Screenshot of said best decision!
Now settle in because this is a long one, as it rightly should be! (Want Ali and Lyndsey's perspective on this? Go and read Ali's recap and Lyndsey's recap!)
After dropping Bernie off at boarding, riding 8 miles on the stationary bike and getting ready, Mike and I drove the 2.5 hours to Burlington, Ontario. The race was actually in Hamilton, but by the time I agreed to run in the race all of the hotels in the area were booked! Burlington isn't too far from Hamilton though so it worked out nicely.
After a few phone calls, on the hotel phone of course so we didn't get charged ridiculous international and roaming fees, we all agreed to meet at My Thai for dinner. Yep, that's right Thai food and it worked out just fine.
When we arrived Ali, Colin and Lyndsey were already there. We met and instant friendships were formed! The poor waitress hated us because we took so long to order, sorry lady we had important Spatula Runner business to cover!
All three of us, photo courtesy of Running with Spatulas
After dinner we went to Ali and Lyndsey's grandmother's house, party people I know, to devise our scheme for race day. We were going to be rebellious and not use the shuttle buses to the exchange points for relay runners!
Spatula Runners only use spatulas while scheming, photo courtesy of Running with Spatulas
All that planning, I mean "scheming", made us tired so we headed back to our hotel for the night. I put out my race day outfit, we decided to wear the race shirt (I know, I know) underneath our Spatula Runners shirts since they were long sleeve (and I forgot another long sleeve shirt) and it was supposed to be a little bit cooler out (in the end Lyndsey and Ali didn't wear it because it wasn't necessary and I had to roll my sleeves up).
Race day outfit
Race morning Mike and I woke up at 6:30 and got ready to drive to Ali and Colin's house. When we got there Lyndsey was already there and so was REX!! He is Ali and Colin's adorable dog and he loved me (ok he is the kind of dog who loves everyone but I know he loved me a little bit more).
Ready to race!
My new friend, Rex
Now for the scheme.
I am so grateful for Colin agreeing to driving us all around! Without that the race would have been really boring since we would have been stuck on the shuttle buses for a long, long time and Mike and Colin would have been stuck at Copps Coliseum for hours.
The location of the end of the race!
We arrived at the start of the race with plenty of time for me to stretch, warmup and check to make sure our chip worked in the shoe clip pouch that Lyndsey had. It did.
Ready to "win" the race
Around 9:15 everyone else went to a location closer to where we had parked so that they could leave as soon as they saw me after the start. Our plan was to drive each runner to the exchange points on roads that weren't closed for the race.
The madness at the start of the race
Waiting for me to run by
At 9:30 the race started! I was far enough back that it took about a minute for me to cross the starting line. As I was running I thought that I had missed everyone, I had stayed to the right so that there would be a better chance that they would see me, but then I was surprised when I heard them say, "there she is!"
See, I have the spatulas!
After that I continued on my merry way, I did have to pull over to the side within the first mile to pull up one of my compression socks but it only took a second. After the first mile I clocked in at 8:36 and I thought, "well let's see how long this lasts" and after the second mile was 8:44 I knew that I had a chance to PR.
Miles 3-5 were the toughest for me mentally. I did slow down a little bit and had to tell myself to just keep going and get to the exchange point. I don't really remember much of the race except that everyone's watches around me kept beeping every kilometer and that seeing signs for the kilometers made it feel like it was taking forever! I also remember that there was a guy with a bowl of oranges on the side of the road and I thought that was a little strange (apparently it is normal).
I had two water stops during my portion of the relay and I took water both times. I also had to explain to a few people why I was running with spatulas and my response basically was, "because... of... my... friend's... blog...".
The most memorable sign that I saw was, "go, bitches, go!" Well I went! I picked up the pace and hit 8:57 at mile 6 and knew I didn't have very far to go! Before I knew it I heard Mike, Ali and Colin cheering me on and letting me know that Lyndsey was on the right.
Finishing my leg and I didn't drop the spatulas! Photo courtesy of Running with Spatulas
Well I thought I had to run over a mat at the exchange point to record my time, but I was wrong. I heard Lyndsey yell "Jamie!" and I stopped and we exchanged the chip and the spatulas and after a quick photo she was off!
Lyndsey's turn to run with the spatulas!
When I looked at my watch it said I had done 6.15 miles in 55:03 (8:58 average pace)!! Lyndsey ended up "finishing" my 10K for me by running over the mat and online it says that our first leg's official time is 56:21, which is still a PR for me but since it includes our exchange time and the time it took Lyndsey to run over the mat I'm not counting that as my time. I'm going to go with 55:03 and hope that I run faster than that soon so I can have an "official" 10K PR!
I quickly crossed the street and grabbed my food and water and we got into Colin's car to get Ali to her exchange point. After parking, Ali got ready for her leg. We had all told each other our estimated range of times that we expected to finish so we had a good idea of when Lyndsey would be coming.
Mike went up the hill a little bit so that he could signal to us that she was coming and after 1:05 for her 9.5K leg there she was! (A PR for her too!)
Rockin' the spatulas
Ali and Lyndsey exchanged the chip and spatulas and Ali took off for the hardest and longest leg (10.5K).
Getting the shoe chip on
Mike did a great job cheering for everyone! Photo courtesy of Running with Spatulas
Heading out on her way
The four of us got in the car and drove back to the same parking lot as the beginning of the race to wait for Ali to finish. Mike and Colin went into Copps Coliseum to wait for her while Lyndsey and I waited outside of the entrance to the Coliseum.
I know that Ali doesn't want to use her injury and her lack of training (because of the injury) as an excuse, but it is a valid one! Regardless of that fact, she still rocked the race! After approximately 1:07 (a PR for Ali too since she has never officially raced the 10K distance) I saw a runner in pink shorts and a white t-shirt coming and I said that I thought it was her, and it was! We cheered her on while she entered the Coliseum (and didn't fall, unlike some other unlucky runners we had seen).
Wave those spatulas proudly because you're done!
Our finishing time was 3:12:41 and unfortunately the first leg and our final finishing time are the only splits we have since Ali somehow missed the mat after she exchanged the chip with Lyndsey.
Team Spatula Runners
I suck, Lyndsey and Ali rocked the spatulas, photo courtesy of Running with Spatulas
The evil relay bibs, it gave people permission to push us around!
The evil relay bibs, it gave people permission to push us around!
After taking some photos, we headed back to Ali and Colin's house for some post-race fuel and cuddling with Rex. Thanks for making us a shake, Ali!
Although we didn't want to leave, we had to get going so that we could pick Bernie up before 6pm. (Good thing we left when we did since it took us almost a half an hour to get through border crossing).
It's appropriate that the Spatula Runners were in the kitchen
Spatula high five! Photo courtesy of Running with Spatulas
This was probably one of the best weekends I have had in a long time and I am so glad that we all got to meet and run together!
Like Mike said to me, Lyndsey and Colin, next year the girls should do the 3-person relay again and the guys can do the 2-person relay! Or, we can all do the full!
Has anyone had a race where that made them just want to get right back out there and do it all over again?