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iRun because I cannot say no to a second slice of chocolate cakeEmily Shandruk , Vancouver, BC

iRun to stay fit and release those running endorphinsLiliana Plava , Calgary, AB

iRun because I want to qualify for Boston and raise money for charities near and dear to my heartChristine Gracel , Calgary, AB

iRun because it makes me feel good, allows me to spend time with my friends and gives me a feeling of accomplishmentHelen Kolodziejzyk , Calgary, AB

iRun but not enoughMichael Shaw , New Westminister, BC

iRun because I never thought I would be able toGary Morris , Winnipeg, MB

iRun to challenge myself, physically and mentallyKathleen Keenan , Brampton, ON

iRun because people around me inspire mePina Bevilacqua , Caledon, ON

iRun therefore I amDuncan Walsh , Nottingham, UK

iRun because I liveGeorges Schneller , Laval, QC

iRun to be free and enjoy our beautiful countryCheryl Carter , Clearwater , BC

iRun for overall wellbeingTrish McCourt , Halifax, NS

iRun because it makes me a better person, a better wife, a better mother and a better friendNathalie Joncas-Caissie , St-Antoine, NB

iRun because it makes me feel powerfulCarlene Paquette , Carp, ON

iRun because pecan pie, french fries and beer are chasing meTeresa Sterling , Ottawa , ON

iRun because it’s in meMichael Foley , Stittsville, ON

iRun because it reminds me that I am capable of so much more than I have doneJames Sauve , Ottawa, ON

iRun for meKiza Francis , Ottawa,ON

iRun to prove to myself I canLesley McGougan , Brampton, ON

iRun because all the ladies are chasing my sexy runner’s bodyChris Baker , Etobicoke, ON

iRun because I can and I’m gratefulTerry SanCartier , Gatineau, QC

iRun because when I run I feel most aliveMeghan Lynch , Ottawa, ON

iRun to unleash my inner athleteAdelle Densham , Avonmore, ON

iRun because it cleans up my life, because I drink more water, sleep better and eat healthier foodsRobin McIntyre , Ottawa, ON

iRun because of the peace and strength it brings meMichelle Jordan , Ottawa, ON

iRun because I need it to soothe the soul, keep me in shape and for overall wellbeingBeth Neil , Lombardy, ON

iRun because it is my tonic and my salvation Georgia Ioannou , British Columbia

iRun for relaxation and to motivate my two sonsKeith Bradbury , Newfoundland

iRun because endorphins are freeCassandra Chouinard , Ontario

iRun because somebody once told me I couldn’t Heidi Abbey-Der , Saskatchewan

iRun because couch potatoes die young Cathy Andrew , Ontario

iRun because it’s cheaper than therapy Leah Boulter , Alberta

iRun because I like buying running clothes Pamela Blaikie , Ontario

iRun slowly!Jason Hoffman , Manitoba

iRun because it gives me freedom to relax my brainMarie-Claude Gregoire , Nova Scotia

iRun because I learn more about who I am with every kmSteph Mansell , Quebec

iRun because iEat Sherry Maligaspe , British Columbia

iRun and run, and run, and run, and nobody can stop me Andrei Lucaciu , Ontario

iRun because the wall is meant to be broken Jonathan Bird , Ontario

iRun because it has saved my life John Marshall , Alberta

iRun for the challenge to go faster and farther Steven Matejka , Alberta

iRun to my happy place and some days it’s very Doreen May , Alberta

iRun because food tastes better afterwards Patrick Houston , Alberta

iRun because I can’t dance Mario Javier , Ontario

iRun so I don’t say never ever again Linda Klaric , Manitoba

iRun because it makes me whole Denis Ladouceur , Quebec

iRun because it gets my husband out there Tricia LaLonde , Alberta

iRun away from the negative and towards the positive Teri Lepard , Alberta

iRun because running is like breathing to Stephanie McEvoy , Ontario

iRun because I love the solitude Janene Tailleur , British Columbia

iRun for the moment when both feet are off the ground Catherine Anderson , British Columbia

