So as we know, at 11:49 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time) on December 21st, those of us up here in the Northern Hemisphere felt our place here on Mother Earth start tilting back towards the sun – Happy New Year! Here we are ten days later and we are still spinning so why not celebrate again, as we will in several hours from now.
2015 was a good year for running, I managed a total of 25 running events, some old standards, some new races, some hilly courses, some flat, some cold mornings, some hot, and a few wet spots. As usual, I started off January 1st in Burlington VT for the annual First Run race, as I will again tomorrow morning, now up to an 11 year streak for this New Year’s Day race, good thing it starts at 11am.
And so it was…
I got in 11 of the 13 races on the circuit this year, and even managed some championship points for my age group, but not too many, ouch. I have a long way to go before I am competitive again, but that’s okay. The circuit starts every year with the Ile-Bizard Blizzard Run; well, no blizzard last February 15, just the Polar Vortex as it was -31C (-24F) that day, more like “50 Shades of Wind Chill” for the 650 or so runners who showed up to race. In the photo below, my cheekbones actually were frozen. The circuit also includes my favorite race – Les Cross des Couleurs – where I ran the 8km race, the old cross country standard distance back from my college/university running days. And finally, the circuit ends with the Classique de Parc Lafontaine, the oldest road race in Quebec, where I managed a 54:11 for 10km, beat my age with a minute to spare!
New Places and Races
I always set a goal each year to run in a few races that I have never done before, as I think it’s good to see some new places, and to try new races. A new circuit popped up in these parts – Les Courses Gourmandes – or races with a food/drink theme. I managed to run three of them, including doing the 5km in the Course des MicroBrassieres (micro brews), can’t beat a race with a beer theme. It was very cold that morning, and the course was tough and hilly in nearby Bromont QC, but a free beer at the finish line still tasted good. My favorite new race this past year was the Beamsville Bench 5km which is held in the Niagara peninsula, a very good wine growing region. The day was very hot, and the course was super tough, up, down, and sideways, not one metre was flat; but, a free glass of wine at the finish line sure helps.
Unfortunately, I missed the Good Friday Races I Burlington ON because of scheduling issues; however, I did make it down to Peru NY for the 25th anniversary of the Run for Jon, a 2.6 mile cross country race in the apple orchards down there. This was an all-time favorite late August evening race for my Mom and Dad, so I like to get there often; the evening finish time, draw prizes, family friendly atmosphere, and gazing at the Adirondacks as it gets darks are hard to beat. And, in early October, the Mohawk Miles in my hometown of Kahnawake, our family favorite, and a race I actually won several times way back when.
Photo courtesy of Daniel Rowe
And lastly, in late November I did one of those Santa Runs up here in Montreal, and wow, was it ever tough to run in that suit for 5km, but it was all for a good cause. Of course, there was not a snow flake in site in these parts until just a few days ago, and believe me, we now have plenty of the white stuff. Just on Christmas Eve, I went out for an easy 3 miles in shorts, but Santa made it here anyway. And the year ends with family time, mostly eating and laughing, can’t beat that.
Now it is time for renewal, I hope all the runners out there set some new running goals for yourself, see you at the races, and all the best to everyone in 2016.
Follow Your Path, and Keep on Running.