Run for L'Arche Half March 22, 2014

Note: I tried out Energy Bits in this race, review to follow!

I am calling my last few races the "snow series" as no matter what the forecast was initially we ended up with bitter cold and snow.  Today was to be -13°C with wind chill of -20° and hard little snow grains.  Delightful.  The first day of Spring was Thursday, on which we had a snowstorm/blizzard fiesta.  Of course.

Race day

We leave the house in plenty time to drive to Eau Claire, the underground parking and warm sitting area make us forget it is just a wee bit chilly outside.  I manage to miss almost all the people I want to say hello to pre-race.

We are herded out 10 mins before the start then time flies.  We're off!  I manage to start my Nike+ app, Garmin and IPod simultaneously.  We head across Prince's Island to Memorial, the bridge is extremely slippy underfoot.  My goal pace is around 7:30min/km but right off the bat the pack is going at slightly below 7min/km.  It doesn't feel bad so I keep trekking along with them.  

By 5km I still feel good although my calves are numb so I have to lift my knees a bit to get the feeling back.  We are about to reach my favourite cheering station from last year - the cross dressing cheerleaders.  Whatever will they have this year? 


That was fun!  I forgot all about my legs for a while.  Onward we go across Crowchild Bridge then we pass the race leaders - awesome.  Hey was that a guy in a sumo suit? 

I reach 10km at 1:10 (7min/km pace), a big improvement!  Before you know it we are approaching the turnaround at Shouldice.  I feel really good and haven't had any issues or walk breaks.  My water tube has frozen twice so far even though I filled my pack with hot water this morning.

As we make our way back we hit a freezing headwind.  That explains why some of the people coming toward us had frosty faces.  I stop to take a pic and this is where my Nike+ sticks on pause (which I hit by accident) and point blank refuses to start again.  Not impressed.  

I break down the return journey into sections and concentrate on one at a time, not the overall distance left.  This time my water tube has frozen and there's no hope for defrosting - no more Tailwind for me today! 

We reach Crowchild Bridge and there's Batman and his wife!  After a couple of slower kms I start feeling good and manage to pick up my pace for the last 5km.  I am so happy to regularly see under 7km/min on my Garmin. 

The rest is quite enjoyable and I trek in at 2:31:56, a 7:12km/min overall pace.  A HUGE improvement over my last 3 Halfs.  This may have been the first time I've felt so strong over the last 5km of a race.

Kev had headed out to run in with me, except he didn't judge it quite right so I'm left wandering around at the finish until he re-appears.  If you saw him out on the course, know that he was not chasing random women...

Then we find Tina!

Pic from TinaFab - thank you!


What an awesome race this is!  Despite the cold, the volunteers were incredibly energetic and encouraging the whole time.  It is so well organized I can't resist it!

Afterwards Cori met us for a lovely warm beverage.  She had just been to the doctor to get her leg fracture evaluated, everyone send lots of happy healing vibes her way.


  1. Wind was VILE! and i too rocked the last 5k and got back some pride! LOVED the superheros too. And I have to agree...the volunteers are SO awesome and it is a SUPER organized race. And what...4 waterstations compared to the hellishness of ONE at that last race (the race that shall not be named - the Voldemort Half)! always a highly recommended race. And coffee afterwards was divine.

    1. AND the company was simply fabulous! I think everyone I know had a happy race, awesome. Just think, our next race MAY NOT BE IN SNOW! Imagine.

  2. Way to go Tina and Susan! That wind was indeed nasty. The guy in the big plastic suit - I think it was an air bubble of some sort for warmth - it had a little fan in the back, weird. My daughter totally enjoyed handing out medals until we had to leave around 12:30 for another commitment. Glad to see you finished well and warmed up!

    1. Thank you! :) I think that guy's air bubble deflated in the cold, fascinating stuff. So amazing to see all those incredible volunteers out there. Please give your daughter a GIANT hug for being so awesome, I will run faster next time to see her at the end!

  3. Thanks so much for your very positive blog about our race. We appreciate the feedback and hope to see you again.

    (Race Director)

    1. Thanks Dawn, you guys do a stellar job with this race, happy to be a part of it :)


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