iRun to someday win the race Lindy Dunlop , Yukon

iRun to stay ahead of the weight gainMyra Abstreiter , Alberta

iRun because otherwise I’m grumpy Alexandre Charest , Quebec

iRun because I get foot rubs afterward Kate Howerton , British Columbia

iRun because iLoves my man Beverly Huang , Alberta

iRun because not everyone can Olivia Harvey , New Brunswick

iRun to get to know myself, my strength and my spirit Lisa Groulx , Ontario

iRun whenever I feel the need to escape Iona Hillis , Ontario

iRun because it’s like flying, only lower Glenn Johnson , Ontario

iRun because it makes me feel powerful Sarah Kallaghan , Alberta

iRun because I’ve lost 80 lbs and running has become fun Cheryl Kelly , Ontario

iRun because there is no finish line Claire Kilgour , Ontario

iRun so my daughters know that they can, too Shelley Kirkpatrick , New Brunswick

iRun because it reminds me of how strong I can be Monique Lavoie , Ontario

iRun because it’s a great way to see the world Sherry Mahoney , British Columbia

iRun because my heart tells me to William Martin , Manitoba

iRun to prove to them that iCan Catherine Smith , Manitoba

iRun because it’s fun when it’s done Sue Matte , Ontario

iRun because I am not as clumsy I thought I was Hanna Baer , Quebec

iRun see where my feet will take me todayMegan Dolinskas , New York

iRun for the cool t-shirts! Pina Bevilacqua , Ontario

iRun because I want to be a role model for our six kids Catherine Empey , British Columbia

iRun to inspire my kids to tryGlen Johnston , Nunavut

iRun so I can eat ice cream Sandy Bolan , Ontario

iRun because I want to live to be 100! Colette DeJean , Ontario

iRun for health, i Run for life Pat Cheung , British Columbia

iRun because it gives my day a boost of energy Sara Campbell , Nova Scotia

iRun because it’s better than almost everything else Nathan Carey , Ontario

iRun at 50 years old because at 43 I couldn’t Peter Cicalo , Ontario

iRun because it's better than almost everything else Nathan Carey , Ontario

iRun at 50 years old because at 43 I couldn't Peter Cicalo , Ontario

iRun because it is my tonic and my salvation Georgia Ioannou , British Columbia

iRun for relaxation and to motivate my two sons Keith Bradbury , Newfoundland

iRun because endorphins are free Cassandra Chouinard , Ontario

iRun because somebody once told me I couldn't Heidi Abbey-Der , Saskatchewan

iRun because couch potatoes die young Cathy Andrew , Ontario

iRun because it's cheaper than therapy Leah Boulter , Alberta

iRun because I like buying running clothes Pamela Blaikie , Ontario

iRun slowly! Jason Hoffman , Manitoba

iRun because it gives me freedom to relax my brain Marie-Claude Gregoire , Nova Scotia

iRun because I learn more about who I am with every km Steph Mansell , Quebec

iRun because iEat Sherry Maligaspe , British Columbia

iRun for my heart, so it runs for me! Cathy Brzoza , British Columbia

iRun to inspire my children! Wendy Bowen , Manitoba

iRun because it sure beats the bus Robin Robbins , Alberta

iRun for the challenge and to remember to fully live Pascale Synnott , Québec

iRun to kickstart my day Sharon Strueby , Saskatchewan

iRun for me! Judi Wearing , Saskatchewan

iRun because it's a great stress release Brooke McKenzie , Yukon

iRun because i love to Mirella Petriello , Ontario

iRun because it helps me see things more clearly Jennifer Pitts , Ontario

iRun to eat Maureen Tritscher , Alberta

iRun to correct years of sedentary living! Mike Scott , Ontario

iRun away from the abyss Charlene Thomas , Ontario

iRun all the livelong day Pierre Saint-Laurent , Québec

iRun to challenge my perceived limitations Cassandra Williams , Ontario

iRun to maintain a strong physical and mental state Tammy Rainville , Ontario

iRun so that I can live longer and stronger Derek MacPhail , Ontario

iRun to feel great Kathryn Rachar , Saskatchewan

iRun because I like to be healthy Melanie Oickle , New Brunswick

iRun to eat more, especially sweet potatoe fries Joanna Skomra , Ontario

iRun for the fresh air and adrenalin Charlyn McGregor , Saskatchewan

iRun for the individual pursuit Robert Pelletier , New Brunswick

iRun to satisfy the irresistible urge Tim Nixon , British Columbia

iRun because I love the sense of accomplishment Amber Moase , Nova Scotia

iRun to challenge my mind, body and soul Sonia Mendes , Ontario

iRun because walking is too slow Barry Knapp , Ontario

News

Ravi’s Rambling Race Report: Toronto Beaches Easter 5K

The “dress rehearsal” is a fixture in the lead up to so many important occasions. Weddings, of course, any kind of public speaking, graduation, or staging a performance all invite a degree of anxiety which can hopefully be quelled somewhat if we run some sort of simulation ahead of time.

