For some reason I still greatly enjoy running the races that are part of our local circuit up here in the Montreal region. This harks back to memories of my competitive days in the 1980s when times and scoring points were really important to me. The origins of the circuit was what was then referred to as The West Island Running Circuit but has now expanded to the Greater Montreal Running Circuit.
Hopefully, you have found your own local circuit, or Grand Prix series, or championship series as they exist in most every city or region. They usually comprise of a dozen or so races throughout the year, and tend to draw out the local die-hards who still have some competitive fire in the belly, and who enjoy running in the no frills races. Also, these series award some form of points that total up to some championship; best of all the year usually ends with an awards banquet with prizes, and hopefully plenty of beer and/or wine.
The people who organize this deserve praise from all of us runners as races could not happen without them, and a yearlong series requires plenty of work, so hats off to the gang at Boutique Endurance who do the Montréal circuit.
August is a busy month up here as there are three races held and I managed to get to all of them this year. Life schedules get in the way sometimes. The month started off on August 2nd with the Defi Boreal 10km which runs at the western tip of the island of Montreal. Much of the race runs through the Morgan Arboretum which is a 245 hectare forested reserve, situated on the McGill University Macdonald Campus in Ste. Anne de Bellevue. It was humid that day, but nice and cool and a bit muddy through the woods.
Next up was a summer favorite the 5km Endurance night race held on August 12th with a 7pm start. If you have never run a summer night race, I highly recommend them. Your body is warmed up through the day, and you will feel like you can run faster, assuming you didn’t spend the day mowing the lawn or doing some heavy work. In fact, you probably will run faster. Back in the day they use to offer up all of the corn you could eat and even a glass a beer at this event but the race became so popular that they cut back a bit. Now the tradition is that one or both my sons come with me and post-race we head straight over to the nearby Bar-B Barn for chicken and ribs, and of course a pitcher of beer. And last weekend was the waltz up north of the city in Laval. That’s “La Valse” in French, a nice 10km course along the back river.
Well, I have managed 8 of the 9 circuit races held so far in 2015 with 4 more to go. And, as far as championship points go I am happy to say I stand tied for last at 107th – 122nd place in my age group, with a bunch of us scoring 2 points meaning a 10th place in one race. Ouch! Looking at my schedule I should make it to all of the 4 remaining races so maybe I can pick up a few more points, but if not, it’s no big deal as I run for fun these days.
The end of August brings one more very special race for me, the Run for Jon in Peru NY, about an hour and a half south from here. This race was the all-time favorite fund raising event for my parents Edwina and Bob, and this year marks the 25th Anniversary of the event. My parents (along with Emily and Matt Medeiros) had a 16 year streak of competing in every Run for Jon from 1991 to 2007, and Emily and Matt have kept it going, amazing. The 2007 edition was the last race my Dad ever completed prior to his passing, and our family was deeply grateful to the Evans family for honoring his memory on the 2008 t-shirt.
Photo: Courtesy of Daniel Rowe.
So tomorrow I will be heading down to Peru NY to help celebrate the 25th Anniversary of this wonderful event.
Follow Your Path – Keep on Running!