Linda’s Rotary Brantford Classic 5K Race Report

29 Apr Linda’s Rotary Brantford Classic 5K Race Report

The 37th Annual Rotary Brantford Classic: The 37th Annual Brantford Rotary Classic Run (10k, 5k, 3-mile walk) took place on Sunday,
April 28th, 2019 at the W. Ross Macdonald School in Brantford, Ontario. Funds raised go in part to The Lansdowne Children’s Centre and The Boys and Girls Club of Brantford as well as other projects supporting youth in the community. The race motto says it all: Remember, YOU RUN, KIDS WIN! Fortunately my Coach Rick Mannen suggested this race. And aren’t I glad he did! Not only was the racing fun, the atmosphere of the entire event was engaging, exhilarating, and heart-warming. Race kit pickup on Race Day morning adds to the convenience of an out-of-town event.

Kids’ Zone: An apt descriptor for this race is ‘Kids’ Zone’. We met up with some running friends before the race. Standing in the sunshine and out of the wind (to collect warm rays), Kathy and Arnold told us to watch out for kids on the course, not in a negative tone, merely cautionary. The proof was on the race course and a sight to behold. From start to finish of the race, kids exhibited their unique running style–sprint away, fizzle, regroup, dash off again.  Running a steady pace doesn’t seem to have much appeal to the younger crowd. At times they would even stop and hang over with that  ‘it’s-time-to-vomit’ look. (I think some of them did. Sorry.) As long as I kept my eyes open and stayed aware kids dashing here and there added to the fun of the day. Helped my race every time I tagged on to a fast one. Didn’t matter that they faded because there would be another one zipping by soon. Never hurts to hitch on to a ‘rising star’, at least so far as I possibly could.

Race Day:

One of my dilemmas before a race is ‘what to wear’. Here’s how I have helped to solve that. Shortly after I started running competitively, I began the habit of making race notes. Notes include: prerace routines, weather conditions, what I wore, what I ate (including a few days prior), what worked and what didn’t work. Invaluable! Looking at my notes prepping for Sunday, I saw the day was predicted to be a repeat of weather from the Pinery Fall Classic October 2018–cold & rainy, changing to chilly & grey, changing to not too chilly with sunshine. Knowing this in advance reassured me that I would want to wear a singlet and shorts. (Didn’t sound right and didn’t feel right but the facts don’t lie. That’s what worked in October. It surely would be the right choice Sunday.) With the exception of a strong N and NE wind, that is exactly what happened on Sunday.

Took courage to head to the start with arm warmers, shorts, singlet, mini gloves, calf compression sleeves, and a buff. This was definitely not what most of the running crowd was wearing. They seemed to prefer long sleeves, many long pants, and lots with jackets and toques. Oh my! Mostly it took courage to smile in the face of interesting looks that came my way covered in a clear garbage bag. Standing at the Start, 5 minutes to wait, I could feel the heat of the sun radiating through the plastic. I took off the bag and looked to place it at the side. A friendly woman in the crowd said ‘Would you like me to take that for you?’. (First time anyone has made that offer.) She took mine, one from my husband, and we thanked her. Two minutes to Start, removed my buff and slipped it on my forearm. Hair in a ponytail. Start. By 200m down the course I whipped off the arm warmers and tossed them at my coach who was cheering from the sidelines. That meant my homemade arm warmers fashioned from Dollar Store knee socks with cut off toes, would be collected and used yet again. Yeah! Thanks Coach.

Compete: It is not uncommon to focus on the rivalry aspect when we think of a competition. ‘Com’ means together or with. Yes we are there striving to race and/or win yet remembering that we are doing that ‘with’ others can work to our benefit. I like to think I’m racing ‘with’ others not ‘against’ them. How does this help? I hook up with the steady, even-paced runner who is just a little faster. I tuck in behind someone tall to draft and/or avoid gusty wind. I attempt to mirror the runner ahead with good form. As much as possible, I race ‘with’ the runners on the course. A Sunday Story: Early in the race I noticed a couple of tall men dressed with red attire. About 3k, and not wanting to lose focus on my pace, I saw them a short distance ahead. Decided to pin my eyes to their backs and move in tandem. (Might be an urban legend but apparently limiting peripheral vision can reduce energy expenditure. Truth or fiction? I’ll keep pretending that’s true.) Interestingly I gradually reeled one of them in and did a little sneak pass on a turn. Then came the hill. Hills + coach watching from the sidelines = make it look good even if you feel wasted. That’s what I did. Tracked right up the centre yellow line, on a tangent to the corner and did my best to zip off to the Finish. (Thanks again Rick.)

Results: By now I know that when someone asks ‘how did you do’ all they want to know is your Finish Time. Annoying but true. So for those of you who want to know, I ran the 5k in 26:25. Yes I was very happy. Before my races I write 3 goals:

  1. okay I can live with if I try hard enough
  2. happy, actually very happy
  3. this is amazing

For Sunday I had written: 27:00, 26:30, and 26:15. You can see how finishing in 26:25 left me feeling happy, actually very happy about the day. First in my Age is an achievement mostly because I am able to race while many of my vintage have left the courses over time. My husband ran 29:15 achieving a 3rd in Age Category. For him it felt difficult from the get-go. Some days are like that. Sheer determination enabled him to persevere (when many would have quit) and carve out a respectable time for the day. Good job Don!

Post-Race: We got to say good bye to our friends–Kathy (who won the 10k) and Arnold (who also had a great race). Smiles all around. Headed off to collect the arm warmers from Coach Rick and his wife Josie. A tidbit you might like: The men I was tracking in the second half of the race? Turns out one of them was a relative of the family. Surprise all around when we both showed up at the house. After socializing and sharing everyone’s race stories, we headed home. PS: It was another No-Look-at-the-Garmin Race (Well I looked in the first 200m and I was going too fast. Feeling energetic; it was a bit downhill; what the heck. The headwind and uphill returning back would exact its price. Went with it and left the Garmin to its own devices.

Special thanks to Coach Rick and Josie and this time, to the family too. Coach Rick keeps me running well and injury-free. Lucky me.

Rick Mannen is an International 2:19 marathoner turned coach and running consultant, community promoter and motivational speaker. (Rick won the Hong Kong Marathon in 1987). That makes all Canadians proud!

Thanks for reading, and until next time, Cheerios from ~Linda



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