The real day, when it finally arrives, is of course liable to present unexpected shock, but we hope to prepare ourselves as much as possible for the conditions we’ll inhabit on that day. You can run it through in your mind all you want, have all the details mapped out on paper, but there’s just nothing like the real thing. It’s just different.

Races are different. They just are. The “jockeying for position” in the first kilometre, the temptation to gun it right out of the gate, the ability to run without having to share the road with traffic or pedestrians, the opportunity to feed off fellow runners and pacers, not to mention the intangibles of adrenaline and atmosphere. None of these are typically present on your training runs.

Image courtesy of Toronto Beaches Runners Club.

Somehow, perhaps out of inexperience or hardheadedness, I never connected the dots to understand that not every race needs to be or should be a personal best. Not every race needs to be a “goal race.”

There’s a value to be had, therefore, in small races as a type of “dress rehearsal” for goal races. The small, local, no frills race, will still give you the conditions of being on a course and understanding where you are and how well you can manage a race strategy before you get to tackle your big goal of the season – whether that be your first half or full, your BQ, your PB.  

At the urging of my coach, I therefore registered for the Easter 5K in Toronto hosted by the Beaches Runners Club. The course was a simple out and back that started along the boardwalk near Toronto’s Woodbine Beach and was limited to a small field of 300.

Race Director Dave Emilio says that while, “…more and more, runners are looking for a big race, with swag, medals, lights, pyrotechnics, etc., there’s still a good contingent of runners who like the smaller community feel.” Looking to the future, Emilio hopes to grow this race to include, “More runners, better swag. Not just the full race kit, but a better swag item. Not that the buffs weren’t cool or unique but we’d like to have a bigger budget for a better ‘wow’ item.”

A pretty spectacular race kit. And yes, I suppose I should’ve waited until the pic was taken to eat the chocolate.

At this point in my personal training cycle, however, the “smallness” of this race served me well. What I learned on course is that the value of a small race isn’t necessarily in the experience, but in your own growth as a runner.

I wasn’t out there to chase a PB. It would be tough to do so, after all, in the middle of a build toward a spring half marathon, but this would be a chance to consistently run at the pace I’d been holding for short pickups while training over a longer distance. It would be a chance to see if I could correct some mistakes I’d been making. I’m a decent starter, for example, but have a tendency to start pushing a little too early on the home stretch.

Image courtesy of Toronto Beaches Runners Club.

Breaking it down to the essentials that are either obvious to smart, experienced runners, or new to those a little slow on the take like I can be at times, there are some damn good reasons to jump into a small, local race in the lead up to  “the big one,” including:

  1. You get an early chance to run your goal pace in race conditions.
  2. Getting some time racing in the midst of a build on tired legs will come in handy in the final stretch of your big race.
  3. If you’re new to racing, or even experienced, crowds can be overwhelming. Get your feet wet by running a race with a smaller field.
  4. You’re supporting a local run club and therefore supporting your fellow runners in your community. If the race raises funds for a local charity, even better. Emilio says that this race raised $2000 for the local Lions Club and that some of the bigger races hosted by the BRC have raised as much as $20,000. Dave sums up his philosophy: “It’s a lot of work but if we can get funds for someone who needs it, while giving the runners a good value, we all win!”

In the case of this race, I left with one of the best swag bags I’d ever picked up, stuffed with a full box of Fudgee-O cookies, Lindt chocolate, and a running buff. Typically, though, a small race may mean you leave kit pick up with only your bib.

However, work a few of these races into a long build, and you’ll leave a more confident runner on route to your big goal race.

  • Ravi Singh

April 19th, 2017

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