Posted by: Karen | June 5, 2005

RWR Race Report

The usual warning of a long report applies, yada yada. There are a lot of pic, too, so I apologize if it takes some time to load.

Yesterday morning the rain held off while I ran in the Run Walk and Roll 10k. I wasn’t sure it would, so I brought a variety of things to wear, including a $2 emergency plastic rain poncho and some garbage bags (in case anyone else needed them), which stayed in the van after all.

Little Runner and I had some french toast for breakfast and then picked up Dawn on the way to the race. Dawn’s been carefully recovering from a foot injury, but generously offered to keep an eye on Little Runner for me while I raced. Dawn and I like cheering each other on at races, too, so we brought the cows we won in Florida and partied it up! Dawn took a bunch of pictures and has generously shared several with me. Check out her perspective of our race party here.

We arrived about an hour before the start, so there was plenty of time to pick up my race number and pin it on. Krista found us right away in our bright pink attire, with our silly cows.
I usually do this at home, not wearing the race shirt. Krista and me, ready to go!
When Linda showed up we went around the block for a little warm-up jog. We greeted other runners we knew from the Calgary Roadrunners and other events. I wasn’t particularly nervous, as a) I know I can run 10k and b) I was deliberately not trying for a PR (personal record). I was excited, as I do think of races as a “Celebration of My Training” and I even had friends to celebrate with me on and off the course today.
Linda showed up in her Calgary Roadrunners warm up suit, and had fun trying to get the pants off over her shoes.
Linda\'s Warm-up Outfit Should have zippers on the bottom of those. Fleece sari. I shouldn\'t slouch so!

I wore shorts to run in because I knew I would warm up while I was running, but Dawn caught me wearing a fleece blanket to keep warm while we stood around chatting.

When Heather took this, she said \"Look like you love each other!\"

We started off at a brisk pace. The course starts off with two blocks of downhill, through an intersection and then turns onto the fairly flat pathway along the river. Linda and I ran along some of this course last week, when we did our long run together. I waved to Yolanda’s (another running partner, whom we’ve missed running with lately) windows as we went by.

When I’m feeling good in a race the first km is always fast, and we did this one in 6:13, a little faster than Linda and I had planned. In retrospect, we probably should have stayed back with Krista a little longer, and warmed up a little more. Linda was trotting right along, however, and somehow I managed to keep up. At about 4.5 km I felt a wave of tiredness wash over me. I just wasn’t sure we could keep up this pace for the whole hour, or whether we should. In Linda’s last 10k in March she’d gotten terrible leg cramps in the last 3 km and suffered painfully for days after. She still had a goal of making it in less than 1:04 though, and wanted to stay on track. She’d taken a gel before the race this time. That should take care of the cramps, right? We reached the 5k mark at 31:45 gun time, by my watch.

At this point Linda was shortening her steps for me. I stopped for an extra cup of water and told her to go on at her pace. I just didn’t think I would be able to help her with that goal, and didn’t want to hold her back.

I got passed by a few groups that had hung back in the first half, and leap frogged with a curly haired dude who would run ahead and then puff puff “wait for his friend to catch up”. By the 7th km Linda was 150m ahead of me and looking great from what I could see on the bends in the path. I myself was struggling along, cursing my lack of speed training, and wondering why I had PAID $35 to work this hard on a pathway I can run on anytime for free. Oh yeah, “Celebration of My Training”. I think I need to train a little harder before my next “Celebration”. Work it baby, work.

I did try to counter my struggling feeling by reminding myself how amazing it is that I CAN run and run and run like this at all. How 6 years ago I could barely run around the block. How fun it is to run and jump in puddles, and GO. It worked somewhat to buoy my spirits, especially the puddles. Thanking volunteers cheered me up, too. I was glad that they could be there so I could race.

By 8 km I saw I was catching up to Linda – she was suddenly only 75 m away, and walking often. She’d to jog a bit, hobble, and end up walking again. I regretted my decision to wave her on, and told myself that the next 10k I would more assertively try to take care of her. It still took me until the last 500 m of the race to catch up to her, and even then just barely. She hobbled fast, and she knew the finish was just up that short hill. When we turned off the pathway and ran past Yolanda’s house again, I gave a little wave and then focused my energy on Linda. There was a jackhammer going somewhere nearby, so I don’t think she heard all my shouts of encouragement, but she picked it up and made it in.

A guy wearing a blue jersey and cycling cap came barrelling up the finishing stretch when we had 15 m to go. We had run our first few km with him and left him behind. He sprinted past us with everything he had, and I gave him a whoop of encouragement. Oh yeah, THIS is why I love 10ks, finish lines! I could do finish lines over and over.

Dawn and Little Runner cheered us in and got our picture. Linda won’t like this picture, but you can see the pain she was in when she finished. I’m having a grand old time behind her, not realizing just how hard it was for her at that point. Her husband is leaning over the rope to catch her.

Not sure that clock is correct, but it\'s close! I forgot to stop my watch.

Little Runner handed me a bottle of water and gave me big, big hugs. I needed to get to a bathroom PDQ, so she hugged me on the way there,too. I was disappointed to miss Krista’s finish, but some things just take priority.

Aw. Little Runner is so supportive. Love her to bits!

This race supports a private school that serves special needs, gifted and regular kids, and one of our Penguins teaches there.

Heather\'s on the left. She got me started coming to this great race.

There is a playground where they set up the race booths, and it is a very well organized, family-oriented race. There is also a very well-attended 5k walk and run, and they even map out a separate roller-blade route.

Goomies (that’s Penguinese for race food) include cut up apples and oranges, yoghurt, cut bagels with cheese already spread on them, juice boxes, popsicles, revels, hot dogs, coffee and hot chocolate. There was an inflated bouncy thing for the kids, and a great band kept us dancing to “YMCA”, “Stayin’ Alive” and other favourites. We had fun high-fiving and posing with mascots for the Calgary Stampede, the Calgary Flames and the Fire Department. It was cool that those mascots enjoyed posing with our mascots, Bessie and Pinko the cows.

Dawn and Pinko, Bessie and Me, and Harvey, the Calgary Flames Hound

We’ll be back next year!



  1. […] your duff and getting on your running shoes, just go check out Dawn’s race report on Karen’s Run. Lots of fun pictures of RBF’s and their Mascots to inspire us all. […]

  2. Yeah Karen. I really enjoyed being there for you. It was alot of fun and I think next year I have to go back to running this one. Now if only the rain would stop long enough today for us to get out there. 😦

  3. The pictures tell all. What a good time you had. That’s what it’s all about…and you all seem to know how to make it fun! Thanks for sharing,

  4. What a great. fun race, Karen! I wish they had races like that here. It looks like a big carnival! So much fun to run with friends too. You two with the cows are so funny! 😀 Thanks for posting a great report, and congrats on another great race.

  5. Shows how out of touch I am, or I would have been out cheering you on! Slept right through the whole race. But thanks for waving and for writing another great race report.

  6. Sounded like an awesome race! Some year I want to be a part of your fun ok?!!! good job on celebrating your running career!

  7. What fun!! I love reading about how much you love running!!

  8. you guys have the best time on race day! i’m sure the cows brought smiles to quite few faces. i know i always enjoy seeing the odd and bizarre cheering sections.

  9. This kind of frivolity MUST be illegal or something?!?!

  10. ummm…that site admin guy (?) is Mark aka the Running Blogfather. not sure why that sometimes happens. ??

  11. Sounds like a fun day. I didn’t realize you had a herd of cows. No bull?


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