Today is the last day of the month of September, and what a month it was! Outstanding. Magical. Fantastic. And that doesn’t even begins to describe it. Here are some numbers:
- 6 races, on 2 continents
- 2 obstacles/mud races
- 4 x 5K races
- Best 5K ever: 34:24, on Sept. 14
- Bibs 92, 105, 4088, 1067, 402 and Z139
It all started on Friday September 6, with the Leiden Ladiesrun. It was the evening before we leave for our (truly deserved) vacation, so I went there with no expectations whatsoever. I was pleasantly surprised with a decent time, 37:05. Not my fastest 5K, but not my slowest either. I liked the event, it was small but well-organized, with a nice city course, with ladies of all shapes and sizes, many doing their first race. Great atmosphere. But no time to lose, so I grabbed my medal and rushed home to pack our suitcases!
2 days and a flight across the Atlantic ocean later, I ran my first ever race in Canadian soil, the Demi-Marathon de la Côte de Beaupré! The best cure for jet lag is exercise — or so they say — and I did my very best 5K ever that day! The first 2.5K were downhill and the last 2.5K uphill, but I kept a pretty good pace, and finished with 35:35, my first 5K under 36 minutes! It was a great family-oriented event, fantastic organization. We received a delicious and elaborate packed lunch and a microbrewry beer after the race.
About a week later, it was time for the Montreal Night Race. A fun event at night, and the first 5K race I ran with my hubby since… 2008. We had a blast! And I further improved my 5K record, going under 35 minutes for the first time with 34:24. I’m still amazed at that one!
The next even was on September 21, Run for Women, a 5K walk I shared with my mother. No speed record there, but we had a good time walking on the Plains of Abraham in Quebec City, early in the morning. It was a pretty decent event, we all got a goody bag with samples and coupons and a comfy t-shirt. It was just not as popular as I expected it to be, I was missing a bit of atmosphere. But I enjoyed spending quality time with my mom, we have to cherish the moments!
Next up, the day after, my first obstacle run, the Défi Vikings! I was so nervous, I had no idea what to expect and I had no team mates to share my anxiety with… but I did it! And I have the bruises to prove it 😀 It was a fun, fun event, with a fantastic atmosphere, but the organization was a bit lacking. No beer after the race? No lunch? Just a glass of Gatorade and half a granola bar? And seriously, the visitors had to pay 8$ per person just to come cheer you on? That’s probably the venue’s fault and not the organization’s, but it was a bitter pill to swallow. The course was great and very challenging though, if they can fix the visitors’ fee issue, it’s an event I would definitely recommend.
A week later and a flight back across the Atlantic Ocean, the famous Mud Masters race! I insist on the word famous because it was sooooo crowdy. I was lucky to do the course with 3 fantastic team mates and we definitely worked as a team. But boy oh boy did we have to wait a long time to do some of the obstacles. So much that we just had to skip them. I have a bit of a bittersweet feeling about this race. On the one hand, I’m so proud of myself for even attempting it, and I’m even prouder for having crossed the finish line. And we had LOADS of fun. But at the same time, the fact it’s so popular and crowdy made it difficult to enjoy some of the obstacles, if it didn’t actually prevented me from doing them altogether (unless you are patient enough to wait up to 30 minutes to jump into the water from a suspended platform… I wasn’t!) I would probably sign up again, because I love a challenge, but I’m probably going to look into smaller scale obstacle runs… if that’s at all possible to find these days.
There you have it, a September month at the races! The season is almost over, my next race is in 2 weeks, in Eindhoven (another 5K). Then it will be time to step it up with swimming (and swimming lessons) and slowly run my way to my next target, a half-marathon in May 2014, and a sprint distance triathlon at the end of the summer. I need goals to work towards, otherwise I know myself, I’ll just get lazy again… and we don’t want that happening!