sunnybrook Park just two weeks earlier. On last Wednesday’s recovery run, though, when I was busy sucking air and trying to move my legs forward, I realized that Saturday was likely going to be tough.

And in the days before the race, I suddenly realized that the Casablanca was the finale of a popular race series so some of this area’s best runners were bound to be there.

Strangely enough, I wasn’t worried. For me, the race was about time – about reaching a goal. The Casablanca was just going to be a training run. In fact, I was so laid back about the whole thing that I rode for 45 minutes on my windtrainer the night before the race, hoping it would flush my quads out a little bit more.

On Saturday morning, Dave, the boys and I left Oakville for a late but civilized 10:15 start. It seemed only fitting that this Remembrance Run for our veterans had also become a Memorial Run for its race director, Jerry Friesen, who had died while running the week before.

This resulted in a highly respectful starting line, one unlike any other that I had been in. As the race was now a Memorial Run, hundreds of runners (including hubby Dave) had registered during the week before to show their appreciation of Jerry Friesen’s life. Veterans were also there, words were said about Jerry and O Canada was beautiful (and everyone around me was singing – highly unusual at any start).

Shortly after 10:15, the race started – and what a race it ended up becoming.

tomorrow: the race to finish

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